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Unix Operating Systems Software

SCO Talks About Linux 118

jflynn writes "An interesting look at what SCO is telling it's customers about Linux is found here. There seems to be a great deal of fear and loathing." The (unbylined) article appears on a Web site owned by X/OS, a Netherlands-based Unix and Linux consulting/R&D company. It makes some interesting points.
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SCO Talks About Linux

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  • by alhaz ( 11039 ) on Saturday September 04, 1999 @06:38AM (#1704615) Homepage
    M$ not only owns a chunk of SCO, SCO used to be Microsoft Xenix!

  • WebTV and MSN prove that point-- a company needs to branch out or completely change their business in order to stay alive. They are in software, hardward (keyboards, mice, cordless phones), online service, and probably a couple more broad categories I can't seem to think of.
    Not that they necessarily see the end of their OS reign (maybe they do), but they are smart enough to put an egg in every basket.

    MS-bashing is an art.
  • I don't suppose iBCS could help you with this?

    -- (remove the SPAM-B-GONE bit)
  • In fact, SCO UnixWare the ideal "deployment server for Linux applications."

    Now, I might not be terribly smart, but wouldn't the ideal deployment server for Linux applications be...Linux? Why the hell would anyone buy SCO to emulate Linux in order to run a Linux app?

  • I guess won't be finding out how their product runs on any of my computers anytime soon then.

    I think maybe a Slackware or Debian distro of Linux on the next Frankenbox I can piece together from scrap then.

    No SCO stock in my RRSPS either!
  • Having worked with perhaps a dozen different Unixes over the years, I think I can make a fairly reasonable assessment as to the merits of SCO as a Unix.

    In my opinion, SCO is the biggest pile of rubbish on the Unix scene. I remember it as unstable, non-standard, lacking in features, sysadmin-unfriendly, user-hostile, expensive, poorly supported, and dead slow. The only things that it had going for it was that there were a lot of applications listed in its catalogue, and that after all it is a Unix. Personally I wouldn't touch it again with a barge pole though.

    As for SCO's corporate stance re Linux, it's laughable so ignore it. Linux and the other free Unixes are the death of SCO, and if they're going to babble silly things as they die then good riddance.
  • by John Campbell ( 559 ) on Saturday September 04, 1999 @01:52PM (#1704622) Homepage
    I don't think it's a matter of strength so much as simply that SCO is the company that's standing most directly in front of the Linux steamroller. The other commercial Unix vendors are primarily hardware vendors. Sun and SGI aren't threatened by Linux, because they're not out to sell operating systems. They're out to sell the hardware. It doesn't matter much to them whether you run {Solaris,Irix} or Linux on it after you buy it. In some ways, Linux is advantageous to them... it frees them from having to devote the programmer-hours to develop and maintain the OS - that task gets done for them for free by the Linux community. SCO, on the other hand, is a software vendor. They sell an OS to run on readily available third-party hardware. Since SCO isn't making anything off the sale of the hardware, if Linux supplants SCO on that hardware, SCO is screwed... they no longer have a source of income. Companies without income don't last long. Even Microsoft has less cause to worry about Linux than SCO does. Though they're also a software vendor, Windows fills a different niche than Linux currently does, and so is less immediately threatened by Linux's growth. SCO, on the other hand, is an x86 Unix, just like Linux, so they're in direct competition for the same market. And Linux has the advantages of being free, open, and (arguably) simply better.
  • I like people with sense of humour! This explanation of SCO's crap is much better than the others.

    hey, people, have fun :-))))))
  • I think that the question was asked in reference to the previous posters' comments about having to install SCO server at work due to legacy code that he doesn't want to rewrite. In which case iBCS, which would let Linux run these SCO programs (potentially) would make perfect sense, as suggested by the poster ...
  • "Linux at the moment can be considered more a play thing for IT students rather than a serious operating system ..."

    I'm sure that when these "IT students" complete their degrees, they will be deploying Linux based solutions over SCO.

    This is a serious overlook by SCO - do they believe that an IT grad who has spent the last two years "playing" with Linux will choose to deploy SCO? I'm an undergraduate and I'm *already* deploying Linux in the places that I work part time.

    SCO needs to realise that in the next 5 - 10 years, it will be those graduated "IT students" making the decisions, and I'm sure most of those who "played" with Linux will be deploying it over SCO, simply because they know Linux better.

    A graduate who feels comfortable in Linux is certainly not going to suggest to use SCO, because they would not have touched upon it, and would feel more confident using a product that they know.

    If SCO wants to be alive in the near future, they need to realise that eventually the current crop of people who make the IT decisions will be replaced with those who have been brought up with Linux, and are willing to use it.

    Another thing that SCO has overlooked, is why people have an interest in UNIX again. It's certainly not because of SCO's marketing. It's because of LINUX and other free *nixes. SCO has done nothing to promote the UNIX industry in the last 5 years. I'm sure that being bitter about Linux will only worsen their image.

    I know plenty of people who know what Linux is, but don't have a clue what SCO is.

    I belive that if SCO wants to survive, they need to stop overlooking such mentioned facts. I think that their bitterness against Linux has made SCO somewhat blind to the REAL problems they face.
  • Be thankful you don't have to buy multiprocessor SCO OpenServer machines. The per-CPU additional license is ~1 1/2 than the cost of the base OS license (w/o devel tools!).
  • will BURY them and not a moment too soon.

    The one time I needed there support, I got exactly *dick*. They won't be missed.
  • Linux and the other free Unixes are the death of SCO

    Hmm. Isn't the only thing keeping MS out of the UNIX market the agreement it made with SCO when it sold Xenix ? When SCO dies, what happens then ?

  • havent you ever heard of people using BSD to run
    sco binaries cause it was more stable? heard
    it many times, but never actually got to see it.

    linux binaries of blender and netscape run fine
    on bsd...
  • I have just such a call to make on Tuesday to a salesperson for the vendor who makes our Scheduling and clinic management software. Currently we use SCO Opensever 5.0.5. I dropped sales a line, and I was told to call back to discuss the possibility of moving from SCO to Linux. It should be interesting...
  • (i haven't read the whole article) I believe the article is written by someone that has never really used either SCO of Linux, but has all the information from Press releases or something. We should not forget that the vast majority of the people think like the author; if a company has to decide which OS to run on their servers, they would almost certainly not choose Linux (or any free OS) unless they have a Linux-freaked sysadmin (I hope they do). Why not? Well...such ppl start to search on the internet and they will find sites of vendors of commercial vendors offering them onsite-support, #)*&%^)*& good stability etc. On the other hand they'll find any random Linux-site telling them that it's free. But do they have the brains and time to install it by themselves and tweak all the option? No they don't...they want some expert to install it for them and do al the nice tuning. Therefore they'll more likely choose one of the commercial unixes. They want a guarantee that there will always be someone to help and they're very willing to pay a little more for that.
  • Guys, I think both sides of this article were either translated from a language that wasn't English. If the content was originally written in English, I believe it was probably written by a non-native speaker of the language. The errors in SCO's flyer could be in the translation; they may have been in the original.

  • I used to administer a network of SCO boxes. There were memory leaks in the kernel (had to reboot every month or so) and the support was *extremely* expensive and sucked. I had to edit the kernel BINARY with sdb to fix a scatter/gather defect just so it wouldn't eat the rest of the OS on each upgrade or install (upgrades were downright scary).
  • I love this one :-)
  • I know Jos Vos. He's a really nice guy, has been into Linux for quite a while, probably a lot longer than 99% of the /. regulars.

    Oh and he wrote the Linux 2.0 firewalling code.
  • Personally, I doubt that someone from SCO would make comments such as those: The current push in both UNIX market and the OS market is towards Linux. SCO isn't stupid, they are adapting Linux in some ways ( It also appears from this URL that SCO may be competitors with X/OS now in the arena of technology consulting (correct me if I'm wrong.)
  • I don't know these guys from X/OS. They're probably just honest guys, but who know ?

    X/OS is our neighbour in the building. Jos Vos (picture here []) is very much respected around here. He has written firewall code such as ipfwadm. This is a very serious guy too: he blasted me a couple of weeks ago because I suggested we "congratulate" Microsoft Netherlands on their benchmark "victory" by offering them a cream cake. He thought it was juvenile, which of course is true, but hey, anything for a good laugh while we keep on coding!

    On my turn, I am a bit weary of responding to these SCO claims, especially by citing IDC studies and Y2K reports.

  • if you'd bothered to actually read the article, or look at their website you'd find that X/OS is producing their own linux distro, based off of red hat 6.0.

    while i don't know whether they've experience with SCO or not, my guess is that they probably have used linux on one or two occasions.
  • I ran into some SCO guys at a conference last year and, man, you want to talk about some depressed individuals... I mean, they were trying to have fun but they were really bitter about the way things were headed.

    I just feel sorry for SCO. They can't seem to break away from the old ways of doing business. I don't think there's much point in having some kind of outcry or letter writing campaign. SCO will either reinvent itself or die, and if Linux doesn't kill it, BSD will.

    It's actually kind of sad.
  • Sorry to respond to my own message, but I had a thought that I felt like sharing.

    Since SCO is pretty obviously doomed, maybe this is a good time to take advantage of the "free SCO" offer and own a piece of history. Think of what a great conversation piece it will be at parties! "Do I remember SCO? Hell yeah, I've even got a copy! Check it out!"

  • Hate to be a nit picky bastard but there is no excuse for programming errors at this page ;-()
  • With SCO UnixWare 7.1 I get lxrun to run Linux binaries, plus the Veritas (now Seagate?) vxfs journaling file system as standard. With the addition of Merge 4.X, I get to run DOS, Win 3.X and Win 95 and their applications.

    The forthcoming addition of a journaling file system to Linux will tilt things further in favour of Linux, of course.
  • Bob Young, make an action that will make you and RH remembered forever: buy SCO and kill it.
    -- Cesar
  • Didn't these guys guy Bell Labs SysVr4 and change that to SCO Unix? I recall Microsoft Xenix dieing (good thing).

    At least IBM AIX was kinda respectable compared to Xenix. Still, BSD is better than those all -- but I'd use Linux over BSD because I like it more :-) (Know your Unix SysAdmin!)
  • Dorkus,

    I don't really care if you agree with the original poster -- assuming you know what he thinks, which is unlikely given how little he said on the matter. Furthermore, I could not possibly care less what you think about my position, because you obviously have no idea what I think.

    Meantime, you have demonstrated how feeble your grasp of the issues is when you compare the GPL to laws against theft and murder. When will you grow a second neuron so that you can actually have your very first synapse?

    My point remains: the first post shouldn't have been moderated down.

    Yours, however, is just begging for it.

  • Until I read that articles, I nearly forget there is a unix called SCO...

    Who want to install SCO Unix in a new machine? Please raise up your hand.

  • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Saturday September 04, 1999 @05:46AM (#1704668) Homepage
    Those idiots.

    SCO's words bring to mind the image of a man standing on railroad tracks, complaining about how trains are just a fad while one approaches from behind at 80 MPH.

    Let's face it, SCO Unix has no future; they haven't had a future for years now. Of all the UNIXes, SCO will be the first one to die. Their management can't seem to grasp this, or if they do understand, they seem to think that they can turn the tide back in their favor without some sort of major effort.

    Fortunately, we don't need SCO (or any other UNIX) to recognize the error of their ways in order to succeed. One vendor, or even all vendors, can't stop the Second Coming of UNIX that is Linux. Smart vendors, like SGI, are dealing with the changes and embracing them. Mark my words, it's these companies that will come out on top from all this.


  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've had a hard time thinking up a defense for SCO; but the one time I did have a problem with SCO, their telephone support fixed it. Perhaps if they repositioned themselves as a Linux support company, they'd have a chance. SCO as an operating system/ system utilities company is dead meat. All the heavy handed, FUDacious marketing spin in the world can't save them.
  • Until I read that articles, I nearly forget there is a unix called SCO...

    Who want to install SCO Unix in a new machine? Please raise up your hand.

    I would. In fact, my living depends on torturing the very souls of shiny new PCs with horror! SCO OpenServer.

    My home box runs linux, and much as I would like to see linux in my workplace as well, I'll have to admit that it takes a long time before the momentum of a 10 year old codebase can be changed.

    But when fair has to be fair, I don't think that the commentary has any more value than that wretched flyer. I certainly dont recognize the attitude towards linux that I witnessed at SCO Forum 1999 in it, so basing a total attack on SCO because of a single reseller is a bit over the mark.

  • by drwiii ( 434 )
    The SCO flyer appeared to give attention only to Linux's effect on SCO's business. Let's not forget that SCO is also getting whipped by the BSD camp. There's at least one investment firm and one construction company I know of that'll be replacing their OpenServer installations with a BSD Unix in the very near future.
  • Linux is more a play thing for IT Students... (paraphrase). Independent of whether this is true, I think the SGI move toward linux is going to continue to change all minds on that statement.
    -- Moondog
  • 'fenomenal'

    Hahaha... what's worse is that it was spelled properly earlier in huge letters. It's great to see all these Linux advocates running to its defense when someone tries to spread FUD, but _please_ proofread things like this before they get put online for people to read. Poor grammar/spelling in supposedly 'professional' articles leaves a bad taste in my mouth. wait.. that's because I just woke up... ahhhh weekends!! ;)

  • 'ear 'ear1

    Whoever wrote all those bits in Sco needs their head examined, and deserves to lose badly when the revolution comes! ;8]

    Me, I first noticed it going down the spout when I read about '84%' unix-in-intel "market share", or whatever the (now forgetten) phrase was. How did anyone manage to forget all the *BSDs and BSDi, solaris x86 etc?

    Green is for go
  • While I'm still fairly new to the whole Linux/Unix world it seems to me that SCO spent the last few years studying the finer points of FUD from MS.

    I quite like the fact there are many different flavors of Linux/Unix and lets not forget the Open BSD thing. I'm quite looking forward to getting as many flavors and O/S's installed on various machines on my LAN. So far it's just a Linux/Win98 mix but I'm saving my pennies for a MAC of some kind.

    I prefer to 'make it so' than 'make it sell'. Much like Bruce Lee developed Jeet Kune Do from many styles using only what was effective I believe a network should evolve in the same way. NT didn't last long on my LAN though ;)

    I haven't seen how the SCO product performs so I'll reserve judgement on it. As for their business practices apparent from that newsletter I already have a bad taste in mouth.

    I may be ignoring the fact it's just a business trying to survive I just dislike FUD.

    This my first post ever to /. oh joy for me
  • There are many reasons
    • right now
    to not choose Linux for the enterprise or end user environment, and SCO misses them all. Instead they choose to spead lies and BS. I put Linux in as a server for a terrabyte or more to backed up through NIGHTLY it is still running without a glitch. They fail to mention comapnies like LinuxCare and other that provide support.

    I do not think that most of the unwashed masses are ready for Linux yet and vice/versa but it is getting better and better with every release. I run a LUG where I live and we are participating in the Linux Demo Day event. We expect over 200 people at our LUG meeting that week. Our LUG is much smaller than that, the last Linux/NT shootout we had here attracted more than 3000 people in a single day. What is SCO thinking ? They sound very afraid and it upsets me that they would send this out to their customers, at least it has done one thing, Linux has garnered more press from this, and bad press is better than no press at all. Lets keep up the fight and prove SCO very wrong.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 04, 1999 @06:05AM (#1704681)
    SCO of all companies should remember the history of Unix, and the mistakes Unix vendors made that helped Microsoft gain a foothold. Unix vendors spent years fighting amongst themselves in a shrinking market, all ignoring the threat of Windows NT, until it was too late. Now SCO is just repeating old mistakes. Idiots. Sun at least is smart enough to see that the correct strategy is to play nice with Linux, and let your products sell themselves on their merits. Bashing Linux, which has by far the most media attention that any Unix has received this decade, is definitely going to hurt SCO more than it helps. And this... this is beyond FUD, these are just lies.
  • ... can we have a second person confirm the existence of this flyer (SCO Benelux information bulletin) ? Is this bulletin is available on the Web ?

    I don't mean to offend anybody, but I don't know these guys from X/OS. They're probably just honest guys, but who know ? The SCO affirmation are so grossly blantant FUD, I can't help but wonder if they really print such a piece of crap.
  • In 97 (I think it was 97) SCO sent a letter to linux users offering them to stop playing w/ their toy OS and get a real thing (SCO). RedHat concerned with "SCO letter not reaching enough people" published the letter on their website. SCO got enough comments from linux users to issue an official apology on the matter. I wonder if we should e-mail them again? ;-)

    (Yeah, yeah I'm lazy, I just opied my comment directly from LWN)
  • They are obviously afraid of losing current paying customers to Linux but are trying to bring in more business by it's "Linux Professional Services" offerings.

    I doubt they last for very much longer...
  • SCO is scared. Linux (and the BSD's) are killing them. Most of their market is (was) ISV's selling into verticals, and that market is moving as fast as they can to Linux and, to a lesser extent, the BSD's. SCO doesn't care if they hurt UNIX. As far as SCO is concerned, they _are_ UNIX, and promoting themselves over free upstarts can hardly hurt them, except to show how desperate they are. SCO will be either be gone or actively embracing Linux within a year. Don't sweat it.
  • by Drayke ( 19544 ) on Saturday September 04, 1999 @07:57AM (#1704687)
    Yes, we all know it's FUD. But isn't it interesting that all FUD seems to look about the same after a while? Observe:

    Linux will mainly replace Windows desktop systems to run browser and X based applications, and maybe even some office applications. Therefore SCO feels no threat [etc.]

    Now correct me if I'm wrong, but this sounds a lot like Microsoft's line (that Linux is not a threat to the Windows market but rather to Unix vendors - like SCO).

    Linux at this moment can be considered more a play thing ... [b]ecause Linux is basically a free-for-all it means that no individual ... is accountable should anything go wrong[.]

    This again sounds like the Microsoft/Jesse Berst line of "there's no one to sue if it goes wrong." Well, frankly, to me that's fine because most of the time the problems I've seen with an OS on the server level can be attributed to operator error or "act of God" type situations anyway.

    d) It is often perceived to be dangerous when a company uses an operating system where the source code is available on the web to the whole world[.]

    Again, it seems to me I've seen MS use this argument before, and it's just as fallacious. There's an easy solution: it's very easy to provide "look-but-don't-touch" or less access to the kernel sources or anything else that is considered potentially hazardous. Or if kernel hacking is necessary, do the work on another box and don't introduce it to the mission-critical systems until it's been reviewed and tested.

    The last bit, even if it doesn't fall into the the category of repetitive FUD, seems to destroy the whole argument:

    For 3 years now, SCO has supplied free of charge UnixWare and OpenServer for educational and non commercial use. SCO does not supply source code with its products. (emphasis mine)

    Well, it's nice to get the OS free of charge, but the license is still restrictive, and you're still stuck with the kernel SCO gives you. The flexibility of the code is the #1 reason I've found for using Linux. -Drayke
  • I must say that after reading this article SCO has shown its lack of understanding of Open Source. The funny thing is that they say they have a "SCO Linux" to describe a closed source os that can not be used for commercial tasks.

    In my eyes SCO will be (already is?) a dead company. Face it SCO, you're on the wrong train going the wrong way! I can't come up with one single reason why I should use UnixWare instead of Linux for any Intel server. Wake up!
  • I assume you don't ever make any spelling errors in Swedish, or French, or English for that matter. These people are based in .nl - English is not their first language. Sure, they should have run it through a spell checker first. But accusing them of being 'kiddies' when they are writing in a second, third, fourth, whateverth language, and doing a fairly good job of it.
  • by Siege ( 20609 )
    X/OS said it all, baby. Now let's go get laid and forget about SCO.
  • ... is in bad taste. (Um, maybe /I/ should have read this over before posting? heh)
  • This poster made a legitimate point, notwithstanding what others have said in reply. The GPL does restrict your use of GPL-ed software. We can argue till the cows come home about motives for it, and effects of it, and who's restrictions are worse (I'd say any commercial software's restrictions are worse), but none of it changes the fact:

    The GPL imposes significant restrictions on use of GPL-ed software.

    Moderator! Heal thyself!

  • Why don't they do this? How hard could it be for them to divert their multi-distribution support services into an attempt at an SCO-branded Linux product?

    Instead of having the support staff learn the ins and outs of multiple distributions, they would put some resources into rebranding and "enhancing" a Debian CD and sell "SCO Linux -- Enterprise Client" priced like MS is pricing NT Workstation/2000 Professional, with long-term service contracts available.

    It offers the IT people a name they know with a product that costs SCO relatively little to develop and that is aimed at a different market segment than Monterrey anyway. If SCO Linux flops, the marginal loss on investment is low -- write off a couple proprietary "enhancements" and sell the support services for other peoples' Linuxes as already planned. If SCO Linux succeeds, then there's significant upside potential.

    One problem could be cannibalism, but that assumes that external Linucies will be more than marginally less effective than an SCO Linux at eating SCO's Unix marketshare. Perhaps they would be.

    Another problem might be that this would topple too many internal empires at SCO, while being opposed by large stockholders Microsoft and Novell. This isn't a slam -- you need enthusiasm either from the mid-level managers or from the major stockholders to make a major change in a large company. If both internal and external politics are against even an objectively good idea, it may hurt the company more to try to pursue it and fail/succeed marginally than not to try at all...
  • >When the linux market matures, you'll see the
    >same sort of bs coming from Red Hat and SUSE as
    >they fight over a saturated user base. It's just
    >business as usual.

    I really doubt we'll ever see long-standing Linux companies like Red Hat and Suse spreading any kind of FUD about each other. FUD tactics are not well looked upon by the open source community. These companies have been around long enough to know that these tactics will very likely backfire big time. Furthermore, Linux companies are populated with free-software hackers who very much dislike any sort of FUD. The danger probably comes from marketroids still saddled with traditional marketing mindset. Linux companies had better make sure that their marketing people are aware of the specifities of the open source market. Or better yet, try to hire honest marketing people, which I'll admit is as close to impossible as possible. :)
  • It is like a bluff in a cards game; the last resort of the loser.

    Er, a bit off-topic here (and it does avoid the point of your analogy) but then you're playing cards (at least poker) wrong. Reserving the bluff to the last resort is just a way to enrich your opponents, whereas more strategic uses of the bluff ultimately increase your take on strong hands.
  • Actually, Linux is more like whiskey than beer, more alchohol (the good stuff) in a smaller space (less bloat).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm going to contact SCO first thing Monday and inquire about an "upgrade" path to carry me from my current living room full of RH6.0 boxes to whatever 100% SCO solution they recommend. I'll let you know what happens!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yes, SCO UnixWare 7 *is* UNIX System V R5. It is the direct descendant of AT&T System V UNIX (contrary to myth, SVR4 is not Solaris, though SunOS5/Solaris is based on SVR4).

    I'm actually rather grateful to SCO for releasing the `ancient' UNIX source code to the public at a reasonable price (something AT&T never did). Thanks to SCO, it's now possible to buy a full set of Berkeley UNIX (including full source code), covering everything from 1BSD to 4.4BSD-Lite2 ( Post-4.4 releases are, of course, available from the free *BSD projects and BSDI.

    Even though I tend to prefer BSD UNIX to System V UNIX, both were direct descendants of the original Bell Labs Research UNIX, and it would be sad to see either of them come to an end (most commercial UNIXes are based on System V, but SCO UnixWare is the one true UNIX System V).

    At any rate, the IBM/SCO cooperation on Monterey suggests a fairly rosy future for SCO (which, like AIX, is by most measures technically superior to any of the FREENIXes).
  • I cring every time I hear the that there's no accountability with Linux vendors... as in "There's nobody to sue if something goes wrong." Looks like SCO graduated from the Microsoft School of FUD.

    Closed-source advocates should take a second look at their precious end-user license agreements. Most claim that the product will perform reasonably according to whatever feature claims the vendor made. They also limit liability to the purchase price of the product.

    If you're running a major operation and your server crashes causing you to have $100,000 in lost business, the only $$$ you'll get back is the couple thousand $ you paid for the software. You agreed to that limited liability by way of the license for your software.

    GNU and closed-source licensed software makers have the same level of accountability here... zilch. If something breaks, you keep both pieces.
  • Have you checked out TECHNOCRAT.NET?

    Actually, yes, I have. Not a bad site, all things considered. However, please don't SHOUT about it.

  • My experiences with SCO have been similar. Ugly memory problems embarrassingly poor documentation and extremely vexing, unhelpful, condescending and astronomically priced tech support.

    FWIW the "free" version of SCO mentioned in the article is locked into a single user license mode.
    Its really just a toy for students.
  • Actually, SCO has already missed its opportunity to be the first one to die. SGI's IRIX beat it to the punch. TRU-64 is also showing signs of strain since the death of Alpha NT, since Linux is now the default OS for that platform and Linux supports TRU-64 binaries. With compaq downsizing, it's really easy to move TRU-64 developers over to Linux basically by giving them new business cards and a box of O'Reilly books...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Fenominal is actually spelled with a "p." So is "fenetic." Go figure.
  • They're just making themselves look bad. They put this piece out precisely because they DO think that Linux is a threat to server markets.

    Just about every journalist, pundit, etc. sees Linux as a direct threat to other server operating systems, including Windows NT, Netware, and other Unixes like SCO. In fact, many contend the exact opposite of SCO's position that Linux is better for desktops than for servers.

    I tend to agree with the most of the press: Linux is a *great* server OS and is only good on desktops for true power users. John Q. Public doesn't have the first clue what to do if someone tells him he has to modify /etc/XF86Config by hand, or even worse that he has to recompile his kernel.

    OTOH, servers are typically installed and run by competent professionals who would have no trouble tinkering under the hood of the OS.

    But I digress: my point is that by giving Linux this negative press, they make themselves look far worse than they make Linux. Customers of SCO products are likely to pass brochures like that along to their sysadmins who are likely to look at it and laugh.

  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <> on Saturday September 04, 1999 @06:25AM (#1704709) Homepage Journal
    SCO's put out material like this about Linux long ago - at least a year ago, and I think it was from a European office then, too. Are we sure we aren't just re-hashing old news here?

    If your main revenue stream is from providing closed-source operating systems software, it's time to find a new business. I'm sorry, but I just can't see any way around that. SCO had some great times and their founders made more money than they know what to do with. The engineers are able to find new work if the company isn't able to re-target itself appropriately. Companies have life-cycles and SCO's original mission is over. It's time for them to catch a new wave.


    Bruce Perens

  • Yes, but the only restrictions in the GPL are to make it unrestrictive.
  • >While I'm still fairly new to the whole Linux/Unix world it seems to me that SCO
    >spent the last few years studying the finer points of FUD from MS.

    No, it looks more like they spent the last few years sleeping, and are now reinventing the FUD thinking that they are saying something original.

    Anyway, they are obviously going down when they have to drag out crap like this. FUD is a two way street; it alienates people who know better as much as it bamboozles peole who don't. It is like a bluff in a cards game; the last resort of the loser.

    SCO is going down the tubes, and everyone knows it, and has known it for a long time. It's SCO shareholders that should be experiencing fear, uncertainty and doubt.
  • by Effugas ( 2378 ) on Saturday September 04, 1999 @06:29AM (#1704712) Homepage
    A bit of history.

    Around eight months ago, I was hacking away at this economics essay [] regarding Open Source. With Linuxworld coming up, I chose to go around, soliciting opinions like any good annoying writer should.

    I went to LinuxCare, spoke to Sifry, and received some interesting commentary. I walked up to the infamous Maddog, and had some nice flaws evicerated apart...then I went to the SCO booth.


    What you guys saw in that article wasn't just the ravings of a deluded marketroid. That's the corporate culture of SCO. I think SCO genuinely feels it owns Unix on Intel, and is desperately flummoxed that someone--anyone--would encroach on their domain.

    SCO doesn't like Linux. That's not surprising. What's more interesting, arguably even fascinating, is the degree to which SCO Employees are public about this distaste. I mean, you know there are at least a few people in large corporations who believe very strongly in everything SCO has to degrade about Linux. But they're generally rather quiet about it.

    SCO outscreams Microsoft--although, it's interesting to note that MS owns a chunk of SCO...

    The question is: Is SCO the only company strong enough to wage those complaints(perhaps due to the MS connection?), or is it the only company weak enough to prevent its employees from spouting off?

    I'd personally bet on the latter, but the former isn't altogether unfeasable.

    Yours Truly,

    Dan Kaminsky
    DoxPara Research

    Once you pull the pin, Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They've got to try SOMETHING to survive... they ARE a company... I mean... how would you feel if you were SCO? Its got to be hard to be a living dinosaur, looking up at the sky and seeing this huge asteroid coming down.
  • Absolutely. SCO is going to die or have to change form radically.

    Their sales force sounds pretty desperate these days -- I get calls just about every week from them following up inquiries I made for clients months ago, and a least one blast of FAX spam a month, trying to wring out all of the Y2K upgrade business they can.

    As I have said here before, there is a lot of old SCO boxes out there, and most seem to be moving to linux.

    It was very informative when I was checking into Linux support for some SCO apps that clients needed to run under Linux. With one exception, every vendor I talked to either already had a linux port, or was in the process of beta testing their linux port. And most had a very minimal charge for 'cross grading' their app from SCO to Linux.

    The exception is Computer Associates' MLINK. They have a version for just about every odd ball unix around, except for Linux. And they don't appear interested in porting; don't know why. (yeah, MLINK is crap, but the client has some specialized EDI stuff written in its scripting language they don't want to recode).

    World Domination. It's not just for breakfast anymore.
  • Really? I don't see Microsoft going out of business anytime soon. Of course, they have closed-source applications software and other businesses such as WebTV and MSN that make them a bundle (or have the potential to make them a bundle) as well.

  • I'm not sure what you try to say here. The SCO magazine is a real, full-color magazine, sent to all SCO partners and large customers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg? It really exists and the red text is taken literally from that magazine.
  • The red text is taken literally from the original English SCO text, including spelling and grammar errors (although we could have made an error when copying the text). You're right the text is probably not made by a native English SCO person. The same holds for our (green) comments, which may contain some (hopefully less severe ;-)) errors, one of which we are just correcting.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's legit. The original is on the SCO Benelux site as an Acrobat file []. All the XOS quotes are there.
  • I say tomato, you say tomato (you know what I mean) I'm think I'm done being a linux fanatic and I'll go back to being a linux enthusiast. Yeah, SCO is spreading some falsehood.... but so what? I don't care if SCO exists or not. Its not like linux becomes less valid or less available if some IT manager buys a license for SCO. I use linux 'cause it makes me happy. Someday I hope to further my happyness by contributing to linux or linux software. I'm not saying that somebody shouldn't stand up and say, "Hmmm, they're lying". But using the word "fight"? BTW: I'm a big hypocrite, in the way I frequently scream "friggen' NT!!!! linux is so much easier!!!!" at work. Obviously, NT doesn't make me happy.
  • Can we get the article without the immature chop-shop nitpicking point-for-point rebuttal style that seems so common with usenet? The style of quote/reply/quote/reply lends itself to pithy one-liners and random snipes, without doing the basic service to the reader -- or to the image of the arguer -- of creating a coherent and well-formed summary reply, an argument that stands on its *own* strengths. I end up mentally prefixing "Oh yeah?!" before every so-called counterpoint.
  • not really. iBCS lets Linux run SCO apps, a remnant of the time when Linux didn't have much in terms of commercial apps. now apps are coming out for Linux without SCO versions, so it's up to the SCO guys to worry about emulation (hence, lxrun). someone commented, way before Linux broke into the mainstream, that "linux would really have made it when other OSs start emulating it, not hwen it learns to emulate others". that time is now.
  • Sorry kiddies, if you can't spell 'PHENOMENAL', don't expect anyone to take you seriously.
    Bara för att du är så fenomenalt jävla duktig och aldrig stavar fel jävla AC.
  • by shambler snack ( 17630 ) on Saturday September 04, 1999 @06:33AM (#1704726) Homepage
    Let's not forget what SCO really stands for. SCO has always been a high-margin product. For example, in 1993, at a company in Orlando, we investigated various Unixes for the x86 architecture. AT&T had decided to license their SVR4 to a number of resellers at low prices in order to get Unix out to a lot more customers than previously. We were looking at Consensys and SCO. We could get Consensys with TCP/IP and NFS for $239/seat, or we could purchase SCO base ($695) and then NFS (another $695), and that didn't even include development tools. We went with Consensys because we couldn't afford to outfit 15 boxes to the cool tune of $1500/box for the OS and networking. We wound up buying a complete set of GNU tools from a vendor who had ported them to Consensys for a modest fee (we got source, of course, and we bypassed the hassle of getting everything built). It was during that time that I started bringing Linux in for everyone to look at, but it wasn't strong enough at that time for what we wanted to do.

    SCO took a real beating from the "cheap" Unix market until bad management on AT&T's, then Novell's, part forced what was left to be sold to SCO at fire-sale rates.

    If I were an employee at SCO, I'd be sweating bullets right about now. Whatever Linux's flaws (and it does have its warts, just like every other OS), SCO is finding it an increasing challenge to show how they give better value than Linux (or BSD) or why they should charge such a premium for their OS. SCO is the last of the old-time OS vendors, where their first line offering is their OS, and you'll pay a literal small fortune to use it. It's only a matter of time before they slip into oblivion.

  • by fornix ( 30268 ) on Saturday September 04, 1999 @06:33AM (#1704727) Homepage
    Is Free Beer a Treat to SCO Beer?

    No. Free beer will mainly replace wine coolers and milkshakes. On the beer side, free beer poses so many risks that SCO beer perceives no direct competition in this area.

    Why is the Free Beer Hype Good For SCO Beer?

    The Free beer hype has generated a lot of interest in beer in frosty mugs. SCO beer has been the largest supplier of beer in frosty mugs for the past 20 years previous to this.

    Why should I use SCO beer for my party and not Free Beer

    Free beer, at this moment, is just a play thing for chemistry students. No one can be held accountable should you become drunk. Plus, SCO beer has born on dating, so that you won't mistakenly drink a 1998 bottle during your Y2K party.

    Which Free Beer Should I Use?

    There are over forty different kinds of free beer competing with eachother, and each one seems to have a different taste. That's just too many kinds of beer to chose from. Therefore it makes more sense to by a single commercial beer like SCO beer.

  • I am *NOT* going to touch an OS from a company that doesn't know the difference between "its" and "it's." Time to short-sell some stock.
  • I find it rather interesting that SCO is throwing out th same FUD as Microsoft....only perhaps with less skill (let's face it MS is the king of FUD). It seems they went after the insecure, no support, no control tactics.....You'd think thy could try to be a bit original.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    with statistics indicating that Linux has the same market share in the professional server market as all commercial UNIX vendors combined.

    Is this true? Sounds like an Elvis sighting to me. Can anyone provide a link?

    Linux will mainly replace Windows desktop systems to run browser and X based applications, and maybe even some office applications.

    Doesn't sound very realistic at all. Linux is crap at the things Windows is best at, and windows is crap at the things Linux is best at. The uses of Linux and Windows don't seem to overlap at any point. It seems much more likely that Linux will completely push SCO and Solaris86 out of the unix on intel market. Intel will do the pushing of non intel out of the desktop market. Although i have been known to make wrong predictions...

  • I couldn't have put that any better. Right on.

Today is the first day of the rest of your lossage.