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The Media Reacts
Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 09:30 AM EDT

The media reaction to SCO's flurry of press releases and teleconference yesterday is intriguing. Just from the headlines, you can see how well it did or didn't go.

How do you like this Internet News headline?
SCO's McBride: 'We're MAD'

The byline is Sean Michael Kerner, who provides a quote for the ages from the teleconference:

"If people think SCO has gone crazy or 'MAD' it's now official," McBride said.

McBride was not talking about SCO's ongoing litigation with IBM, Novell and others in reference to alleged infringements of intellectual property, but rather about its mobile development initiatives. "We are 'MAD' in the sense that we have a Mobile Application Developer in EdgeBuilder that is not like a typical SDK," McBride explained.

The article explains that the MAD Toolkit means, among other things, that SCO can redistribute Visual Studio 2005, which I gather is desirable in some way. McBride wasn't interested in talking about the IBM case:

"We're not here at this conference to talk much about the lawsuits," McBride said. "We're going to have our day in court in six months. We've been fighting this high profile litigation battle to protect our intellectual property going on four years now. "We've spent nearly $50 million in that battle," McBride continued. "We believe in our case, we are looking forward to having our day in front of the courts."

I'm sure. They can hardly wait. That is why every procedural delaying tactic has shown up in this litigation. It speaks to SCO's eagerness with eloquence. IDG's headline was a bit more traditional, "SCO aims to reinvent itself through mobility" by Elizabeth Montalbano:

In recent years The SCO Group has been best known for its costly and controversial licensing dispute over Unix intellectual property. But SCO's leader said the company is in the process of reinventing itself into a mobile application platform and services provider with new products, services and partnerships.

Calling its new direction a "turning point for the company," SCO President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Darl McBride said on a conference call during the SCO Forum Monday that the company is ready to "get back into business." Although SCO will continue to offer its Unix products, its core focus going forward will be on a new set of subscription-based mobile services called Me Inc. that it has developed using a new mobile software development platform called EdgeClick, he said.

Now I ask you, ladies and gentlemen. If SCO thought it had a prayer of winning, would it be reinventing itself so that its core products are no longer UNIX? The article also relays McBride's little speech about the litigation:

McBride declined to comment much on SCO's ongoing litigation with IBM over intellectual property, choosing instead to focus on the company's new direction. But he said SCO is anxious to bring its case to court and expects to do so in about six months. It has cost the company more than US$50 million, he said.

"We are very much looking forward to having our day in front of a jury of our peers," McBride said.

That jury of his peers part might be hard to arrange. This headline in the Salt Lake Tribune made me do a double take: SCO unveils products, services to offset earnings, court setbacks

SCO's isn't trying to offset earnings, for sure. It just *seems* like it. Bob Mims got reactions from analysts, including this one summing up:

Ken Dulaney, vice president for mobile computing for Gartner Research, was less impressed.

"This has all been done before," he said. "They need to do this, though, and they need a lot more [devices and services] than just these."

And what can one make of the latest claim from McBride in this article, "UNIX warriors lack evidence", that he says he got a 2 AM phone call from someone claiming to be Linus? Is SCO winding up its "people who use Linux are criminally inclined" routine to start dancing on the stage for us again? In any case, while he always seems to imply that Linux folk are out to get him, I suggest he has no idea who called him, if in fact anyone actually did. Maybe it's the same phone call he told us about in 2003? It could have been a teenager or maybe it was one of those lost MIT deep divers calling, trying to get his attention. One thing is for sure. If the alleged caller identified himself as "Linux Torvalds", as the article claims, then it wasn't anybody in the Linux community, who can be presumed to know Linus' name.

But what I get from the media reaction is this: nothing SCO says or does is accepted at face value any more. The stock, of course, shot up anyway in the last few minutes of trading, but that was, if I may say so, predictable.


The Media Reacts | 325 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Off topic here please
Authored by: fudisbad on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 09:33 AM EDT
Please make links clickable.

"SCO’s failure to provide code for the methods and concepts it claims were
misappropriated is [...] a violation of this court’s orders." - Judge Brooke

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here
Authored by: MathFox on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 09:36 AM EDT
For Pamela to collect in a single thread

If an axiomatic system can be proven to be consistent and complete from within
itself, then it is inconsistent.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Meaningless and unoriginal products pump the stock
Authored by: bbaston on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 09:57 AM EDT
You might say I'm a little dubious that tSCOg and McBride are up to anything of importance to anyone but their stock price.

imaybewrong, iamnotalawyertoo, inmyhumbleopinion, iamveryold

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO stock tumbling before my eyes
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 10:09 AM EDT
Well, it looks like reality bites. The price is sliding down already. As has been pointed out previously, SCO stock is losing 20c per week and this spike doesn't seem to be doing anything to stem the tide. Look at the 3 month chart or daily chart

[ Reply to This | # ]

Perhaps Tim Negris has been ex-SCO-mmunicated
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 10:26 AM EDT
Tim Negris is gone ? ? ? ? In February, Tim Negris was apointed SVP in Sales and Marketing. The Teleconference participants reallign the positions, and Negris is not listed. Specifically, old SCOX hand Sontag shifts from SCOSource to the SCOMe venture. Why would they have a big marketing call, and leave the SVP for Marketing off the list?

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Media Reacts
Authored by: AlsoNickFortune on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 10:35 AM EDT
Now I ask you, ladies and gentlemen. If SCO thought it had a prayer of winning, would it be reinventing itself so that its core products are no longer UNIX?

I think it's interesting that they're bothering at all.

Do that they think the company has a prayer of surviving? It could just show how far Darl and reality have parted company. Or maybe they have a backup plan.

Or could they be under pressure to show some sort of viability that isn't predicated upon winning the suit against IBM? If so we might find a closer examination of the cirumstances rewarding.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Offset earnings
Authored by: TonyW on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 10:42 AM EDT
I take the headline to mean:

SCO unveils products and services to offset earnings setbacks and court

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ya can't fool Old Scratch
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 10:46 AM EDT
"The article explains that the MAD Toolkit means, among other things, that
SCO can redistribute Visual Studio 2005, which I gather is desirable in some

It looks like if you sell your soul to the Devil, he'll someday collect, win or

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not like a typical SDK
Authored by: DannyB on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 10:49 AM EDT
"We are 'MAD' in the sense that we have a Mobile Application Developer in EdgeBuilder that is not like a typical SDK," McBride explained.
Okay, if SCO's MAD is not like a typical SDK, then what is SCO doing wrong? How did they screw it up compared to a typical SDK?

The price of freedom is eternal litigation.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Dogbert meets DM
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 10:53 AM EDT
Look here then here

[ Reply to This | # ]

More Partners?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 11:07 AM EDT
Why do companies actually partner with SCO. Day-Timer??? Please folks, you are
as bad as ev1 and mysql. Hello PHB's, SCO has a history of going to court with
people they "partner" with.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Where did this Mobile stuff come from?
Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 11:14 AM EDT
I wonder where this mobile stuff came form. It seems to have sprung from the
earth, spontaneously.

If Canopy were still involved with SCOG I think their approach would be to start
a new company for development purposes. That would still seem to have been a
better way to do this. It would have insulated the new stuff from the shadow of
the litigation.

I wonder if somehow during the Canopy days SCOG acquired some technology which
was built into these products.

When first announced I sort of assumed what SCOG was doing is providing a server
solution for service provided, that doesn't seem to be the case, as far as I can

By The Way, Daytimer used to be in the software business. They sold an
electronic version of their paper organizers. It was a pretty nice concept, but
is was buggy and eventually discontinued. I think it was also developed by a
third party. I think their interest is to monetize the brand name, before their
traditional business is replaced by electronic services or applications.

Rsteinmetz - IANAL therefore my opinions are illegal.

"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."
Randy Newman - The Title Theme from Monk

[ Reply to This | # ]

For once Daryl told the truth
Authored by: AH1 on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 11:32 AM EDT
What everybody actually missed was his definition of mad.

mad - Disordered in intellect; crazy; insane.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Excuse needed for stock boost
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 11:46 AM EDT
P.J. says as much in her article, but is too nice (or careful) to actully levy
an acusation. It's obvious that SCO needs to get their stock price back up
where they want it. To do this, somebody (*cough* M$ *cough*) needs to buy a
bunch. Now if the stock just starts going up for no apparent reason, it might
raise concern at the SEC. This conference is nothing more than a way to provide
a reason for a stock boost.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Media Reacts
Authored by: ccady on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 12:07 PM EDT
Now I ask you, ladies and gentlemen. If SCO thought it had a prayer of winning, would it be reinventing itself so that its core products are no longer UNIX?

Um, yes. It makes sense for SCO to tread avenues it believes will make money, regardless of the merits (or lack thereof) of the lawsuit(s). Most companies seem to believe that UNIX is past its prime, and that fewer and fewer companies will be able to make money off it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I want my ...
Authored by: kirkengaard on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 01:30 PM EDT
... "Got Linux in your UNIX?" T-Shirt. From what I've seen, it makes
better sense than the SCOForum "Got UNIX in your Linux?" one.

"About half of the practice of a decent lawyer is telling would-be clients that
they are damned fools and should stop."
Elihu Root

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Media Reacts
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 01:36 PM EDT
>he says he got a 2 AM phone call from someone
>claiming to be Linus

And I got in 3 AM a phone call from someone claiming
to be God; but I know he lied because he could not
understand Hebrew...

Anyway, I'd suggest McBride to invest a little money in
a caller ID system for his phones. It is not that
expensive for somebody who will win $2,000,000,000
next year.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Spruiking? What the heck is that?
Authored by: eggplant37 on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 01:47 PM EDT
In the ComputerWorld article at http: //;1772898274;fp;2;fpid;3 appeared the following sentence:

"The company's CEO Darl McBride hasn't helped, spruiking claims that Linux has a 'volunteer fire department support model.'"
I had to look up "spruiking" as I'd never heard of that word before. The best definition I could find was its usage on an article on lawBlawg. When I read that, I laughed out loud and got funny looks from my wife until I explained. Yes, spruiking (pronounced sprooking) is a very apt description for Mr. McBride's information-mongering to the news media.

Is SCO "MAD?" Why yes, I think so, certainly, though not in the sense that McBride would like us to think.

[ Reply to This | # ]

There are many that think....
Authored by: sonicfrog on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 02:02 PM EDT
that SCO (Quote, Chart), the company embattled in a four-year old legal battle
against Linux, is "mad."

No. Not mad. STUPID!!!!

And it's probably wrong to use the word "think" with anything related
to SCO.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I'd love to comment on what a jury of Darl & Co's true peers would look like ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 03:07 PM EDT
... but I'd probably be sued for libel and get PJ into trouble to boot!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: sproggit on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 03:26 PM EDT
OK, so The SCO Group have publicly announced some form of SDK for developers to write applications for truly mobile users.

Let's put aside the obvious and dismissive comments that we could make about this announcement and spend a moment thinking about Darl's announcement from a business strategy perspective. Imagine what you would have to write in an SEC filing [in much the same way that TSG wrote about the introduction of their SCOSource initiative.

How would we consider this as a business proposition? Just for a moment, forget anything about the various court cases and imagine that you are a potential investor in this company. A company who has seen market share slowly eroded by the competition and who has decided to re-invent itself into a new market sector.

On the plus side, TSG might be able to demonstrate a strong ISV community with a history of building customer solutions on their platforms. To a perhaps shrinking extent, that's almost certainly true. But how many of those ISVs would want to make the switch from developing applications for medium-sized businesses [your classic Sales, Nominal, and Purchase Ledgers, Stock Control, Point of Sale, Payroll, etc] and write wireless or mobile apps. How many business clients interested in a stock control system would like the idea of performing an inventory of stock over a mobile phone? I suspect that this transformation might be a stretch too far for many of TSGs established resellers. I could easily be wrong, but somehow I don't think so.

OK, let's put that to one side. It could be that TSG have developed a truly world-beating solution, 2006's "killer app", the one to beat all the others in the mobile arena. OK, it's another stretch of the imagination, but it might have happened. For this application/solution to become established, it has to garner support from the industry. Is it possible that this application or solution is going to be so much better than existing solutions that it will tempt hardware and software manufacturers to abandon their existing solutions and move cross to this fresh platform, form a company with what one might think of as a fragile credit future? Would you invest software effort on a platform that might not be here in 12 months? Then lets think about the competition. Let's see: there's Microsoft, with WindowsCE and a growing range of PDAs and Smartphones that use it. Then there's Palm's Treo [OK so Bill Gates managed to pursuade Palm to use WinCE [sic] for their PDAs, but the Treo 650, 700, etc, all use a derivative of PalmOS that has a huge installed base of developers and applications. Then there's RIM, with the Blackberry, which is based, on - let me see - Java. So no shortage of skilled developers there then, either. We could throw in the likes of Siemens, Nokia, Motorola and the like, all of whom have massively well established and funded communities, and companies like ARM Holdings from the UK, who provide the ultra-low-power RISC chips and modular OS and compilers that power so many of these devices. In short, this market is fiercely contested and already brimming with cutting edge technology from players with deep pockets and well established markets. Even the biggest and best in the business might think twice about challenging in this sector.

So we've discounted an ISV or channel community helping to promote this new technology; we've acknowledged the fact that this market is brimming with competition and likely to be the subject of some brutal campaigning in the next 3-5 years [especially with China as a consumer and a provider]. How about that loyal customer base then? That strong brand image? Again, this might be difficult to guage. We've seen [diminishing income figures] evidence to suggest that a once healthy client base may be shrinking at the moment. Of course this might be fore different reasons. We don't have any direct evidence to suggest that loyal customers of TSGs Unix and Support offerings would necessarily be interested in the mobile computing space. If so, we're definitely not getting the whole picture.

Although I suspect a certain degree of cynicism will show in these remarks, I have tried to think through TSGs investment in this market sector as objectively and logically as I can.

It doesn't make sense to me.

They are late to the market.

They have no established credible experience in this sector.

They have a questionable balance sheet and a business that's trending in the wrong direction.

Any success they achieve in this sector could easily come at the expense of Microsoft, one of their present financial lifelines [through the IP license], so ironically, if TSG were to be an overnight success in this mobile computing space, their erstwhile backer would turn on them pretty quickly, if required to protect the WinCE market share.

So in short, though this is an interesting development, I really do have the strongest doubt that long term success and security can be achieved via this route.

But I'll conclude with a thought that might arouse ire, eyebrows or smiles in equal measure...

I hope TSG succeed with this initiative. I hope that the world and the markets demonstrate something that existing shareholders and directors at this company may not yet have grasped: that it is better to build good products and services and win the hearts and minds of customers worldwide than it is to try and litigate your way to riches.

That it is better to cooperate and communicate with the world community [for example, by following guidance on copyright and giving an alleged infringer fair and detailed notice and an opportunity to put things right, than it is to spread FUD and trouble abroad.

That, generally speaking, it is not a good idea to try and sue one's customers if long-term business relationships [and repeat business] form any part of your business strategy.

For if this generates interest and income for The SCO Group, they might see the light and decide to abandon what we could easily mistake for the "shakedown" path to riches...

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Media Reacts
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 06:14 PM EDT
>"SCO aims to reinvent itself through mobility"

I read this to mean that the SCO executives were planning on hitting the road...
to some country with no extradition treaty :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

What I wonder about...
Authored by: chris hill on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 06:39 PM EDT
What I wonder about is the problems this can cause in the long term.

SCO has become a Microsft Industrial Partner.

The SDK is designed specifically to work in two ways.

  • With Microsoft Visual Studio, a proprietary program.
  • .NET, which is Microsofts version of reinventing the internet to suit them.

    As this software will be proprietary, what happens when IBM et al win?

    The contracts will probably have clauses against being used in a Open Source manner, or even being used by any company which contributes to open source in a way that contravenes Microsofts version of Open Source.

    How much of the SDK is from Open Source products, as SCO has a habit of using them, and then claiming ownership?

    How much of the ME platform is Open Source, and is now being signed up as part of Closed Source products such as Visual Studio?

    What happens when IBM et al examine the products after they win, and discover that it is based upon Open Source Products?

    Will this allow Microsoft to begin to turn to the governments because:

  • Litigation over the contracts concerning 'proprietary' source and contracts.
  • Microsoft, being able to go to governments and saying to them, "See, Open Source people are closing inovation as well! They have ensured that .net cannot innovate with ME and have killed the ME technology!"
  • Force companies into the position of having Open Source people having to support Microsoft due to contracts SCO has signed.

    Are the companies who inherit the contracts and technologies responsible to such an obvious tactic using a dying company to position itself to creating havoc in a competitor or competitors that it sees as serious competition to write contracts and documents which could be a stumbling block on the way to providing real competition in the market place?

    Just my two cents, and curiosity over the moves Microsoft is planning.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

  • McBride cares about the consecuences of "his" actions?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 08:16 PM EDT
    "McBride declined to comment much on SCO's ongoing litigation with IBM over
    intellectual property, choosing instead to focus on the company's new direction.
    But he said SCO is anxious to bring its case to court and expects to do so in
    about six months. It has cost the company more than US$50 million, he

    So I ask, how much has it cost to IBM who we all know was brought into a
    frivolous lawsuit?!?!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    The Media Reacts
    Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, August 08 2006 @ 11:46 PM EDT
    Two great ideas for SCO in one headline: offset your earnings and court your

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Yeah, It was Linus, alright....
    Authored by: darkonc on Wednesday, August 09 2006 @ 01:02 AM EDT
    Linus Toeracker -- a former SCO employee who is still owed 5 months back wages :-)
    Inside sources failed to comment on the possibility that the company refused to pay him properly on purpose -- hoping that this 'Linus' would repeatedly badger the company and allow dispersions to be cast on his open-sourced namesake.

    I'm hoping to get a more detailed article published in "The Onion" shortly.

    Powerful, committed communication. Touching the jewel within each person and bringing it to life..

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Stocks shot up?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 09 2006 @ 04:53 AM EDT
    We have been trying to short them since they were above $20 bux. Does anyone
    know where there are shares to short?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    The Media Reacts
    Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 09 2006 @ 05:06 AM EDT
    "We believe in our case, we are looking forward to having our day in front
    of the courts."

    Darl McBride should never be allowed to forget this statement. I know I won't.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • The Media Reacts - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 09 2006 @ 06:11 PM EDT
    IBM should release EVEN (n/t)
    Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, August 09 2006 @ 08:20 PM EDT
    Don't get MAD, get EVEN!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

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