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Is there any hope left for SCO?

© January 2008 Anthony Lawrence

SCO's stock price sank and sank and recently they've been delisted: you can't buy their stock on NASDAQ anymore (though it's hard to imagine why you would want to - you'd need a lot of faith and hope to be chasing this rabbit!).

Although I still have clients clinging to SCO (mostly reluctantly - they are stuck with a SCO-only application), most of the crowd is running off the sinking ship as fast as their little feet can carry them. I don't currently know anyone who still works at SCO, but I can't imagine it's a happy place right now. Prospects are dismal at best..

Some of the jumpers are moving to Windows.. that's sad, but I really think they'll be back on Linux or Mac inside of a decade.. I think Microsoft has run its course and is teetering and getting ready to crumble.. Linux and Mac are going to eat up the computing world.. or at least that's how I see it.

So is there any hope for SCO at all? I believe that there is, but it would be a big gamble and a big leap of faith. I think they need to go Open Source.

No, I don't mean Caldera Linux. I mean open up OpenServer 6 and let the cards fall where they may. Make money with consulting and by designing products like mail servers, web servers and so on that are tightly tied to the OS. Oh, all open source, of course, but integrate it so that it would be very hard to port elsewhere and get the same performance. In my opinion, that's the secret to open source: be open but let your expertise be your competitive edge. Who knows more about RedHat than RedHat? Who'd know more about SCO 6 Open? Who could write the best performing apps, who could best leverage the large (dwindling, but still large) SCO user base? The answer is plain: SCO themselves are in the best position.

This would be a risk, but it might fly. SCO OpenServer 6 really does have a lot to offer, and of course opening it up could only make it better. Yes, I'm sure that there would be difficult licensing issues: some code might even have to be pulled if the owners are too stupid and greedy to see that this is their only hope. But since SCO already has a working, non-open system, lacking some code isn't critical: that stuff could be replaced later.

Would SCO stockholders consider this? I don't know - I don't know how technically savvy most are. I don't even know how much of SCO itself is still technically savvy - those folks may be mostly gone. But in my opinion, this is the only chance (small as it is) for SCO to survive. The ONLY chance.

Disclaimer: I do own some small amount of SCO stock. Not much, I sold most of it at a nice profit years ago. But I did pick up a few shares before it sank out of sight, just on the near impossible chance that they do something like this.

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Sun Jan 6 17:20:51 2008: 3407   BigDumbDinosaur

Who'd know more about SCO 6 Open?

Who knows anything about OSR6? Not me, and I did SCO systems for many, many years. When OSR6 came along, I tried to see where there would be value in the package as compared to Linux. OSR6 offers nothing that can't be had in Linux, but does represent a sizable chunk of money by current standards. Much as I fear being villified for saying this, even Windows offers better value. Succinctly stated, I can't find any valid reason to continue to sell SCO powered systems. I am down to two clients running on SCO. All others (save one) are on Linux and very happy with how things work.

The problem for us here at BCS Technology was one of stagnation. SCO wasn't (mostly still isn't) keeping up with the times. The software got farther and farther behind the curve. It was becoming increasingly difficult to get OSR5 to run on current hardware and native support for the 64 bit Athlon architecture was nowhere in sight. Meanwhile, Linux was offering everything that was needed in a less expensive and more customizable package. By 2005 the path was clear and I decided that we were no longer going to sell SCO unless the client demanded it (which has not happened) or the client's circumstances dictated that they stay with SCO due to middleware or app issues. The latter is the case with the only two we have left on SCO (I'm not counting our office server, which is running OSR5.0.6). We were able to cleanly move all others to Linux and maintain 100 percent functionality in all areas (better functionality, actually).

Much as I wish Tony luck with the SCO stock he does have, I suspect that it will soon be worth toilet paper as SCO itself turns into s**t at the hands of what appears to be a totally out-of-touch-with-reality management team.

Just a curmudgeonly opinion.

Sun Jan 6 19:20:25 2008: 3409   TonyLawrence

OSR6 offers nothing that can't be had in Linux

That's not entirely true. SCO has SMP code, disk code and some compatibilty stuff that would be great to have the source for, if for nothing else than bringing old SCO over.

The OS as a whole has less to offer, yes, but there are valuable parts. And Open sourcing it could keep old boxes running longer too, while SCO itself could take back what it needs - they already started doing that.


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