Good initial response

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2005-03-22 Print this article Print

Initial response from those large enterprises, such as McDonalds, that use OpenServer had been good so far, and SCO Unix had not had an uptake like this in seven years. "I think it will be a good competitive product for years to come. Some 60 percent of our installed base run on Open Server, so the potential for upgrades is really good," McBride said. "This is also the first product to ship since we switched our focus from Linux back to Unix."
SCO was also encouraged with the third party support it was getting for OpenServer, he said, pointing to a list of recent hardware certifications. Included on that list was IBM, the subject of the litigation, which interestingly enough, with 28 certified systems has the most hardware certifications for SCOs operating systems.
"We have been working together with IBM on Open Server. IBM and HP both continue to earn hundreds of millions of dollars annually from supporting and shipping SCO Unix products," he said. Asked whether Sun Microsystems Inc. was violating its Unix licensing agreement with SCO given its open sourcing of its code for Solaris 10, McBride said the Santa Clara firm had paid more than $100 million over the past 10 years for those licenses and, while it remained a licensee, it was not authorized to give its code away "lock, stock and barrel." "But they are staying within the rights of their IP agreements," McBride said. Asked if SCO had been approached by Sun for a possible takeover or buyout of SCOs Unix intellectual property right, as has been rumored, McBride said there were "no discussions going on with Sun right now." When asked whether the company was involved in settlement discussions with IBM or whether it would settle, McBride said there had been some "back-and-forthing about a settlement, but there is nothing under discussion at the moment." But, thats not end of the story. "While a settlement remains an option, there is a side of me that wants to get our claims before the courts and get them resolved one way or the other. The big issue around a settlement would be the amount of money to be paid to us," he said. The spread between what IBM might be prepared to pay and what SCO would be prepared to accept "is probably too great at this point." When asked what settlement figure was acceptable to him and the SCO board, McBride jokingly said it would have to be "more than our current market capitalization but less than $5 billion." With regard to the delisting hearing with Nasdaq last week, McBride said the company had laid out its plan for filing the required 10k and its quarterly financials and was waiting to hear back from the Exchange. Read more here about SCO making its case before the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel. Because of the restatement, before the auditors can sign off on the 10k, they must evaluate all of SCOs previous quarterly results. "Until thats done, they wont sign off on that," McBride said. McBride said he was unable to predict when the 10K and other overdue financial documents would be turned in. In the meantime, the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Panel in Washington has indicated to SCO that a decision will be rendered on SCOs continued place on the Nasdaq in 30 to 35 days after the hearing. Moreover, the panel informed SCO that for now it can continue to be traded under the symbol "SCOXE," pending the panels decision. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

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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