Sun Sees Opportunity in IBM-SCO Showdown

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-06-12 Print this article Print

Sun Microsystems Inc. is wasting no time prepping to take advantage of any potential customer fallout from the looming battle between the SCO Group and IBM over Big Blue's license for AIX, its Unix operating system.

Sun Microsystems Inc. is wasting no time prepping to take advantage of any potential customer fallout from the looming battle between the SCO Group and IBM over Big Blues license for AIX, its Unix operating system. SCO has said it will revoke IBMs license to ship AIX as it claims Big Blue has violated the terms and conditions of that license by giving its customers unauthorized access to Unix source code and for "giving away" parts of the code to the open-source community and Linux. The 100-day notice period that SCO was contractually required to give IBM before revoking its Unix license passes this Friday.
Sun, meanwhile, is preparing to launch a campaign known as the AIX to Solaris Migration Program. The program and advertising campaign around it, due to be launched next week once SCO has announced that it is going to pull IBMs AIX license, is designed to offer concerned AIX customers a migration path to Suns Solaris version of Unix—for which it has a paid license with SCO.
"We will offer an initial consultation and evaluation assessment, which will be free. We are also looking at a shared risk migration model where we agree with the customer what a successful migration model looks like. They dont pay for it until we get there," Larry Singer, the vice president of Suns global information office in Menlo Park, Calif., told eWEEK on Thursday. An IBM spokeswoman told eWEEK the company believed its AIX license is "irrevocable and perpetual. We intend to try this case in the courts, and we intend to defend this vigorously," she said. A SCO spokesman declined to comment on what the company plans to do about IBMs AIX license once the 100-day notice period expires tomorrow.

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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