Shows Expose Turmoil in Unix, Linux Markets

Unix from The SCO Group and open-source Linux drew the attention of enterprise customers, software developers and industry partners, at the recent SCO Forum and LinuxWorld shows.

Change came at a furious clip recently for both the Unix and open-source communities at August trade shows.

Customers of The SCO Group Inc.s Unix found reasons to stay the course with its longstanding platform at its annual gathering in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, adherents of open-source development and Linux packed the aisles of the LinuxWorld conference and expo in San Francisco.

Aside from the usual crop of announcements of new products and updates as well as the proclamations of corporate support by partners and developers, attendees at both shows were surprised by the news that Sun Microsystems Inc. is considering making an attempt to acquire Novell Inc.

The move would have enormous repercussions for competitor IBM. The turmoil was sparked by a suggestive posting in the Weblog of Jonathan Schwartz, Sun president and chief operating officer.

These off-the-cuff comments were greeted with concern by analysts and customers at the shows. "Its totally crazy for him to be making a comment like that," said one analyst, a former Sun software executive.

Naturally, our reporters were on hand at both venues. Here is some of our coverage of the shows:

Novells Linux Desktop. Novell was expected to release a beta version of its new Linux desktop at LinuxWorld. Instead, what the company did was to simple demo a version of its Novell Linux Desktop at its booth, and check user reactions.

/zimages/4/28571.gifTo read more about Novells strategy, click here.

Unix-to-Linux migration programs. At LinuxWorld, IBM and Hewlett-Packard Co. introduced new solutions to help customers and ISVs move away from SPARC/Solaris and onto Linux. IBMs effort supports ports to the companys Power microprocessor architecture, which is the foundation for IBMs pSeries, iSeries and BladeCenter JS20 platforms. And HP will provide incentives to foster development of Linux applications for HP ProLiant and Integrity servers.

/zimages/4/28571.gifTo read more about the migration plans, click here.

LinuxWorld notebooks. The comings and goings on the show floor were tracked in several reporters notebooks. Attendees said they were mostly upbeat at the show and for the market in general. For some show-goers, IP (intellectual property) insurance looked like a new opportunity.

/zimages/4/28571.gifTo see ExtremeTechs photo gallery from the show, click here.

Unix updates. SCO released the beta version of its OpenServer software, code-name Legend at SCO Forum. Due in early 2005, the release will bring in features from SCOs other Unix operating system, UnixWare. These will include performance improvements, symmetric multi-processing (SMP) and load balancing.

Support for SCO. SCO can count few large companies in the IT industry as its friend, but it continues to maintain a very strong working relationship with Hewlett-Packard Co. Unlike some of its competitors, the companys strategy is to support all three primary operating systems: Unix, Windows and Linux. Read more about HPs plan here.

/zimages/4/28571.gifWhy do SCOs partners stick with the company? While its one of the most hated companies around, SCO has some lessons to offer on working with reseller partners, says this Ziff Davis Channel Zone article.

/zimages/4/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms Linux & Open Source Center ( for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.


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