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Caldera Businesses Operating Systems Software Unix

SCO Sells Its UNIX Product Line To London Firm 95

Posted by Soulskill
from the still-alive dept.
An anonymous reader writes "SCO just forged a deal to sell its UNIX product line to Gulf Capital Partners LLC of London. Under the terms of the deal, SCO would continue to exist as a separate company helmed by Darl McBride, with its primary remaining assets being related to its mobile platform offerings. However, it's noted that this deal must be approved by the court, and should not be considered 'done' yet. It could fall through as others have in the past."
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SCO Sells Its UNIX Product Line To London Firm

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  • products? (Score:3, Funny)

    by conspirator57 (1123519) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @01:00PM (#28363151)

    SCO have products? when did this happen? i thought all they did was patent troll.

    • They still have Unixware and SCO OpenServer, which are "Unix Products". They also (presumably) have Caldera (Linux) and DrDos. To be honest, I can't imaging anyone actually making any money out of these products now.

      • DrDos is used in embedded apps.

        • drdos was also teh awesome...

          15-20 years ago...

          when it was made by Digital Research, hence the DR in DRDOS.

      • Re:products? (Score:4, Informative)

        by MBGMorden (803437) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @02:38PM (#28364377)

        The also used to make one of the nicer X11 servers for Windows machines way back when. I would have likely bought it had my university not had a site license for Hummingbird eXceed. These days though Xming does everything I need it to. Same story for all of SCO's products - and the reason for their 5 year hissy fit. All of their products have free and open source replacements available that match or even exceed them in functionality. Personally preferences aside, nobody is going to pay sticker price for a Chevy if the Ford dealer next door is giving cars away for free.

      • by SEE (7681)

        No, SCO doesn't have DR-DOS. DR-DOS was spun off of Caldera (along with Embedix) back in 1997, in a company eventually named Lineo. Lineo was bought in 2002 by Metrowerks for Embedix, and all of Lineo's other divisions were spun off. DR-DOS became the property of a new company called DeviceLogics, which later was renamed DRDOS, Inc.

    • by eclectro (227083)

      SCO have products? when did this happen?

      Yes, now that they have sold the SCO product line, they are planning to use the money to create and sell a Linux distribution called Caldera

  • Wait... (Score:1, Redundant)

    by R2.0 (532027)

    SCO actually had a product line? And apparently more than one?

    Wonder where they'd be if the had put half as much effort into selling their products instead of lawyers fees.

    • Oh, they had a product all right. Or a service, at least. They sold FUD.

      Their clients? Gee, I don't know... who could possibly be interested in hurting Linux's reputation?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Chris Burke (6130)

      Wonder where they'd be if the had put half as much effort into selling their products instead of lawyers fees.

      If they put the same amount and quality of effort as they did into their legal arguments?

      Probably same place they are now, in bankruptcy court, but instead of their creditors being Novel and a pipe fund, it'd be all the plaintiffs' owed damages when SCO was ruled liable for their servers exploding.

  • Does anyone know who actually uses SCO products if any?

    Who buys something that no one (or mostly no one) uses?

    Maybe lots of people use it that I'm unaware of. Care to enlighten me?
    • Re:Who? (Score:5, Informative)

      by gmack (197796) <gmack&innerfire,net> on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @01:23PM (#28363427) Homepage Journal

      People with large legacy infrastructures who didn't want to pay to have their software converted to Solaris, BSD or Linux. They buy the upgrades so they can run old software on new hardware because in the short term it's cheaper.

      Used to be very common for restaurant chains on their cash registerslLike McDonald's. Also Autozone had their ordering system on SCO but left(and got sued).

      • Re:Who? (Score:5, Informative)

        by itomato (91092) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @01:52PM (#28363865)

        Pizza Hut also used OpenServer.

        Now they're a SUSE shop! :)

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by legirons (809082)

          Pizza Hut also used OpenServer.

          Now they're a SUSE shop! :)

          no, they're still a pizza shop

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            Pizza Hut also used OpenServer.

            Now they're a SUSE shop! :)

            no, they're still a pizza shop

            But only for certain extremely broad definitions of "pizza."

            • pizza n.
              1. a dish of Italian origin consisting of a flat, round base of dough baked with a topping of tomato sauce and cheese, typically with added meat or vegetables.
              2. if made by pizza hut, a disgusting dish akin to greasy moldy toast with a ketchup spread, heavily marketed to children and low income families despite being overpriced

              • That makes no sense. Tomatoes weren't even introduced to italy until the late 15th century, and weren't ever really popular there (partly due, I'm sure, to the fact that tomatoes are members of the deadly nightshade family.)

                Get the pan pizza. Not only does it have much higher profit margins, but it also fills you up more since it's got so much more bread. It's like eating a greased up cotton ball.

                • That makes no sense. Tomatoes weren't even introduced to italy until the late 15th century, and weren't ever really popular there (partly due, I'm sure, to the fact that tomatoes are members of the deadly nightshade family.)

                  Tell that to the folks at Oxford University Press. I took the first part of that straight from the New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd Edition.

                • That makes no sense. Tomatoes weren't even introduced to italy until the late 15th century, and weren't ever really popular there (partly due, I'm sure, to the fact that tomatoes are members of the deadly nightshade family.)

                  "Weren't ever" ... until sometime prior to 2000, since that year was the first time I visited Italy and tomatoes seemed to be a pretty damned popular ingredient. But I also suspect they've been popular there for more than nine years because it was in the seventeenth century that the modern use of the word pizza took root in Naples, a city that still boats the world's oldest pizzeria (Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba), which started serving pizza with marinara sauce in 1738. The pizza margherita, which prominentl

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DrXym (126579)
        People with large legacy infrastructures who didn't want to pay to have their software converted to Solaris, BSD or Linux. They buy the upgrades so they can run old software on new hardware because in the short term it's cheaper.

        I'm surprised they bothered. If systems are that legacy it would probably be cheaper to virtualize them. More interesting but perhaps legally iffy would be to fund an open source project to emulate the SCO system calls and core libraries. Something like lxrun but for SCO so that a

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          Linux had ibcs years ago which did exactly that, back when linux was relatively new, sco was the unix of choice for x86 systems and all the closed source apps (like netscape and wordperfect) were only available for sco. See http://www.jaggycraft.co.uk/linux/ibcs/ [jaggycraft.co.uk]

    • by Xtifr (1323)

      The subject line is deliberately ambiguous, and I could probably support just about any interpretation you make, but my understanding is that SCO UNIX is still used in some embedded point-of-sale (POS) systems. There was also, IIRC, some noise in one of their recent filings about its popularity in Russia, so I guess it can be handy for controlling botnets or something. :)

      • There was also, IIRC, some noise in one of their recent filings about its popularity in Russia, so I guess it can be handy for controlling botnets or something. :)

        No. In Russia, botnets control Linux.

    • by hurfy (735314)

      Some specialty accounting systems and such are written for it. Ours included the hardware and OpenServer. However, I think there were only a few hundred copies of this program sold split between AIX and Openserver and is not pushed any longer by the multinational that bought the national corp that bought the local company we bought the program from....

      That company only accounts for a hundred or two SCO sales. While there are similar systems using it many have similar numbers. I just don't see much value the

      • Would this specialty accounting systems be MTA out of Phoenix, Arizona? If it is I have some interesting/funny stories to tell about the strategic direction taken by the company around 1995. -H
  • by Jaysyn (203771) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `todhsals+nysyaj'> on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @01:05PM (#28363219) Homepage Journal

    ...there is a sucker born every minute!

    • ...there is a sucker born every minute!

      In this case the sucker is the judge who failed to see that this is just a blatant and obvious stalling tactic to drag out the litigation as long as possible.

    • A wise man once said:

      Unfortunately, there was a big gray box were his words were supposed to be, so no one could hear him.

    • A wise man once said...

      To be specific, it was said by David Hannum [wikipedia.org] as a cynical twist on P. T. Barnum's credo "there's a customer born every minute" after an exhibit of Barnum's was exposed as a fake.

  • by RichMan (8097) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @01:05PM (#28363221)

    A while back a Judge ruled SCO does not own the UNIX(tm) copyrights.
    ((That would be SysV copyrights that were gutted by the BSD settlement, but that is a whole other story.))
    SCO's argument in that case was that they could not run the UNIX business without the copyrights. And thus when they bought the business they must have bought the copyrights.

    Now SCO is in BK court and in the processes of selling the business. The problem is they are also in the appeals court where their argument that the only way to sell the business is with the copyrights is being evaluated. So SCO is
    a) selling the business without the copyrights in the BK court.
    b) arguing that to buy the business you must get the copyrights in the appeals court.

    It is supposed to be bad practice to argue different things in different courts at the same time.
    But that does not stop SCO.

    • by Tony-A (29931)

      >It is supposed to be bad practice to argue different things in different courts at the same time.
      It is very good practice if you win both cases.
      However, seeing it is SCO, I'd much prefer they LOSE both cases.
      Assuming lawyers are rational????

    • by canajin56 (660655)
      Various music labels have argued that anything more than a 2x penalty for commercial copyright infringement is unconstitutional, when they themselves got caught selling albums featuring music to which they hold no license. Meanwhile, they argue in court that 4000x penalties are FINE for non-commercial infringement, and in fact, are lobbying Congress HARD to bump that up from 4000x to 150,000x. Hasn't gone poorly for them, I'm not so sure it's a bad practice ;)
      • by paazin (719486)
        It's not "bad" practice, it's fairly common practice. In fact, it'd be rather idiotic to do otherwise, else you want your share price to precipitously fall and be ousted by the board/fired/whatever.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by rdavidson3 (844790)

      Now SCO is in BK court

      I've heard of kangaroo courts, but not burger king courts.... mmmm... getting hungry... what were we talking about it?

    • It is supposed to be bad practice to argue different things in different courts at the same time.

      Huh?

      Heck: Sometimes it's good practice to argue different (and contradictory) things in the SAME court at the same time. It's called "pleading the alternative".

      Granted it's usually used in criminal law (where the prosecution has to prove ALL the points of the crime and the defendant only has to show that the prosecution failed to prove one of them). But I see no reason SCO shouldn't try both these approaches

  • by Daimanta (1140543) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @01:16PM (#28363343) Journal

    and didn't specify whom to make immortal. SCO was the receiver of that power and we have to live with the consequences of that wish. Fact: You can't kill SCO.

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      But their brand name is so corrupted from the terrible quality of their products, the ineptitude of their management and their shenannigans in court that the name would be a drag on any company associated with it...

      Which does suggest a use for them. SCO could become a corporate katamari, rolling up all manner of odious scum into one gigantic ball of shit which could, at some point in the future, then be launched into space. They should start by acquiring those auto warranty scammers and the RIAA. Once th

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps they should ask the Obama Government for a hand out, hmm, I mean a bail out package.

  • by jd (1658) <imipak&yahoo,com> on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @01:24PM (#28363445) Homepage Journal

    This article [bbc.co.uk] on the BBC news website was pointed to by a link saying "China lends SCO $10bn". Turns out it was a different SCO. Thank all the gods (and ceiling cat)!

    • *FUNNY*. Someone with mod points, mod parent up, and as something other than Funny so he gets credit for it.

      I submitted the original story, as AC because I was lazy and /. never takes my story submissions anyway. It puzzled me that the news had been posted online for hours and had not yet made it onto /., given the love so many here obviously have for SCO.

      Who knows what the investors think they're buying. As some have pointed out, maybe the customer base? Then again, I know lots of legacy platform c

    • by microbee (682094)

      SCO can sue them for trademark infringement then, can't it? New lawsuit, new revenue, new life!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cdrudge (68377)

        Both versions of SCO can use the same trademarked name of "SCO" without infringing on one another. Not only is similarities of the mark considered, but also the industry that the mark is used in. SCO the operating system company works in the computer industry. SCO the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a intergovernmental mutual-security organization similar to NATO between Russia, China, and a few other *stans. There wouldn't be a whole lot of confusion between the two marks.

        • Just because an accusation is baseless hasn't stopped them so far. Who knows? An international dispute may be the only way they get to go before the supreme court!

          • by jd (1658)

            Given the reputation of the Chinese and Russian mafias, getting to the Supreme Court without heavy investment in the defense industry will be a challenge in itself.

            • by Arimus (198136)

              Maybe then we'll finally be rid of Darl....

              "SCO founder flounders under weight of Russian Maffia Concrete, foul play suspected, multiple suspects include Shanghai Cooporation Organisation, Novell, Redhat, IBM. More at 10"

  • by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3 AT phroggy DOT com> on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @01:25PM (#28363451) Homepage

    They're an investment banking firm. I see two possibilities: either SCO managed to convince them that if they only had enough funds, they could turn their flavor of UNIX into a hugely profitable product, or Gulf Capital Partners is already one of SCO's few customers and they want to make sure they don't lose support when the company shuts its doors.

    The latter would surprise me.

    Maybe somebody should ask them what the hell they're thinking?

    • by Zuato (1024033)

      I'd like to know what they are thinking for 1) considering buying SCO and 2) leaving Darl McBride in charge if allowed to purchase SCO.

      One would think after where the company ended up a leadership change would be the first order of business.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Phroggy (441)

        I'd like to know what they are thinking for 1) considering buying SCO and 2) leaving Darl McBride in charge if allowed to purchase SCO.

        One would think after where the company ended up a leadership change would be the first order of business.

        Darl wouldn't be in charge of what Gulf Capital Partners would be buying. He'd be in charge of the even-emptier shell they'd be leaving behind. They're not buying SCO, they're buying SCO's UNIX product line.

    • by jrumney (197329)

      They're an investment banking firm.

      No, that is Gulf Capital Partners, Inc, of Houston. There is also a Gulf Capital, of London, but they are a consultancy firm specialising in Iraq and other emerging markets in the Middle East. So my guess is that this is a new company formed specifically for this transaction, perhaps taking advantage of the other similarly named companies as a smokescreen to give this transaction the credibility it needs to buy a delay in the bankruptcy proceedings. Unfortunately the UK

      • by Phroggy (441)

        They're an investment banking firm.

        No, that is Gulf Capital Partners, Inc, of Houston. There is also a Gulf Capital, of London, but they are a consultancy firm specialising in Iraq and other emerging markets in the Middle East. So my guess is that this is a new company formed specifically for this transaction, perhaps taking advantage of the other similarly named companies as a smokescreen to give this transaction the credibility it needs to buy a delay in the bankruptcy proceedings. Unfortunately the UK government have decided that their company register only needs to be available from 7am to midnight UK time (WTF? Are they using Mechanical Turk on the backend or something?), so I can't confirm any of this.

        Ooooooh. My mistake.

        If you're right, then that would point the finger at an outside agency. The Gulf Capital Partners I looked at seemed legitimate, and I didn't think they would go along with a sleazy deal from Microsoft, but if this is a different Gulf Capital that nobody knows anything about, then I would definitely believe it.

        Alright, so, can somebody find out for sure exactly which Gulf Capital we're talking about, who they are, what they do, and how long they've been in business?

  • Fresh cash to persue copyright violations? Is Gulf Capital Partners LLC of London a cover for someone like Microsoft? Why would someone want to purchase SCO properties? SCO the Unix business is almost completely dead.

    • by nizo (81281) *

      Fresh cash to persue copyright violations?

      Cash for plane tickets to someplace without an extradition treaty with the US?

  • What about Novell? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jbengt (874751) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @01:28PM (#28363497)
    Does SCO even have the right to sell their Unix business without the approval of Novell?
    • by cbhacking (979169)

      Novell was awarded a fairly large compensation by the court, right? My guess is that, in order to extract that much money from SCO, they'll need to take just about every piece of property that SCO owns... and given that they are both in the *nix software business, getting the rights to SCO's Unix flavors would seem an obvious move.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by drgould (24404)

      Does SCO even have the right to sell their Unix business without the approval of Novell?

      I don't think SCO requires Novell's approval, I don't think the original SCO required Novell's approval to sell their Unix business to then Caldera, but I admit I could be wrong.

      But they most definitely require the bankruptcy court's approval.

      And if it's anything like SCO's last "deal", Novell, IBM and the US Trustee are going to have a lot to say about it in court.

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @01:44PM (#28363761) Homepage

    > However, it's noted that this deal must be approved by the court, and should not be
    > considered 'done' yet.

    Then why did you headline it as if it were?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > However, it's noted that this deal must be approved by the court, and should not be
      > considered 'done' yet.

      Then why did you headline it as if it were?

      Because he's a Slastard "editur"

  • by astrashe (7452) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @02:01PM (#28363995) Journal

    It's amazing how they keep going, and going and going. And how a management team can fly the plane into the side of a mountain and keep their jobs.

    • And how a management team can fly the plane into the side of a mountain and keep their jobs.

      . . . when the board and the executive management are cronies and in cahoots, nothing is impossible or unimaginable . . .

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by nizo (81281) *

      The weird thing is they somehow keep reassembling the plane and immediately crashing it again and again.

    • The scox-scam is nothing but 1% of msft's ongoing fud campaign against linux. Why do you think msft sponsored the entire thing? Why do you think they are suing ibm? IBM does not even have a linux distribution.

      IBM contributed to linux, and that scared msft. So msft wanted (and still wants) it to be know that if you contribute to linux, you may be served with a bogus lawsuit. The entire point of the lawsuit is to have a chilling effect on potential linux contributers. And possibly linux users, since linux use

  • This IS news! (Score:1, Redundant)

    by DarthVain (724186)

    SCO has products?

    Who knew?

    I thought they main product was the ability to hire lawyers and try (emphasis on "try") to sue yourself some profit.

  • by jimicus (737525) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @03:48PM (#28365359)

    I have trouble believing Microsoft are pulling the strings here - I'd have thought they'd have realised by now that this was a complete waste of time.

    Unless, of course, their aim isn't to destabilise Linux completely but just give their salesmen a bargaining chip in large negotiations - in which case there may be a return on investment.

    Assuming Microsoft aren't pulling the strings, what on Earth would possess any company to even consider this? Even the tiniest bit of due diligence - so tiny that you don't even read the IT press to get the IT world's view on it - would show that SCO have been doing this for five years without so much as an iota of success and quite a lot of defeat.

    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      I'd be willing to bet that MS cut their losses a while ago. SCO did the job MS set them up to do -- spread enough FUD to slow Linux adoptions while they scrambled to get Vista out at which point the world would be safe from free software hippies. The FUD part of the plan worked perfectly, the Vista ruling the world part not so much. Sure it'd be really nice if they had some way to delay Linux adoption until Windows 7, but SCO's usefulness as an anti-Linux FUD factor is long gone.

      No, I'm pretty sure MS pr

  • I have a Slackware 3.3 disc for sale to this London company. Its OS is much better than SCOs and I'm willing to part with it for only $5-million.
  • by Slur (61510)

    Could this be the beginning of the end for SCO?

  • this actually makes sense. If Win7 does not save M$, a fallback position with a proprietary *nix with virtualization and XP built in by default with their flagship apps ported to Win-IX with its introduction and their less important apps ported to -ix as fast as their programmers can work might be a Very Good Thing for them to have.
    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      What? No, that makes no sense at all.

      SCO UNIX had little technical merit in the mid-1990s. Now, it's an anachronism at best.

  • of course if the opposing counsel finds out he could give a bigger bribe and then Darl would find himself in a gunfight with a machete.

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