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SCO's "Dear SCO Partner" Letter
Thursday, January 13 2005 @ 03:59 PM EST

SCO's latest newsletter to business partners is a hoot. They open with the positives, in their eyes. And guess what they mention? That they were the most-searched-for company on Google in 2004:

"SCO just completed its 25th anniversary year of selling UNIX solutions. Looking back on 2004, we saw a very successful Forum event in Las Vegas in August, we a launched more products in 2004 than in any other year since SCO’s history, and we even were ranked as the most searched company on Google in 2004 (http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist.html)."

Of course they are number one on the list of companies searched for. The entire worldwide Free and Open Source community has been relentlessly and doggedly sifting through every bit of evidence they can find to try to defeat them. Groklaw alone could probably make a company number one on that list. That is hardly something a company should desire, however. And we are not alone.

They also cite the Yankee Group's Laura DiDio on how Microsoft offers such wonderful indemnification and, according to her, Linux doesn't. They list the wrong url, being SCO -- "Open Source Software Indemnification Deemed Critical,' Says eChannel Line Daily News (http://www.integratedmar.com/ecl- usa/story.cfm?item=19091) -- but if you go to the site they reference, dropping everything after the .com and search by keyword, you can find the article.

While you are at that site, you might notice one of their articles today is on how adoption of GNU/Linux didn't just ramp up this past year. It leaped. So, does this mean a lot of businessmen don't care about DiDio's recommendations or heed her warnings?

SCO's Dear Partner letter also mentions a solution that they recommend and distribute. Guess what it is? Squid. Yes, my friends, Open Source to the rescue:

Part 1 -- An Introduction to Squid
(Part 2 will appear in next month’s issue of SCO Partner News)

Looking for faster web browsing and reduced internet traffic? Then take a look at Squid, available from SCO Skunkware and 5.0.7 Maintenance Pack 3. Described on the Squid home page, www.squid-cache.org, as "a full-featured web proxy cache", Squid can answer many concerns companies have when their employees are using the internet.

To read the complete article, click HERE http://www.sco.com/partners/news/0501/ixorg_corner.html).

I hope SCO is providing indemnification for their distribution of Squid.

After all, it's licensed under the GPL.

Joke. Joke.

But does that or does that not tell you something about their "legal" arguments about the purported invalidity of the GPL and the "danger" of using Free and Open Source software?

They try to terrorize the business world, to get people to think you can't trust open source software because it is written by God knows who and has purportedly inferior indemnification, and then they not only distribute it themselves, they highlight it in their partner newsletter as a solution, no, as their *preferred* solution, for their partners.

A little bird tells me they are releasing a separate CD chock-full of FOSS applications, those hypocrites. They ship it with their SCO 5.0.6 version of its OS as a separate disk of GPL software that runs with their operating system, and the KDE desktop is part of the package. It would be interesting to know what changes they have made to make it run with their OS and whether they made those changes public.

I have been told that if you sign up to write software for them as an outsider, you work on exactly things like making Mozilla work with their software, which they wouldn't even have to pay for if they hadn't alienated the entire FOSS planet.

The article about accelerating Linux adoption provides some specifics:

As reported in eChannelLine on Jan. 10, AMI-Partners said the open source technology has gained legitimacy from vendors such as Red Hat, HP, Novell and IBM. The end result: Small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) across the planet are expected to invest increasingly in Linux and open source technologies over the next five years.

AMI-Partners, a NYC-based consulting firm specializing in IT, Internet, telecom and business services market intelligence, trends, and strategy with a focus on global SMBs, said growth would be particularly strong in Asian and European markets where public government endorsements and policies are boosting visibility for Linux and open source.

The "Worldwide SMB Linux Forecast" stated that on a worldwide basis the number of Linux-owning SMBs is projected to rise from 1.2 million to 2.7 million businesses -- a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18 per cent. . . .

Other highlights from AMI's report included:

-- Linux desktop installed-base growth will be driven primarily by the mid- market and by larger small businesses over the forecast period, advancing at a rate of 23 per cent;

-- On a worldwide basis 4 per cent of PC-owning SMBs are expected to adopt Linux, representing 6 per cent of the SMB desktop installed base by 2008;

-- Server shipments are expected to grow at a CAGR of 34 per cent, accounting for approximately 6 per cent of the total SMB server installed base by 2008.

MySQL's CEO, Marten Mickos, is interviewed today too, and he says the number one perceived issue in the enterprise when it comes to switching to GNU/Linux is skilled employees. However, while training is sometimes needed, he says it often happens that CEOs find out, when they ask, that they already have plenty of experienced Linux employees, because they use it at home already:

What will be the important trends in the Linux and open source space in 2005?

Mickos: We will see increased growth, faster growth than before, in adoption of open source in the enterprise, not just for MySQL, but across the board. . . . There are more enterprise customers who are ready to take the step because IBM, HP, CA and most of the other big companies are standing behind open source.

Governments are switching too, as this compilation by The Register makes clear, and some of it is a matter of trust. No doubt so-called "trusted computing" makes them nervous and so does Microsoft, only in part because it is a US company. Can you say tipping point?

And here is the ironic part. SCO, back when it was Caldera, was a Linux company. They could be benefitting from this upsurge in Linux adoption. They hopped off the train that was already leaving the station and chose to ride in a horse-driven buggy instead. You know, like the buggies in Central Park? No one really uses horse-drawn buggies anymore to really get around. Now they're just for quaint and old-fashioned tasks when you don't really care about getting anywhere.


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