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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-08-09 Print this article Print

But going after its installed base rather than trying to add new customers poses a challenge for SCO: Many of its customers are small and midsize businesses with more limited IT budgets, and many SMBs that have been using SCO technologies for a long time tend not to upgrade as often as large enterprises.

One such customer is CSK Auto Inc., an auto parts retailer based in Phoenix. George Duckworth, director of store support for CSK, said the company has deployed SCO software for about 11 years in 1,125 locations in 19 Western states.

"We have one server in each of our stores running SCO OpenServer and a 16-bit MegaBASIC application running in a Xenix emulator on that OpenServer box," Duckworth said. "We are moving from OpenServer to UnixWare and hoped to have the first pilot for this installed this month." He said those moves will take place over time. "We had to come up with a way of spreading the cost out over three years or so where we could actually get it done. The first part, what we are doing now, is starting to migrate to hardware that will support the applications we want to write, while upgrading from OpenServer to UnixWare," he said.

Read how the SCO Forum and LinuxWorld shows exposed turmoil in the Unix and Linux markets. Among SCOs large customers is Siemens AG, which uses SCO because it is flexible enough to support a number of PC architectures and peripheral devices, said Detlef Fischer, head of Siemens Power Generation, Instrumentation and Control Development division, in Berlin. Siemens uses SCO in all subsections of that division except automation, Fischer said.

Hunsaker said SCO will fight to keep its current customers from being lured away by competitors such as Sun Microsystems Inc., Novell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Red Hat Inc. "We are not going to allow them to take our customers away. We will protect them to the end," he said. "But for us to go head-to-head with them on a new customer—absolutely, thats a huge challenge."

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Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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