decoration decoration
Stories

GROKLAW
When you want to know more...
decoration
For layout only
Home
Archives
Site Map
Search
About Groklaw
Awards
Legal Research
Timelines
ApplevSamsung
ApplevSamsung p.2
ArchiveExplorer
Autozone
Bilski
Cases
Cast: Lawyers
Comes v. MS
Contracts/Documents
Courts
DRM
Gordon v MS
GPL
Grokdoc
HTML How To
IPI v RH
IV v. Google
Legal Docs
Lodsys
MS Litigations
MSvB&N
News Picks
Novell v. MS
Novell-MS Deal
ODF/OOXML
OOXML Appeals
OraclevGoogle
Patents
ProjectMonterey
Psystar
Quote Database
Red Hat v SCO
Salus Book
SCEA v Hotz
SCO Appeals
SCO Bankruptcy
SCO Financials
SCO Overview
SCO v IBM
SCO v Novell
SCO:Soup2Nuts
SCOsource
Sean Daly
Software Patents
Switch to Linux
Transcripts
Unix Books
Your contributions keep Groklaw going.
To donate to Groklaw 2.0:

Groklaw Gear

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


Contact PJ

Click here to email PJ. You won't find me on Facebook Donate Paypal


User Functions

Username:

Password:

Don't have an account yet? Sign up as a New User

No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

Here's Groklaw's comments policy.


What's New

STORIES
No new stories

COMMENTS last 48 hrs
No new comments


Sponsors

Hosting:
hosted by ibiblio

On servers donated to ibiblio by AMD.

Webmaster
Tarantella Then and Now - A FUD Tale
Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 08:23 PM EST

What happens to a company that tries to beat GNU/Linux with FUD? This is a tale with a lesson to be learned.

Let's take a look at Tarantella. Tarantella, which was oldSCO, has just announced private equity financing to the tune of $16 million, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel. The company was delisted but they are hoping to be able to relist, they say. Doug Michels is out. They aren't listed now because they haven't filed with the SEC for several quarters:

"The company is not allowed to sell shares on the open market because it is out of compliance with regulations regarding financial disclosures. Tarantella hasn’t released regular quarterly or year-end statements for investors about the last three quarters, claiming that serious financial accounting problems in a northern European office and possibly elsewhere in the company required further investigation. Under that shadow, the company has fought Nasdaq delisting. Greeley said he expected the company to finally release financial statements by the end of March."


Here is their August 13, 2003 Notification of Late Filing:

"State below in reasonable detail the reasons why Forms 10-K, 20-F, 11-K, 10-Q, N-SAR, or the transition report portion thereof, could not be filed within the prescribed time period.

"On July 24, 2003, Tarantella announced that it had discovered isolated business practices in its North European territory that required the immediate termination of certain sales personnel in the region. On August 11, Tarantella further announced that it is working with its auditors to determine any corrections that may be required, which will result in the restatement of revenue in prior quarters in fiscal 2003 for a reduction of revenue of approximately $600,000 for the 6 months ended March 31, 2003. While Tarantella is unable to timely file its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the current quarter ended June 30, 2003 without unreasonable cost or delay, it is working expeditiously to complete its investigation and file its results for the quarter ended June 30, 2003 as well as restatements of prior periods by August 19, 2003."

And here is their February 17, 2004 Notification of Late Filing:

"As previously announced, the Company has undertaken an audit of its financial statements for fiscal 2002 and 2003. Accordingly, the Company has not completed its review of quarterly result for the period ended December 31, 2003 and is unable to quantify and discuss any significant changes of operations from the corresponding prior period. The Company cannot reasonably estimate when it will be in a position to file its Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended December 31, 2003 nor when the Company’s external auditors will be able to complete a review in accordance with professional standards and procedures for conducting such reviews, as established by generally accepted auditing standards."

No one yet knows who the new money comes from. The report quotes Forrester Research that Tarantella has less than $25 million out of an estimated 1.5 billion server-based computing software market. They have never achieved profitability, according to Forrester.

There is an interview in ZDNet UK, with Frank Wilde, Tarantella's new CEO, who describes his plans. Here is where Tarantella is today:

"If you look at the space we are in there are some very significant trends that set the stage for us to be successful; the whole move to Linux, and the reduction in cost of broadband, are all trends that can accelerate customers using our products. . . . the challenge for us is getting re-listed. We feel that is very do-able.

"Our products are critical. One of the things we want to do with enterprise product is to market the heck out of it. Given the push by IBM and HP into the Linux world, it is important for us to get the word out. We have also established a whole bunch of partnerships."

So, Tarantella says they need to play catch up in the Linux space with the goal of getting back on their feet and relisted. What does this have to do with FUD? At one time, oldSCO had some bad things to say about GNU/Linux.

In fact, someone just sent me the url to the following SCO Benelux informational flyer (PDF) from 1999, targeted at SCO's partners and customers in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxemburg. Here is how they talked about GNU/Linux back then, and see if the FUD sounds vaguely familiar:

SCO and the Linux Phenomenon

UNIX is once again back on the corporate agenda. Presently you would be hard pushed to find an IT magazine that doesn't have an article about Linux, and now, rather than tacke the questions of SCO v. NT, we find ourselves having to consider this new UNIX variant. On this page you'll find some questions regarding SCO's views on Linux.

Is Linux a threat to SCO's products?

No. Linux will mainly replace Windows desktop systems to run browser and X based applications, and maybe even some office applications. Threfore SCO feels no threat from Linuix as we do not play an active role in the client space. On the server side, Linux poses so many risks which could jeopardise the future of a company, that SCO perceives no direct competiton in this area.

Why should I use SCO for commercial purposes and not Linux?

Linux at this moment in time can be considered more a play thing for IT students rather than a serious operating system in which to place the functioning, security and future of a business. Because Linux is basically a free-for-all it means that no individual person/company is accountable should anything go wrong, plus there is no way to predict which way Linux will evolve. Yes, it's free, but with the cost of an operating system being only a fraction (3-5%) of the total cost of an IT project is it really a risk worth taking?

What about support?

a) First line support will be given by certain suppliers but what if there's a problem that they can't answer? The unfortunate answer to this is nothing! . . .

b) If you submit a question on the internet you cannot be sure of getting an answer. . .

c) The solutions offered to you can potentially contain bugs or viruses which are a security hazard to your company

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 -- and that includes the company employees. This could lead to unqualified personnel tampering with the code . . .

What about the Future?

The future of Linux is very uncertain....

Who is Accountable?

Nobody is accountable for Linux products, not even the Linux distributors.


Remarkable, isn't it? Happily, we know how well it worked for them and how much it stopped Linux. Not at all. So now we know how effective such FUD was for oldSCO, who as Tarantella says they are looking to Linux for their future. They are dependent on mystery money to get up from their knees, and there is another mystery about their SEC filings, or lack thereof. Computer Business Review says they are reviewing their revenue-recognition practices:

"The Santa Cruz, California-based software company had a tough 2003. It delisted from Nasdaq and launched a review into its revenue-recognition practices. However, it finished the year on a higher note with the appointment of Frank Wilde as CEO, president, and director, and the closure of a $2.75m private placement investment round.

"The company has followed that up with a new round of private equity financing, resulting in a $16.4m cash injection. Unnamed investors acquired 11,678,580 shares of Tarantella common stock at $1.40 per share, as well as warrants to purchase an additional 2,335,714 shares at a price of $1.70 per share over the next five years."

May new SCO have the same success. You might want to get the PDF just to see their picture of TUX saying he loves SCO, a creepy Orwellian touch. In case you are new, and you wonder what the answers are to the FUD, and you need more convincing than just this cautionary tale, here is a site that answered the FUD, point by point at the time. Good for them. Groklaw reader stevem appropriately says this answer deserves special notice, on whether Linux will still be there in the future:

"About its 'future': the Linux licensing and Open Source nature guarantees that it will be available twenty years or longer from now, in one way or another. Can SCO actually guarantee that it will not have gone bankrupt three years from now, taking all its products with it?"

Ganesh Prasad explains why Linux is Teflon-coated and independent from any particular vendor:

"Well, first of all, Linux is quite independent of Linux companies in a way that the market has never seen before. The fortunes of operating system and company are usually heavily intertwined--Windows means Microsoft, Netware means Novell, OS/390 means IBM and so on. But that's simply not the case with Linux. If Novell closes down, that pretty much means the end of Netware, unless another company sees fit to buy the product and keep it alive (On the other hand, Microsoft may simply choose to buy Netware and kill it!). Such things can't happen to Linux. As an Open Source operating system, Linux is Teflon-coated against the commercial failures of the companies that try to build business models around it. Commercial entities are Johnny-come-lately to Linux anyway. Linux managed without them for years, and will continue to exist even when they all disappear. In fact, companies that claim to support Linux are wrong -- Linux supports them!"

Of course, he wrote that before those clever Novell folks bought SuSE. For some modern FUD, check out Microsoft's Martin Taylor, in an interview introduced like this:

"As general manager for platform strategies at Microsoft, Martin Taylor leads the software company's charge to contain and eventually eliminate open-source technology."

I guess that's clear as to their intentions, huh? He also tries to paint Linux as Not A Problem, useful only in PDAs and supercomputers, blah blah.

AntiFUD works. What all the FUDsters neglected to evaluate in their plans is the Internet. Mysteries get solved. Truth gets out. People care about GNU/Linux.


  


Tarantella Then and Now - A FUD Tale | 122 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Tarantella Then and Now - A FUD Tale
Authored by: stevem on Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 08:33 PM EST
Tsk Tsk Tsk. PJ, I can't believe you missed this comment in the de-fud-bunking:

"About its "future": the Linux licensing and Open Source nature
guarantees that it will be available twenty years or longer from now, in one way
or another. Can SCO actually guarantee that it will not have gone bankrupt three
years from now, taking all its products with it?"


Oh how visionary this statement was.... ;-)


- SteveM

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tarantella Then and Now - A FUD Tale
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 08:35 PM EST
This surely brought back memories of oldSCO. Keep in mind another current fan
boy of Linux that used to bash it is SGI. Where SGI is now and where Tarantella
is finding itself, is the exact same spot SUNW will be in come a couple more
years. My 2 cents.

jaymzter

[ Reply to This | # ]

That Fud came from the business that Caldera Bought
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 08:39 PM EST
Bear in mind that the FUD you're outlining here came from SCO's Unix related
business. The tarantella of today is pretty much un-related to it. Except, of
course, Doug Michel.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tarantella Then and Now - A FUD Tale
Authored by: linonut on Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 08:39 PM EST
The PDF crashes both xpdf and ghostview.

Error: /syntaxerror in readxref
Operand stack:

Execution stack:
%interp_exit .runexec2 --nostringval-- --nostringval--
--nostringval-- 2 %stopped_push --nostringval-- --nostringval--
--nostringval-- false 1 %stopped_push 1 3 %oparray_pop 1 3
%oparray_pop --nostringval-- --nostringval-- --nostringval--
--nostringval-- --nostringval-- --nostringval--
Dictionary stack:
--dict:1035/1476(ro)(G)-- --dict:0/20(G)-- --dict:71/200(L)--
--dict:71/200(L)-- --dict:97/127(ro)(G)-- --dict:218/230(ro)(G)--
--dict:14/15(L)--
Current allocation mode is local
GNU Ghostscript 6.53: Unrecoverable error, exit code 1

How are you reading it, PJ?

Chris (/The/ Linonut)


---
I use Linux. So sue me.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tarantella Then and Now - A FUD Tale
Authored by: dmomara on Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 08:44 PM EST
And at the time they were invested in LinuxMall, partnering with Turbolinux and
MandrakeSoft, participating in the Free Standards Group (which in part is
responsable for the codification of the Linux ABI), working with a number of
Linux and UNIX players to establish bianry intercompatability on the x86
platform via the 86Open Consortium...

Yep, pretty like the croud, just bigger, less careful mouths spouting the line.
At least TTLA might be trying to get itself back together. And at least there
was an early statement from Doug distancing themselves from SCAMX's actions (but
TTLA'd just been screwed by a $1 buyback of the remaining toilet paper that
Calder Sys. used to complete the buyout of "UNIX assets").

[ Reply to This | # ]

Haircut
Authored by: RedBarchetta on Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 08:57 PM EST
I have one question: who cuts Mr. van Leeuwen's hair? (do the Neutron dance!) Hehe... just a joke... don't flame me.

One interesting item in the PDF:

"WHICH LINUX SHOULD I BUY?

Currently there are over forty distributions of Linux competing with each other and as a result there is no single standard. Potentially, this means that software written for one system may not work on another. Therefore it makes more sense to buy a commercial operating system like Unixware or OpenServer."


Hmmmm... I would be willing to guess that even when this FUD-letter was released, Linux had better hardware driver support than OpenServer or Unixware. I recall using SCO Unix way back when, and trying to get it to install on any old junk PC was damn near impossible (yes, I was just experimenting). Linux, on the otherhand, would install and run on any old PC, even a 486.

[ Reply to This | # ]

More on FUD
Authored by: Night Flyer on Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 09:14 PM EST
Somewhere when reading this article, and jumping back and forth to other
postings, I came up with a conundrum:

Using SCO's view of IP and code, which implies that after working on UNIX code,
any thoughts carried elsewhere are derivative thoughts and, thus, all programs
are derivatives thereof and the IP of the UNIX copyright holder. This is the
FUD part.

In an earlier incarnation SCO was Caldera, which had its programmers write code
for UNIX and make contributions to Linux (Linux parts are now under the GPL).
Isn't this what SCO has accused IBM of doing?

If Caldera was licensing UNIX from Novell, shouldn't Novell sue SCO for the same
IP infringement thing that SCO is suing IBM for? Except for a possible statute
of limitations, this would be an interesting 3-sided discussion.
----------------------------------
In response to "linonut" the pdf came through OK for me. Any chance
the GROKLAW following is creating a /. type GROKLAW effect? There was an error
message about not being able to extract the embedded font
("GDHGAL+Humanins512BT-Roman"), but it loaded anyway.

There is a picture of TUX with the message "I Love SCO" in red across
the mid section. The date is August, 1999.

One of the Q&A questions caught my eye: Q"Is Linux a threat to SCO's
products?" A"No. Linux will mainly replace Windows desktop systems to
run browser and X based applications, and maybe some office applications.
THerefore SCO feels no threat from Linux as we do not play an active roll in the
client space. On the server side, Linux poses so many risks which could
jeopardize the future of a company, that SCO perceives no direct competition in
this area."

Other Q&A are interesting too.


[ Reply to This | # ]

but they took it back later
Authored by: gdeinsta on Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 09:20 PM EST

It seems only fair to note that, according to the rebuttal:

In September 1999, SCO Benelux has replaced the original link via which the PDF file of the bulletin could be downloaded by a redirection to a page with what they now call SCO's official view on Linux. SCO Benelux has said that “the original bulletin should not be further distributed”, so it's taken off their web site.

Sounds like oldSCO's head office rapped the Benelux office on the knuckles for this bulletin.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tarantella Then and Now - A FUD Tale
Authored by: H0B0 on Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 09:21 PM EST
If nothing else, the anti-Linux remarks are mild, lacking in the vitriolic of
later years from SCO`s McBride in disparaging Linux and its users. It is run of
the mill denigration of the competition, which should be expected for that time
period.

In 1999, Tarantella/SCO correctly saw Linux as it then was, before IBM injected
into the Linux kernel those parts from IBM`s AIX/Dynix. Linux at that time wasnt
capable of being a direct competitor to Tarantella`s product line. Tarantella`s
business plan revolved around a solid enterprise operating system based on a
'pay-per-processor' arrangement where the users (wealthy businesses) were
required to pay an additional license fee for every CPU in the computer. It was
a great plan and already had made billionaires of SUN`s owners. Tarantella/SCO
thought they could copy SUN`s business plan but then one day the dot-bomb
exploded and survivors scrambled to grab onto anything that would generate
revenues, including such things as lawsuits.

When IBM proceeded to demonstrate a computer running a thousand virtual copies
of Linux, SCO`s pay-per-processor business plan went up in smoke and SCO decided
that their only means of existance was to find a reason to sue IBM (the injected
code that made the Linux kernel 'enterprise-ready').

So, it makes great sense to see common disdain for the competition four or five
years ago from SCO. It wasnt the rabid 'axis of evil' ranting that McBride (and
Gates) have since become famous for. It is exactly the normal inter-rivalry
you`d expect between distant players in a similar market and simply goes to show
the deceit in claims made by SCO today in describing Linux as compared to their
willingness to work with Linux and open source software in the past.



H0B0

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO != The SCO Group
Authored by: snorpus on Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 09:45 PM EST
Keep in mind while reading this discussion that the SCO of this post is Santa Cruz Operation, a Unix-on-x86 company, the company that bought certain (disputed) parts of the Unix business from Novell (who in turn had earlier purchased USL from AT&T). This SCO is aka "oldSCO".

The newsletter is not a product of The SCO Group, the Company-formerly-known-as-Caldera, otherwise aka "newSCO". Caldera is a Linux distributor which bought certain Unix-related assets from oldSCO. oldSCO renamed itself Tarantella, and Caldera renamed itself The SCO Group (SCOG, or newSCO).

What I really find interesting is how wrong the statements are. Linux, 5 years later, still isn't terribly competitive on the desktop, while it is quite competitive on the server side. I wonder what Dirk Peter is doing these days?

---
73/88 de KQ3T

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tux trademarked?
Authored by: whoever57 on Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 09:50 PM EST
Has anyone registered Tux as a trademark? If not should not Linus do so, just
like he owns the trademark "Linux"?





---
-----
For a few laughs, see "Simon's Comic Online Source" at
http://scosource.com/index.html

[ Reply to This | # ]

From the Taylor interview
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 10:11 PM EST

``We position Windows server as a multifunction server that does a variety of things.''

I find it hilarious that someone from Microsoft would say that they offer a multifunction server product. OKay, maybe they do. Problem is that they have trouble actually providing more than one of those functions at a time. I have watched the data centers at several companies fill up with Windows servers. Not because the companies are doing more and more computing. Rather it's that they need multiple Windows-based servers to provide reliable services. It's really quite rare to find one of them providing more than one service. As a result the data centers run out of either physical space or power.

Invariably, there is a move to get rid of that expensive UNIX server over in the corner. Until they find out that that system has been serving up web pages, providing networked printing services, providing file services for desktop clients, emailing notices to customers, running a thousand or so batch jobs nightly, monitoring itself, backing itself up, and, oh yah almost forgot, running a datahouse with over a TB of data. And doing all that without so much as a hiccup for months and months at a stretch. And to top it all off, that ``expensive'' UNIX system is pushing three years old and each operating system upgrade actually results in better system performance. When's the last time that a server was able to efficiently run three successive versions of Windows? The Microsoft mentality is to toss the hardware out with each release of the operating system. Toss out your investment and TCO, too, while you're at it. There is a far greater likelihood of that expensive UNIX box will eventually be replaced with a Linux-based system. (And it'll still be doing all the things that the UNIX box did.)

Taylor can position Windows server any way he wants, I suppose. It just doesn't measure up. I, for one, prefer a system that can walk and chew gum at the same time. Companies are getting tired of IT being such a huge cost center. And people who I've talked to at many companies are getting awfully tired of the frequent turnover of their computing equipment and the sheer amount of it they have to buy, specifically their Windows-based equipment. Taylor's got a big job ahead of him and I worry about him. I really do. He'll be spinning so fast he'll be in danger of flying apart.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Diet Coke!
Authored by: lpletch on Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 10:28 PM EST
I really like Diet Coke!

No MS Happy Meal for me. :(


---
lpletch@adelphia.net

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tarantella Rocks
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 10:38 PM EST

I'm talking about their product, not the company.

While I don't have a thing against bashing corporations, however small and desperate they may be, these guys actually have a cool toy, imho.

Since they're demo page doesn't seem to go very far, try this page that uses their technology:
http://applinks.blogspot.com
Click on one of the small screenshots below, jump through the hoops, and you'll end up with an OpenOffice window running on linux, showing up on your desktop.

This is an interesting case of a definitely neat technology and very little (good) ideas on how to make a business out of it. Kinda reminds me of worlds.com.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Tarantella Rocks - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 27 2004 @ 01:05 PM EST
Eliminate open-source technology
Authored by: JustFree on Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 11:27 PM EST
"As general manager for platform strategies at Microsoft, Martin Taylor
leads the software company's charge to contain and eventually eliminate
open-source technology."

Enentually eliminate open-source technology? Very much wishful thinking. It
looks like Mr. Taylor misses the point why GNU/Linux exist. There have been so
many different various of free software including freeware. This reminds me of
the reason that I refuse to use MS technology if there is an alternative. Why
should one company with a huge patent portfolio control all technology. MS and
other companies are move on this front to control as much technology as
possible.

Open-source technology will win. Why? Because it is about “Free Speech”. Why?
Because it guarentees that technology that you develop will work. Why? Because
it add values to a companies IT portfolio.

Has anyone hear the argument that technolgical development and research should
only be done by corporations. It should not be done by University, since your
tuitions suppliments the research. “1,000,000 monkeys typing on a keyboard would
develop something.” It is our desire of creativity that has given us these
technology. MS would not exist if it was not for Electrical Engineers and
Mathematical/Computer Scientist. SCO and MS have to realize that people would
not pay for there products useless they can convinces someone to pay for it.

Technology should be open-source or open-standards, since this would allow me to
sleep at night knowing that I am safe.

Just FUD for investors...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tarantella Then and Now - A FUD Tale
Authored by: RealProgrammer on Wednesday, February 25 2004 @ 11:50 PM EST

Click this link for a history of the parties invvolved (Caldera, Santa Cruz, Tarantella) from 1979 to 2003.

---
(I'm not a lawyer, but I know right from wrong)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tarantella Then and Now - A FUD Tale
Authored by: technoCon on Thursday, February 26 2004 @ 12:17 AM EST
typo: use of catchup in the article seems inappropriate. I believe "catch
up" is intended.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Check Edgar
Authored by: Stonecrusher on Thursday, February 26 2004 @ 12:20 AM EST
Just went over out of curiosity, there are newer filings in from Tarantella, who
seems to have taken a trip to the Cayman Islands to get their cash infusion,
basically from two people with a variety of financial holdings down there.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: more 'audit' FUD
Authored by: Tim Ransom on Thursday, February 26 2004 @ 12:26 AM EST
courtesy of Lar ry Seltzer

---
Thanks again,

[ Reply to This | # ]

only useful in...
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, February 26 2004 @ 12:42 AM EST
I find it fascinating that any company who sees linux as competition tends to
write it off with 'linux is only useful in
${whatever_we_dont_do_as_our_core_business}'.

MS: Only useful in embedded market and HPC
OLDSCO: Only useful on desktops
... etc

It's particularly amusing in that once you read enough such comments and
interviews, it becomes apparent that you can be told that linux is useful for
everything - just by asking enough potential competitors.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tarantella Then and Now - A FUD Tale
Authored by: grouch on Thursday, February 26 2004 @ 01:16 AM EST
That info-bulletin.pdf shows a distortion that is still prevalent today: The use of sales of boxes (either software boxes or computers with software pre-installed) to demonstrate dominance of secret sauce over open source.

Why is the Linux hype good for SCO?
The Linux Hype [sic] generates a lot of interest around UNIX on Intel. SCO is the largest supplier of Unix on Intel with an 84% market share (Source IDC) and 20 years experience. This creates a unique proposition for anybody who is interested in a Unix on Intel solution stemming from an original interest in Linux.

Then, as now, the sleight of hand used is that of equating sales with share. If the only way to legally obtain software is by purchasing a "license", and assuming the business customers you wish to compare strive to remain legal, then comparing such license sales is a valid way to compare usage among software products. GNU/Linux doesn't fit that model.

Bubba's Bait-Shoppe Emporium chain could easily download a base GNU/Linux system for 10,000 stores and apply any custom software to that. This would not make a single wrinkle on any chart or graph of boxed software sales or license sales.

That "84% market share" must be based on dollars tallied at cash registers. It could mean, '84% of all dollars spent on Unix on Intel licenses came to us', or it could mean, '84% of the people buying licenses for Unix on Intel are our customers. I see nothing to indicate it means, '84% of all computers running Unix on Intel have our software on them'.

Even if you are charitable to the author(s) of the document and disallow consideration of Linux, for its lack of anyone silly enough to spend the tens of thousands of dollars to apply the Unix operating system trademark to a free system, it still seems unlikely to represent anything but dollars. I have no numbers as reference, but I suspect various free versions of BSD would have accounted for more than 16% of the machines running Unix on Intel in 1999. I doubt anyone would seriously contest that they are not Unix operating systems, simply because of their heritage.

When I see business reports of the nature of, "Linux grew 21% in the server market", I pass that through a personal babelfish. It then comes out, "21% more dollars were spent on Linux than [previous time period], even though people are not required to buy a license for it". That automatically leads to wondering how many people installed it from downloads and how many installations resulted from each purchased or 'burned' CD.

[ Reply to This | # ]

what's the point of going after Tarantella ?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, February 26 2004 @ 06:03 AM EST
Why shoot at another Linux-company (Tarantella) because Caldera/newSCO decided
to go after IBM for the damage it inflicted to oldSCO ?
A stigma ( or boycot ) would be appropriate if oldSCO itself had defended its
interests.
Instead it decided to run from the fight, leave its Unix-business to Caldera and
abruptly cut all ties to newSCO in June 2002 when Darl McBride entered the game
as CEO with a mission and a plan.
Coincidence ?
Was it the right thing to do ?
Embracing Linux didn't bring much fortune to Tarantella.



[ Reply to This | # ]

Tarantella Then and Now
Authored by: the_flatlander on Thursday, February 26 2004 @ 06:41 AM EST
What about support?
a) First line support will be given by certain suppliers but what if there's a problem that they can't answer? The unfortunate answer to this is nothing! . . .
b) If you submit a question on the internet you cannot be sure of getting an answer. . .
c) The solutions offered to you can potentially contain bugs or viruses which are a security hazard to your company
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 -- and that includes the company employees. This could lead to unqualified personnel tampering with the code . . .
Wow. As opposed to proprietary software,
a)where if there's a problem the vendor can't fix you can do *something*. (I'm thinking cry, stamp your feet, hold your breath and/or just switch to Linux.)
b) Call the proprietary software company's 900 number support desk, during business hours, and the answer will be...?
c) Oh no, no Windows patch ever had a security flaw or back-door code in it, or broke all your existing application and no way to back the patch out short of a re-install. (Ever heard of "Open Orifice?" That was all about an exploit of Microsoft's backdoor code that the script kiddies discovered.)
d)Yeah, all those Linux ankle-biters. Not like those crack professionals at Microsoft. Far better to have code that has never been reviewed by anyone but the developer. (No one at Microsoft can "tamper" with the code. The SQL-Slammer buffer over-run problem, that wasn't an inexperienced programmer; it was *designed* to do that. Linux servers can't claim yet to have taken down the whole internet, even breifly. slackers.)

The Flatlander

Give me source code, or leave me the heck alone.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Anti-MS-FUD Missile
Authored by: Wesley_Parish on Thursday, February 26 2004 @ 06:54 AM EST

In relation to Microsoft's Martin Taylor, might I make a comment that needs to be made? (Sorry for the tautology there!)

If I debug F/LOS Software such as Linux or FreeBSD, Apache or PHP, JBoss or KDE, using the source code that is available by right, I am partaking in a community.

If I debug Microsoft's Windows NT or Win2K using the source code that has appeared unauthorized on the wilds of the Internet, I am taking part in a felony.

There's a slight difference between partaking in a community and taking part in a felony. About XYZ years in jail and a police record, versus feeling good about yourself for providing something to others, gaining recognition from kindred spirits.

There's something sad, something terribly nebbish, terribly pitiful about Microsoft's continued refusal to recognize the difference.

---
finagement: The Vampire's veins and Pacific torturers stretching back through his own season. Well, cutting like a child on one of these states of view, I duck

[ Reply to This | # ]

VERY O.T.: netcraft alerts
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, February 26 2004 @ 08:25 AM EST
i'm hoping that someone else on this list is having or has been thru this. i
made the mistake of signing up for the netcraft alerts for SCO.com just to see
if they were really being taken offline as much as they said. well, i wish i
never had. i get more of those than i do spam.

this morning i had 152 netcraft alerts in my inbox.

does anyone know how to unsubscribe from this?
i went to the site but could not find a link to unsubscribe.

please hep.

[ Reply to This | # ]

This article is mostly a non-sequitor
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, February 26 2004 @ 09:26 AM EST
That oldSCO once badmouthed Linux is kind of irrelevent as they changed their tune fairly quickly. Just before they sold their OS business to Caldera they were in the process of bringing out their own distribution of Linux. Then they decided to get out of the OS game all together and make Tarantulla the backbone of their business.

That decision is the cause of their current woes. Their woes have nothing to do with the fact that they once were spreading FUD. (Which as other users have pointed out, was apologized for after the fact.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tarantella history is not oldSCO history
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, February 26 2004 @ 12:01 PM EST

Tarantella was (and is) developed by engineers in the UK independently of the UNIX division of oldSCO. Until the decision to sell off oldSCO/UNIX, oldSCO/Tarantella was as much a separate fiefdom as it could get away with.

It's not fair to say that Tarantella has ever been anti-Linux. The oldSCO/UNIX Linux FUD was widely seen as dumb and counter-productive within oldSCO/Tarantella. The first Tarantella release on Linux was in 1999.

Sadly the oldSCO management, bureacracy and expense stayed with Tarantella Inc rather than move with oldSCO/UNIX to Caldera. This is the main reason Tarantella now needs private financing, imho.

(Former Tarantella employee)

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: SCO In free fall.
Authored by: Clay on Thursday, February 26 2004 @ 12:10 PM EST
Don't know why but its lost a dollar in two days, and it seems that it hasn't been this low since the lawsuit started.

Look for some press release or wild claim soon.

SCOX 5 day chart on Yahoo!

Clay

---
---------------------------
newObjectivity, Inc. supports the destruction
of all software patents.

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO vs. IBM discovery ruling status?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, February 26 2004 @ 03:56 PM EST
This is a bit off topic, but it's now been almost three weeks since the
magistrate judge in SCO vs IBM said a ruling would be issued "shortly". Is
anything happening? Are both sides negotiating something?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Lesson learned ?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 27 2004 @ 03:42 AM EST
Be careful to put that patronizing finger up already and just wait to see who
exactly is being teached a lesson here.
As this is going, you may be surprised.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Lesson learned ? - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 27 2004 @ 10:34 AM EST
Some links perhaps of interest.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, February 27 2004 @ 02:47 PM EST
First, Doug Michaels ("an open source supporter and sponsor of Linux
International") clarified the position of S.C.O. after some "loose
cannon" public statements:

SCO's Letter to the Linux International Board of Directors

http://linuxtoday.com/infrastructure/1999051000210NWCY

Doug also had some terse comments as to The SCO Group's actions earlier on in
this debacle which were, shall we say, not entirely supportive of a
litigationist push against Linux. For example:

webactivemagazine.co.uk/News/1141484

I'm sure there are better summaries made public, but that one was easy to find.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw © Copyright 2003-2013 Pamela Jones.
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Comments are owned by the individual posters.

PJ's articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License. ( Details )