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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-06-16 Print this article Print

McBride said that once SCO revokes the license, the contract states that IBM has to destroy all copies of AIX in its and its customers possession. SCO also has the right to perform audits of IBMs AIX customer base, which would be done by a third-party auditing company, he said.

"Unless something significant happens, you can expect us to go into an audit process," McBride told eWEEK. "We are currently in discussions with audit firms to get people lined up there. As of Friday, June 13, we will be done trying to talk to IBM, and we will be talking directly to its customers and going in and auditing them."

So far, AIX customers are not showing signs of abandoning the operating system. Joe Wurtz, a vice president at solution provider MSI Systems Integrators, in Omaha, Neb., said he has not received a single customer inquiry on that issue. "There are a lot of reasons why customers continue to commit a lot of applications to the AIX platform and why pSeries servers are gaining market share. The interest in new implementations of AIX boxes and IBM pSeries servers has never been stronger for us," Wurtz said. "This is something the courts will eventually settle, I suppose."

Other Unix vendors, such as Sun Microsystems Inc., are not wasting time taking advantage of potential customer fallout. Sun is preparing to launch a campaign known as the AIX to Solaris Migration Program as early as this week. The program will offer AIX customers migration tools to Suns Solaris. "[Sun is] also looking at a shared risk migration model where we agree with [the customer about] what a successful migration model looks like," said Larry Singer, vice president of Suns global information strategy office, in Menlo Park, Calif. "They dont pay for it until we get there."

These latest developments follow claims by sources close to SCO last week that the company may have done the very thing it is accusing IBM of: used licensed code in an unauthorized way. According to sources, SCO may have violated the GNU GPL (General Public License) by incorporating source code from the Linux kernel into the LKP (Linux Kernel Personality) feature found in SCO Unix without giving the changes back to the community or displaying copyright notices attributing the code to Linux. LKP is a feature that lets users run standard Linux applications along with standard Unix applications on a single system using the UnixWare kernel.

SCOs McBride said the company has looked at its code closely in this regard, and "we have no GPL violations, as there is absolutely no Linux kernel code in our Unix products."

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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