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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.

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