HP, Intel Withdraw Support for SCO Forum

Intel withdraws sponsorhip of event; HP pulls out of keynote.

LAS VEGAS—The immense distaste and anger of the open-source and Linux community, as well as of some enterprises, for The SCO Groups attack on Linux appears not to be going unnoticed by some of the major vendors.

Intel Corp. was recently billed as one of the lead sponsors of SCOs Forum 2003 conference here this week, but then suddenly disappeared from all marketing and press material for the forum.

Sources told eWEEK that Intel, bowing to pressure from the major Linux vendors, the open-source community and some of its largest customers, backed down and withdrew its sponsorship of the event.

Not so, SCO CEO Darl McBride told eWEEK here on Sunday.

While he was "not familiar with all the intricacies of the matter," it appears that SCO took to advertising and promoting Intel as a sponsor even before the deal was signed. As the deal never actually took place, Intel was removed as a lead sponsor of the event, he said.

It appears that Hewlett-Packard Co. also got cold feet. As late as last week, SCO was telling attendees that HP would be giving a partner keynote at the forum on Tuesday morning. But on Sunday the schedule of events given to attendees when they registered makes no mention of an HP keynote. The keynote that was to be given by an HP executive is now scheduled to be made by Maggie Alexander, a vice president at SCO partner Progress Software.

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This development is interesting as many members of the open-source and Linux communities, as well as many Linux users, were enraged that HP would consider giving a keynote at SCOs Forum 2003. HP had found itself between a rock and a hard place, as it has long claimed to equally support three operating systems: Windows, its HP-UX Unix operating system and Linux.

But SCOs claims that Linux was an unauthorized derivative of Unix and its threats of legal action against users put HP in a difficult position. Neither SCO nor HP could be reached for comment by the time this article was published.

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However, whatever the reason for the withdrawal of its keynote speaker, HP still sponsored the Sunday night welcome reception at the MGM Grand for Forum 2003 attendees, which was well attended and included food and drinks.