UNIX > Novell > SCO > Caldera > SCO = ?
Playing musical chairs has one predictable result--only one player is left when the music stops for the last time. So what shall we make of the return of SCO?
SCO (The Santa Cruz Operation) started in 1979. It's been a Santa Cruz institution for that long, long enough that I can remember wanting to work there long before I knew what UNIX was. . . is. It had a nice little UNIX business, with a fun little annual gathering at UC Santa Cruz known as SCOForum. I attended twice as a freelance writer contracted by SCO World magazine. The second time (2000) it was clear that something was going on, but nobody knew what it was, did they Mr. Jones?
SCO staff was talking up the professional services end of the biz, touting their expertise in writing custom drivers for whatever hardware or software. There was talk in the trenches that the smart move might be for SCO to release its own distribution of Linux, taking advantage of all the in-house intellectual prowess, marketing channels, goodwill and intellectual property. It made some sense. But Doug Michels, the CEO/house slob, said some ugly things about Linux, and about SCO being "positioned" for a comeback--biz-speak for "we're dead." What they weren't saying was they were on the verge of being bought by Caldera--the Linux company--and dropping the name SCO.
So it's two years later, Caldera is struggling, and 90% of their business is still in UNIX! What to do? Move the annual gathering to Las Vegas and change the name back to SCO, of course!
Here are the links to three articles in Linux Journal evaluating Caldera's move.
The New SCO: Lessons for Linux in Business. It turns out that SCO was bigger than Caldera after all. What can we learn from a former "Linux company" whose UNIX business is 90+% non-Linux? [Linux Journal]
Geeks on Bikes: The SCO Group/Caldera Product Development Plan. The second in a series of on-site reports from GeoFORUM. [Linux Journal]
A Rose by Any Other Name--Is It Still the Same?. Reaction to the Caldera/The SCO Group announcement at GeoFORUM, Part 1. [Linux Journal]
I for one am happy to see the name return, and wish them luck. It would be nice to see some of the old glory--such as it existed in Santa Cruz--return.