Win, lose or draw in its IBM lawsuits, SCO is planning on moving on with the first significant update to its main Unix operating system, OpenServer, in seven years and plans for delivering business applications to mobile devices.
SALT LAKE CITYDarl McBride, the CEO of The SCO Group, has big plans for his company going forward, whether or not it wins all the current litigation it is involved in against IBM and others.
The Lindon, Utah, company has sued IBM for some $5 billion, alleging it illegally contributed Unix code, to which SCO maintains it owns all the rights, to the open-source Linux operating system.
That case is currently due to go to trial Nov. 1, but the trial date could be moved back.
In a lengthy and candid interview in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, McBride discussed his future plans for the company, and the scenario remains largely the same whether it wins in the courts or not.
"We are concentrating on three core constituents: our shareholders, our customers and our staff. Whatever happens in the courts, we intend to drive our Unix business forward, particularly in the vertical markets," McBride said.
Any cash from a legal win or a settlement would be plowed back into growing the business and developing its product lines, McBride said.
"If we dont win the legal battle, we will still have the cash level of a typical startup, but with more customers and technology than many of those."
McBride also observed that SCOs loyal resellers and customers would still be there. "You must remember these people have stuck with us through our legal cases and even though theyve been told twice by two former SCO CEOs that OpenServer was dead."
"We believe that it is around the vertical markets where we have the value-add. Our plan right now is to use any settlement to invest in the companys growth and drive it forward," he said.
There was also a skunkworks group within the company looking at new applications and services that would target handsets and other devices.
"We are working on products that can take strength of the server that can marry that up to devices," said McBride.
This is not to say that SCO is considering a return to the embedded operating system space.
One of SCOs forebears was Lineo, an embedded Linux company.
Instead, the group is working on ways to seamlessly connect server-based applications to handsets.
Next Page: No interest in acquisition.
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.