Microsofts Role

By David Coursey  |  Posted 2005-01-20 Print this article Print

Not that SCO was ever a huge company in absolute terms, but it did once create what has since become popular: Unix running on Intel processors, only today we call it Linux. If SCO could somehow regain its position in whats become a hot market, well, thats at least part of what the lawsuit is about. Another part looks like the continuing grudge match that Ray Noorda and other former Novell execs have waged against the companies that beat them in the marketplace. This was launched many years ago, and while Noorda is reportedly in poor health, the battle continues. Besides IBM, this includes Microsoft and even the post-Noorda Novell. Microsoft is the odd player here, given its recent support of SCO. Of course, having IBM as a common enemy is what brought them together, not any desire by Microsoft to see SCO again become a successful operating-systems company.
More likely, Microsoft counts on SCO—should it win in court—just sitting back and collecting royalties rather than actively entering any Microsoft-competitive business. Or maybe Microsoft doesnt care what happens to SCO at all and is merely playing for the value of the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) the lawsuit has created in the marketplace.
Click here to find out whether Unix vendors are losing market share to Linux and Windows. Given the fortunes that still exist in Utah from Novell, WordPerfect and the rest of a computing industry that no longer exists there, SCO probably will be able to soldier on. Sour grapes are, I suppose, better than no grapes at all. Heres how I think this ends: By the time the case(s) come to trial, SCO the product company will be gone. And after a loss in the courts, SCO the litigant also will disappear. Wednesdays decision in a Salt Lake City courtroom only delays what increasingly looks like the inevitable demise of a once-proud company.. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

One of technology's most recognized bylines, David Coursey is Special Correspondent for, where he writes a daily Blog ( and twice-weekly column. He is also Editor/Publisher of the Technology Insights newsletter and President of DCC, Inc., a professional services and consulting firm.

Former Executive Editor of ZDNet AnchorDesk, Coursey has also been Executive Producer of a number of industry conferences, including DEMO, Showcase, and Digital Living Room. Coursey's columns have been quoted by both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and he has appeared on ABC News Nightline, CNN, CBS News, and other broadcasts as an expert on computing and the Internet. He has also written for InfoWorld, USA Today, PC World, Computerworld, and a number of other publications. His Web site is

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