Does SCO Matter?

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2004-11-03 Print this article Print

Opinion: What have all of SCO's legal actions amounted to? In many ways, not much, but in others, SCO has profoundly changed how we think about technology.

After seemingly endless Sturm und Drang, SCOs white-hot battles with IBM, Linux supporters and a host of other companies have cooled to the slow, red heat of laborious court proceedings. So, where are we now? Does SCO matter?

When it all started, back in March 2003, there was a lot of talk about how SCOs attack on Linux might cripple Linuxs growth.

It hasnt happened.

According to IDC, Linux server revenues have grown at double-digit rates for eight straight quarters, with revenue up 49 percent and unit shipments up 38 percent at midyear. That gives Linux about 28.3 percent of worldwide server sales if youre playing at home. If this is crippled, its in the same way that Curt Schilling was in the World Series.

Linux has taken everything SCO could throw at it and is still surging ahead as the server operating system of the 21st century. And, from where I sit, it finally seems to be getting some traction in the desktop with distributions like Linspire in the consumer market and Xandros, SuSE and Red Hat in the office.

SCO, on the other hand, continues its decline. You can see that more clearly in the stock market.

As I write this, SCOs stock sits near an all-time low of $2.85. Its actually worse than that. Far too many people seem to have forgotten that before SCO launched its lawsuit against IBM, the company had a 4-to-1 reverse stock split in 2002. Therefore, by pre-reverse stock split measures, SCO has sunk to a smidgen over 70 cents a share.

Next page: SCOs missed opportunity.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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