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A Blast from the Past - Updated
Tuesday, January 02 2007 @ 03:35 AM EST

I found an article from 2001 that presents information I had not seen before, and since I've seen a lot of information about Caldera's history, it surprised me. I think it relates directly to IBM's Motion for Summary Judgment, well... several of them, actually, certainly including the Motion for Summary Judgment on SCO's Interference Claims. So here are some highlights about Caldera's 2001 Unix and Linux development environment, the Caldera Developer Network. The article begins like this:
Caldera International Inc., has launched Caldera Developer Network.

Caldera developers, including Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs), corporate in-house developers and members of the Open Source developer community, will have early access to UNIX and Linux technologies, allowing them to develop on UNIX, on Linux or on a combined UNIX and Linux platform.

I guess that one little piece of information would come in handy in Daimler Chrysler's case too, where SCO pretended that the AT&T licenses forbad Unix licensees from contributing to Linux at all. But it also directly rebuts statements in SCO's Memo in Opposition to IBM's Motion for Summary Judgment on SCO's Interference Claims.

For example, SCO claimed this:

19. Contrary to IBM assertions at paragraph 50 of the Motion, and elsewhere, SCO did not encourage its partners or its customers to use or support Linux instead of Unix. Rather, SCO consistently positioned Linux as a complimentary solution to UNIX, and something that could be used in addition to (not in place of) UNIX.

I think it's safe to say that if you set up a Unix/Linux codevelopment center to give Linux developers early access to Unix, you might be viewed as encouraging Linux. IBM in paragraph 50 said:

50. SCO supported the migration of Computer Associates, Oracle and Intel products to Linux, partnering with each of these companies to provide Linux solutions to their end users.

According to this article, they would help anyone.

Here's what Caldera offered the world:

"Members of the Caldera Developer Network have unique access to the resources, tools and support they need to build applications and drivers, and to certify on standards-compliant Caldera platforms," said Alan Milligan, vice president of engineering at Caldera.

"They have the power to graduate their products through all stages of UNIX and Linux development and implementation, and then to take their products to market."

"The current economical climate is screaming for a more direct technological solution to accelerate a product's journey to market," said John H. Terpstra, vice president of technology at Caldera. "Caldera provides just that to members of the Developer Network."

So much for a duty to keep things super secret, eh? Here's what was offered:

The Developer Network merges the existing SCO and Caldera developer programs and encourages new membership by eliminating a registration fee.

Membership benefits include utilizing Caldera's new online partner support services at no cost. More extensive, fee-based support services, including migration assistance, engineering and educational services, are available. In addition, members have access to the private developer lounge.

In this password-protected area, developer partners can purchase products directly at discounts and receive free online technical support and other services.

No Chinese Wall, I note. The nice part of this discovery is I believe John Terpstra is already on the witness list. He gave IBM a declaration [PDF] already in connection with IBM's Interference Motion, as you will recall, after which SCO dropped its allegations about interference with a conference he hosted. So there is no reason he can't speak on this subject as well, I would assume. In any case, the article itself speaks volumes.

Update: Here's another 2001 article, "Linux to surpass Unix 'within five years'', by Andrew Orlowski that gives the lie to the idea that Caldera never promoted Linux instead of Unix:

SCO users do like to grumble, but the financials show that the user base is remarkably resilient. In fact, it's almost recession proof, which must have appealed to Caldera which just in the nick of time, successfully bid for the business.

As we pointed out at the time, that left SCO buying a technology it had promised to make obsolete. Or as Caldera's April Q-10 SEC filing put it, it owned "products with duplicative functionality".

Indeed. When Caldera launched in the UK four years ago, it aimed both barrels at SCO's Open Server, telling us that it represented the low hanging fruit for its own OpenLinux distro. All of a sudden, Open Server accounts for over 80 per cent of Caldera's software revenue. But we suspect the good Caldera folk are mightily relieved to have their hands on that income, for if Caldera hadn't made the bid a year ago, it would by now be a classic bubble economy basket case....

Caldera's strategy now looks like this. De-emphasize UnixWare (now branded Open UNIX™ - with a space) as a datacentre candidate, but continue to sell it on its strength as a Linux application host, using the native LKP (Linux Kernel Personality) layer....

Open Server regains some respectability. For a few years, SCO has sought to put Open Server in maintenance mode, nudging customers towards to UnixWare...

"In two to five years Linux will surpass where Unix is now," reckon Caldera.

Having acquired the Unix-on-Intel franchise, then, Caldera has bravely declared the franchise obsolete. The task its set itself is persuading its customers that they'll be obsoleted more gracefully by remaining inside the tent than out.

Ah, how pesky the Internet is. The truth is always out there.

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