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How Much Was the Unix Caldera Bought Actually Worth?
Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 01:18 PM EDT

What if SCO really could establish that it owned the copyrights to System V, and what if it really could convince a judge that you can infringe methods and concepts without identifying any code, and what if they could demonstrate that IBM had in fact infringed SCO's Most Holy IP, then what? What would the damages be, I wondered? That's what the experts are probably trying to figure out, at least SCO's experts, although with no specific code to work with, they may be having a hard time doing the math. Here's a piece they might not know.

I stumbled across an article on vnunet from August of 2000, "The End of the Line for Unix?" just now that I thought I'd best add to our collection, because it indicates what the Caldera-Santa Cruz deal was actually worth. It also adds a piece of information that to me indicates that Santa Cruz's Unix business was in serious decline by the summer of 2000, having been eaten alive by Linux prior to the Caldera purchase and prior to IBM leaving Project Monterey in spring of 2001 and prior to any Linux contributions SCO started out complaining about.

On its worth and why it was on the market in the first place:

SCO, which generated revenues of $223.62m for fiscal 1999, sold its Unix division and professional services group to Caldera for $7m in cash and 17.54 million shares, giving it a 28 per cent stake in Caldera.

The two claim that this values the acquisition at about $300m, but based on Caldera's stock price - which stood at $7 on 2 August, the day of the purchase - this would mean that the business is currently up for grabs at the bargain basement price of $130m. The acquisition is scheduled to be complete by early October depending on regulatory and shareholder approval.

The move follows a crash in SCO's share price from a high of around $34 at the end of last year to only around $3 now, with analysts claiming that the company has been hit by the rapid growth of the Linux open source operating system (OS) in the commercial sector.

Peter Lemon, research manager at IDC's commercial systems group, said: "SCO has been very exposed to Linux attacks and it's been hit worse by the Linux phenomenon than anyone else. The problem is that the high end of the market is going to 64bit and the low end is going to Linux."

Interesting, isn't it? Linux was already eating SCO's lunch. Note the date. (Confirmation in this 2001 article by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: "SCO’s customer base has eroded over the years and dramatically declined between 1999 and last year (SP, April 16, p. 30, www.smartpartnermag.com/issues).") No wonder IBM quit Project Monterey. It seems a rational business decision, with this information included, doesn't it? And all this had happened before it contributed to Linux the code that SCO originally was complaining about, not that they can find it in the code base as it turns out, unless you credit their inventive theory of ownership that what's theirs is theirs and so is yours.

The article provides another interesting fact, a detail about Compaq and how it fits into this whole picture:

Sales of the firm's [SCO's] legacy Unix OS, which is now in maintenance, amounted to $11.1m in the third fiscal quarter of 2000. SCO will continue to hold the intellectual property to its baby.

But the deal also means that Caldera will now handle all sales, marketing and support not only of OpenServer, but of the NonStop Cluster technology that SCO licenses from Compaq.

Of course, Compaq supported Project Monterey and it also, along with SCO, worked to unify Unix standards:

Compaq has also backed another initiative, recently launched by major Unix players, that could be as important as Monterey.

Leading Unix players - including IBM, SCO and Sequent - have agreed to develop and publish a set of guidelines for software developers and hardware manufacturers to make their products run on any Intel-based Unix system without having to be rewritten, or recompiled.

Compaq has joined Intel and HP in backing this standards effort, called the Unix Developers Guide, which is based on specifications drawn up by the Open Group's Unix98 initiative to standardise Unix features across different platforms.

Why did they all agree to do this, since they were competitors? The article explains:

Only a few years ago Unix's original goal of providing a unified, non-proprietary operating system was lost in a sea of competing semi-proprietary versions of the platform.

In the last four years, however, the high cost of competing in the marketplace, the rise of Windows NT, and the reluctance of application developers to support more than a handful of Unix variants has forced a dramatic fall in the number of versions under active development.

I thought I'd point that out, in case any of you think the future for Linux would be so great if we could just have the "freedom" to allow proprietary codecs and drivers or let vendors close rights off with hardware. Please remember that the Unix folks tried that semi-proprietary route already, thinking it would increase profits and market share, and it failed miserably. For you "pragmatists" who say there's nothing wrong with closed, proprietary software, here's what's wrong with it: people don't want it. If you give them a choice, they'll choose open every time. They wanted Unix until it stopped being open, and then the market declined precipitously. End users like open. Why wouldn't we? It gives us the opportunity to modify the software to do exactly what we want individually, as opposed to what some vendor guesses the largest group of its customers probably wants. Sooner or later with closed software, you end up helpless, like Linus and Bitkeeper.

Caldera's plan was to combine Unix with Linux, to make a semi-proprietary hybrid, as then-CEO Ransom Love told everyone in a conference call, and that made the world ask the obvious question -- what would happen to Project Monterey now, if Caldera was intending to offer a competing platform? Notice that Project Monterey was already considered very nearly dead in the water in August of 2000:

But the situation also raises a question mark over the future of Project Monterey. SCO and IBM started work on Monterey in October 1998 with the aim of making their respective Unixware and AIX Unix variants source code-compatible before porting the resulting OS to Intel's 64bit Itanium processor.

Love appeared to confirm his commitment to the environment during the conference call. "Monterey will continue, but we'll put Linux management and compatibility in the layers above and combine our efforts with the IA64 Linux work. We have a legal obligation to IBM with Monterey and we intend to move it forward aggressively," he said. "We'll provide on IA64 what we'll provide with UnixWare on the 32bit platform. An API/ABI [application binary compatible] layer is very compelling for partners. Customers will have the choice of whether they want to migrate to Linux, Monterey or Unixware. The goal of combining the companies is to provide them with choice and consistency so the layers above the kernel become the same no matter what that kernel is," he added.

The development of a 64bit version of Linux is taking place under the auspices of Project Trillian, an industry group which includes IBM, Red Hat, VA Linux and Caldera in its line up of members. But the real question now is which OS will become dominant in the development effort?

Phil Payne, an independent analyst, said: "This implies that Monterey is being parked and merged into Trillian. It's another nail in the Monterey coffin. IBM will retain the AIX branding, but Monterey is perceived as a proprietary OS and the public wants Linux, which it sees as open. It's about mind share and public perception."

"Why does IBM need another fringe proprietary OS? Monterey faces the same application development problems as IBM did with OS/2 and can IBM succeed in that game? It hasn't in the past," he added.

So, at least one analysts then saw the Caldera purchase as an indication that Project Monterey was being "parked" -- and by Caldera, not IBM, which had not yet backed off. Why then did Project Monterey die? The analyst says the public wanted Linux, not proprietary software.

And what was that again about API/ABI compatibility? Hmm. So, even after Santa Cruz was out of the picture, and Project Monterey was being given Last Rites, Caldera worked to make Unix and Linux ABI compatible, eh? SCO told us that it was only in Project Monterey's context that this was contemplated, and here is an article from 2000 saying that Caldera wanted this compatibility even afterward, and quite outside of any Project Monterey context. Well, well.

Why did Love want to purchase Santa Cruz's Unix business? Was it for software code the public no longer wanted? The article tells us that too:

Love hinted at the company's motivation during the conference call. "The Linux business is not about lack of applications now, although we are addressing this with the acquisition. It's about expertise and we've got that now via SCO's professional services group," he said.

"Companies like a trusted partner to deploy systems in a more commercial, pervasive manner and that is now resolved. We'll bring an element of business vitality unparalleled in this segment. No other company can address high availability like us in this space," he added.

What Caldera wanted was the existing reseller partnerships and contracts, and professional services divisions. People. Contracts. Partnerships. The code itself wasn't worth the purchase price paid, by that reckoning. It wasn't even at the top of the list of value, so even if SCO could win anything at all in this loco litigation, the actual value of the whole deal was, according to the article, less than what they claimed and less than they are now claiming. How much less would the software alone be worth, code which people didn't want any more? And wouldn't you have to subtract the Compaq software from your equation also to calculate what the market thought that Unix code was worth, since SCO merely licensed it from Compaq?

Now we know more of the story. Linux was a "phenomenon" that was eating Santa Cruz's lunch before IBM did whatever SCO claims it did. IBM therefore could not possibly have contributed to Linux technology with the motive of and the effect of killing off Unix so as to ruin SCO's Unix business. It had happened already, and before Caldera even made the purchase from Santa Cruz, before IBM had made the contributions to Linux that SCO is suing over.

Buh bye, billions.


  


How Much Was the Unix Caldera Bought Actually Worth? | 333 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections Here
Authored by: artp on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 01:20 PM EDT
As per usual.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic
Authored by: artp on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 01:23 PM EDT
Corrections and Off Topic posts should be entered by someone logged in, as some
people have anonymous posts filtered. This always results in two threads, with
resultant confusion, chaos and argument.

But then, I've always enjoyed a small amount of confusion, chaos and argument.

---
Check below reply editor box for html instructions, and change format to HTML
instead of plain text.

[ Reply to This | # ]

End users like open. Why wouldn't we?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 01:47 PM EDT
Good arguement.... Except the end-users they are referring to are the vendors
themselves. If they choose open or closed not if you or I choose open or closed.
They call that "buying power", and individual users dont count.

[ Reply to This | # ]

TSCOG lacks standing wrt Monterey JDA
Authored by: _Arthur on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 01:59 PM EDT
From IBM-830, pages 21-22

SCO was never a party to and does not have standing to assert a breach to
the JDA.
In a letter dated June 6 2001, Santa Cruz notified IBM of the sale of its UNIX
division to Caldera.

However, section 22.12 of the JDA, which is entitled "Assignment",
provides that "neither party may assign or otherwise transfer its rights
or delegate any of its duties or obligations under this Agreement without
the prior written consent of the other part."

IBM declined to consent to Santa Cruz assignment of the JDA in a letter dated
June 19, 2001. (Exhibit #220)

IBM objects loudly to SCO effort to construe would-be breaches of the JDA
into Unfair Competition claims. Basically, if SCO had been a party to the JDA,
they would have been prevented by law of invoking unfair competion based
on contract breaches, because contract breaches carry their own penalties
and remedies.
Now SCO, which has no standing with regard to the JDA, still wants to morph
putative JDA breaches into unfair competition claims.

_Arthur

[ Reply to This | # ]

How Much Was the Unix Caldera Bought Actually Worth?
Authored by: grayhawk on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 02:04 PM EDT
IBM's primary business is hardware and has always been hardware because once you
have the hardware in the shop then you can add the services to go along with it.
With the development that was going on in the open source community to have
linux run on everything from imbedded to mainframe, IBM saw an opportunity to
bolster its hardware sales by offering easy upgrades to hardware without having
to do any kind of conversion. You have all hardware running the same operating
system, you have the opportunity to truly match hardware to your needs. No
longer do you need a dump truck to do a pickup truck's worth of work. IBM saw
the light and jumped into the linux space with both feet, heavy investment and
major contributions in further development. It had Unix and with its AIX it
couldn't do what it could with Linux. So why bother with any kind of unix
project Monteray included.

---
It is said when the power of love overcomes the love of power, that it is then
and only then that we shall truly have peace!

[ Reply to This | # ]

What did this mean?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 02:06 PM EDT
Sales of the firm's [SCO's] legacy Unix OS, which is now in maintenance, amounted to $11.1m in the third fiscal quarter of 2000. SCO will continue to hold the intellectual property to its baby.

But the deal also means that Caldera will now handle all sales, marketing and support not only of OpenServer, but of the NonStop Cluster technology that SCO licenses from Compaq.

(emphasis mine)

Does this mean that Caldera (now the new SCO) only bought the rights to sell, market and support the software, but that oldSCO (now Tarantella) retained the ownership of whatever IP that they thought that they owned at the time of this sale?

[ Reply to This | # ]

An important point that PJ missed
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 02:25 PM EDT
The probable value of the software purchased from SCO by Caldera is *LESS* than
the monies spent to date on this frivolous lawsuit.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ouch ;)
Authored by: SilverWave on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 02:41 PM EDT
"Sooner or later with closed software, you end up helpless, like Linus and
Bitkeeper."

Ouch indeed...

---
GPLv3: Eben Moglen explalined this well the new DRM clause just says that you
can't use technology to add restrictions that the licence doesn't allow.
coriorda

[ Reply to This | # ]

How Much Was the Unix Caldera Bought Actually Worth?
Authored by: gbl on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 03:04 PM EDT
It still is a bit of a mystery. Caldera had a Linux business at a point where most other companies were wondering how to make money on something that was free (as in beer.)

Santa Crux disposed of its Unix business for $7M plus some paper which was only worth anything if Caldera was successful.

Later Caldera bought something Unix related from Novell for a lot less than Novell paid. Which suggests Caldera either knew they were not buying "Unix" or they were sold a pig in a poke.

It looks a bit like Caldera was attempting to gather together all the bits of Unix it could while throwing away the Linux business they were created by Ray Noorda to develop.

There is an interesting article here< /a> about the events. A quote...

Caldera Systems received a $30 million investment from Sun, SCO, Citrix, Novell and venture capitalists before the IPO...

Interesting list of companies, each was suffering from intense competition from Microsoft at the time and had some interest in fostering Unix/Linux as an alternative.

This story is way too complex.

---
If you love some code, set it free.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Blast from the past anyone?
Authored by: herzeleid on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 03:12 PM EDT
I was aware that linux was eating sco's lunch long before IBM took the penguin
under it's wing, so to speak.

Hopefully someone else here will remember seeing this and can help locate online
evidence - I read an article in some IT trade magazine back in the 1995-ish time
frame, and it was a "shootout" between SCO and Slackware Professional.
I don't remember what other Unix flavors, if other, were compared.

The gist of the story was this:

For $59 you could buy Slackware Pro, which installed easily and quickly, was
easy to configure, and came fully loaded with network services, development
tools/compilers, X windows etc, etc.

On the other hand, for $2600 you could buy SCO, a bare bones unix OS which was
quite tedious to configure, and didn't include any of the niceties of linux. SCO
suffered greatly from the comparison, and it was very clear that the handwriting
was on the wall even then.

So, does this ring a bell with anyone here?


[ Reply to This | # ]

End users like open. Really ?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 03:20 PM EDT

PJ writes:

For you "pragmatists" who say there's nothing wrong with closed, proprietary software, here's what's wrong with it: people don't want it. If you give them a choice, they'll choose open every time. They wanted Unix until it stopped being open, and then the market declined precipitously. End users like open.

Somehow that reasoning does not make any sense to me

  1. People want Unix because it is open
  2. People drop Unix because it becomes "semi-proprietary"
  3. People switch to Windows instead which is fully proprietary

How come Microsoft managed to grab 95+ percent of the market if people do not like proprietary software ?

It just does not add up. The world switching from Unix to Windows because Unix became semi-proprietary ? That just does not fly, I am sorry ...

Zs.Zs.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"the high end of the market is going to 64bit and the low end is going to Linux"
Authored by: tiger99 on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 03:23 PM EDT
They only got one thing wrong in their prediction! Both ends of the market are going to Linux, especially as Linux was years ahead of 64-bit Windoze, and works properly, which, from what I have seen, 64-bit Windoze does not. No wonder Bill hates it so much.

OK, I know that they probably meant 64-bit AIX, HP-UX, Solaris etc, rather than Windoze, but even so, with the benefit of hindsight, we can see that Linux has made big inroads there too. And as for 64-bit OpenSewer 6, well.......

:-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

pragmatists
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 03:27 PM EDT
PJ wrote:

> For you "pragmatists" who say there's nothing wrong with
> closed, proprietary software, here's what's wrong with it:
> people don't want it. If you give them a choice, they'll
> choose open every time. They wanted Unix until it stopped
> being open, and then the market declined precipitously.

Sorry, that's just not true. The success of MS shows that most people do want
closed, proprietary software - or at least, they just don't care. Unix market
share was mostly lost to a product that was even more closed and proprietary -
Windows NT.

The problem with Unix in those days was exactly as described in the article
quoted, fragmentation into umpteen versions with incompatible extensions.

What happened is that (as we have seen from the latest IBM docs) several major
flavours of Unix started with a System III base (others started, a bit later,
with a BSD base).

The problem was that once BSD and SysV got going, they grew incompatible sets of
system calls for doing the same stuff - especially networking and shared memory.
And especially for the vendors who built on a System III base (HP and IBM for
sure) is that
(a) they tended to pick and choose SysV and BSD extensions - so you never got
quite the same set of system calls in any two Unixes.
(b) because the OS vendors usually implemented the extensions rather than
copying in code from BSD 4.x or SysV, there were subtle differences in the
behaviour of the implementations.

In my own case, for network heavy code I basically used a "pure BSD"
set of system calls, and kludged around the cases where they were not present or
subtly different. It also meant that my code could not run in a "pure
SvsV" environment (no BSD sockets, only detestable SysV Streams).

Eventually I had more or less the same stuff running on Domain/OS BSD4.3, HP-UX
9.x, Linux 0.9x, and AIX (4.x, I think). But it was a hassle and the code would
have become seriously polluted (and very hard to maintain) if I'd tried to
support every Unix that existed.

And this is why the risk of forking is always something to be thought over very
carefully when it comes to both Linux and the libc interfaces.

Mark H

[ Reply to This | # ]

It only cost Caldera Systems $7 million, so what did they expect
Authored by: Chris Lingard on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 03:35 PM EDT

Caldera Systems was incorporated in 1998. The inclusion of 17.54 million shares did not cost Caldera Systems anything, they were possibly bought by investors, but that was not using Caldera Systems money.

The product line was generating annual sales of $223.62 million, (in 1999), but it was up to Caldera Systems to improve the product and stay competitive. UNIX had rapidly become obsolete. About the only competitive UNIX type systems was OSF from DEC, using the DEC alpha, and SUN products.

This product was somehow transfered to Caldera International, a new company set up in May 2001, and this changed its name to SCO.

Companies were transferring away from UNIX, because it had not evolved, the only UNIX work being maintenance and support. Windows was gaining, so UNIX was definitely not competitive. Linux was there at just the right time.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How Much Was the Unix Caldera Bought Actually Worth?
Authored by: Jude on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 03:54 PM EDT
I've pointed this out before, but this article seems to be the perfect place to bring it up again.

From SEC's EDGAR website: Caldera 10-Q for Quarter ended July 31, 2001

Look at the top of page ten, where you should see a breakdown of the purchase price.
Note that most of the value was assigned to "Good will" ($66,080,000) and
"Distribution/reseller channel" ($26,700,000).

The value that Caldera themselves attributed to Unix was only a paltry $5,800,000.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why Windows
Authored by: mikeprotts on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 03:58 PM EDT
From my perspective:

1) MS Windows became the desktop OS supplied with all new machines (or at least
the vast majority).
2) IT was becoming very expensive and the old mainframe/midrange machines seemed
to be a major part of this
3) New IT people were brought in who didn't have the 'old fashioned' background,
but used MS Windows a lot.
4) Novell (with NetWare) were complacent about the file server market.
5) MS produced their own file server, which had easy to use tools for MS Windows
literate staff.
6) New IT staff could show non-it literate managers how quickly they could set
up domains and manage accounts.
7) Manager thought they could save money, so went with the easy option.

Cheers
Mike

[ Reply to This | # ]

I would not underestimate SCO's ability to craft history
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 04:10 PM EDT
I have been very impressed with SCO's (BSF's) ability to craft history.

I would describe their abilities in this regard as "brilliant, but
demented".

It took IBM a heck of a lot of effort to present a more accurate version of
history in their Montery contract defense. I have no doubt that SCO would try
that tactic again.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Some Very Interesting Points
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 04:36 PM EDT
There are some very interesting points in this article.

SCO Shares

SCO (...) sold its Unix division and professional services group to Caldera for $7m in cash and 17.54 million shares, giving it a 28 per cent stake in Caldera.
What happened to these shares? Did Caldera/Canopy buy them back? Did Tarantella (or later Sun) sell them to someone else?

Linux was Already the Leader

But Michels explained that SCO had been trying to put a Linux personality on UnixWare for some time "because we thought it would be a good way to put new applications onto it going forward". (...)
"I believe the world is moving to Linux as the common API (...) development platform. We saw a lot of Linux applications were not being ported over to UnixWare".
SCO needed to be compatable with Linux or else they wouldn't have applications to run on SCO Unix. SCO needed to be compatable with Linux in order to have a viable Unix product. In other words, by this time Unix was following Linux.

Red Hat and IBM Turned Down Purchase of SCO
The article also states that both Red Hat and IBM looked at buying SCO, and both turned it down as they didn't see how to make it a viable business.

Caldera Didn't Think Monterey was Viable

Love appeared to confirm his commitment to the environment during the conference call. "Monterey will continue, but we'll put Linux management and compatibility in the layers above and combine our efforts with the IA64 Linux work. We have a legal obligation to IBM with Monterey and we intend to move it forward aggressively," he said. "We'll provide on IA64 what we'll provide with UnixWare on the 32bit platform. An API/ABI [application binary compatible] layer is very compelling for partners. Customers will have the choice of whether they want to migrate to Linux, Monterey or Unixware.
Love tried to put a good spin on it, but this is not a very strong endorsement of Monterey. "We have a legal obligation to IBM" - they were proceding with Monterey because their contract with IBM said they had to.

Caldera Planned to Dump Monterey

"The development of a 64bit version of Linux is taking place under the auspices of Project Trillian, an industry group which includes IBM, Red Hat, VA Linux and Caldera (...)". Phil Payne, an independent analyst, said: "This implies that Monterey is being parked and merged into Trillian. It's another nail in the Monterey coffin".
Monterey was dead, Caldera knew it was dead, and Caldera was looking for a way to sideline it. Whatever IBM may have thought about Monterey, Caldera was not planning to pursue it any more than needed to meet their comitments to IBM.

Caldera Bought SCO for the Services Business

But what does Caldera have to gain from the purchase (...)? Love hinted at the company's motivation during the conference call. "The Linux business is not about lack of applications now (...). It's about expertise and we've got that now via SCO's professional services group," he said. "Companies like a trusted partner to deploy systems in a more commercial, pervasive manner and that is now resolved. We'll bring an element of business vitality unparalleled in this segment. No other company can address high availability like us in this space," he added. IDC's Lemon agreed. "This was not an obvious acquisition for Caldera to make, but it appears to be trying to bulk up its services with SCO.
In other words, Caldera saw proprietary Unix as a declining business, but believed that SCO's professional services group was a good channel for selling and supporting Linux. Essentially, they wanted to pursue the same business model as Novel later did (only buy buying a proprietary company, rather than the other way around).

Given what Caldera (SCOG) apparently believed at the time, they don't have much grounds for complaint that Unix sales later turned out more or less they way they thought they would. They believed they had a window of opportunity to convert themselves into a services organisation based around Linux. It was a good plan and if it had suceeded they would likely be one of the leading Linux vendors today. The blame for the fact that they couldn't exectute it rests with no one but themselves.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why users like open
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 06:51 PM EDT
Why wouldn't we? It gives us the opportunity to modify the software to do exactly what we want individually, as opposed to what some vendor guesses the largest group of its customers probably wants.

Nope that doesn't happen. A special breed of end users - developers might modify the software, the other end users won't and can't. They might request bug fixes and new features - but they also do that with propriatory software. It's the developers who actually hold the power to change things though, both in FOS and propriatory software

The large vendors also listen too their customers, if they want to remain large vendors! Of course often their customers aren't actually their end users which makes for unhappy users, but that feedback can take a long time to get through.

IMHO, users like open software mostly because it's better quality, it's cheaper and they can often get better free support. Also maybe because it makes them feel (and be) part of a wider community. Of course it's openness that can drive that quality (cathederal and bazzar)

Developers are a special group of users - they're the ones with the power to actually change things. There's something that most of them hold common too, being software developers; they want to use the right tool for the job.

As we all know what your comment here was all about I'll answer that too, mostly they (the kernel developers, but also I believe we developers in general) have made it clear that a software license is not the right tool for solving a hardware problem. Not only that but Linus is well known for not wanting to solve a non-techincal problem with a technical solution (that's why the kernel API isn't static for example). IMHO that attidude is one of the greatest things about Linux and one of the key's to it's success. However that's exactly what the GPL3 is trying to do with it's 'tivoisation' clauses, it's the wrong tool.

Furthermore this kind of public posturing is now unhelpful to say the least. It really isn't going to change anyones mind, if anything it's going to entrench people further into their views - they disagree, please try to get over it without fanning more flames.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why the UNIX vendors lost market share
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 06:57 PM EDT
They couldn't compete with cheap PCs. Even today, Sun and the remnants of SGI
want obscene amounts of cash for workstations that don't offer significant
benefits over a much cheaper pc. The pc UNIX vendors kept workstation-vendor
prices for their products and lost out as well.

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what hubris
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 11:31 PM EDT
pj, do you remember how you said you decided you wanted to be a tech analyst
when you grow up? well i guess you have. since when did you have any
qualification to coment on the the tech industry? the hubris of a
paralegal/self-
styled journalist comenting on the development methodologies of one of the
world's most succesful software developers (who by the way was able to arrange
an easy trasition from bitkeeper, a trasition only nececary because of some fool

who breached the trust of a developer that had been extremely generous to the
comunity) asountds me. stick o the law, where your at least somewhat qualified.

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A note on the time-line [was] How Much Was the Unix Caldera Bought Actually Worth?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 03 2006 @ 11:31 PM EDT
I recall sitting at a bagel shop in a Mall close to Ohio State University
on an early Fall Saturday in 1993 after buying a copy of "Unix
Today."

Therein I read in an article about the "toping out" of the UNIX
market.

The other contenders were, Microsoft NT and Novell Netware.

Linux??? Still in early development thank you.

Where is MS NT and Netware today?

Toodles!

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Where is HURD?
Authored by: Kanth on Wednesday, October 04 2006 @ 07:42 AM EDT
I guess since the sniping is going to continue... and I'm sure it will be viewed
as a flame.. but I kinda see it as the white elephant in the blogroom ;)

When is HURD coming out and going to be in use? Linus has stated the kernel will
stay GPL2. In doing so he is effectively stating Tivoization will be allowed to
continue.

So.. effectively when do you "abandon" Linux for something "more
free".. is that the plan?

Now that we should all realize what is going on with Linux, are people going to
practice what they preach and switch to something more free. Or are they going
to stay with Linux because it is more "practical" ? Are you willing to
stand by your beliefs and switch to the HURD kernel _today_ because it ensures
more _freedom_? Or are you going to adopt the open source attitude and continue
to use Linux, a product that does not respect your USER freedom because
"HURD doesn't have all the support I want."

I guess I'm curious. Linux is no less free than it was yesterday or a month ago,
but the perception of its freedom is certainly coloring the conversation here.
And there are more attempts to fan the flames.

Where do people stand on this? What is more important?

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End Users Like Open
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 04 2006 @ 10:11 AM EDT
For you "pragmatists" who say there's nothing wrong with closed,
proprietary software, here's what's wrong with it: people don't want it. If you
give them a choice, they'll choose open every time. They wanted Unix until it
stopped being open, and then the market declined precipitously. End users like
open.

I do disagree slightly with your hypothesis a bit. Sure, end users like open,
but what they like even more is standardization. While not perfect, this is
something Linux offered to some extent that the other Unixes didn't/couldn't
offer. That is a big reason why Windows is as big as it is, it's standardization
(and backwards compatibility). Certainly not because it is better.

Just my thoughts
Brian

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Timeline
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 04 2006 @ 11:08 AM EDT

I've posted this before:

In 1995-96 I was consulting some for small businesses and replacing SCO with
Linux. It was a nobrainer.

SCO's Unix business was on a slide well before they bought, whatever it was they
bought, from Novell.

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Damages?
Authored by: Saturn on Wednesday, October 04 2006 @ 05:20 PM EDT
"What if SCO really could establish that it owned the copyrights to System
V, ...then what?"

IANAL but in the uk I'm believe IBM would be able to claim that SCO had done
little or nothing to limit the effect of the billion dollar damage in this case
(by revealing exactly what code was disputed so it could be removed from Linux
if necessary)... therefore the amount of damages
would be significantly reduced.

I think in the US this is called "doctrine of avoidable consequences".
You're obliged to mitigate your own losses...

---
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My own opinion, and very humble one too.
Which is probably why I'm not a lawyer.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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