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SCO Forum 2008 Announced by Hunsaker; Where's Darl? - Updated 2Xs
Monday, April 07 2008 @ 02:34 PM EDT

If this isn't the strangest SCO press release yet, I'll eat all 6,000 + 1,000 pages of OOXML (scroll down for the photo). All the country comments, too. Hold the Norway Standards' self justification. That'd be hard to swallow. And anyway, I have standards.

Hmm. You are what you eat, they say, so perhaps I'd best retract this offer. But it is strange. First, Jeff Hunsaker, president and CEO COO of SCO Operations, not SCO Group, makes the announcement for the SCO Group, along with Stephen Norris, who is to date nothing to SCO, since the bankruptcy court has yet to approve any involvement by him and may never do so. But where is Darl? He's head of SCO Group, so are things happening inside SCO they aren't telling us or the bankruptcy court? (Note that he's listed as a keynote speaker at http://www.sco.com/2008forum/agenda.html .)

And second, Hunsaker makes a remarkable statement, that not only will SCO Group announce its new strategy and new management team at SCO Forum 2008, he reveals he has already been traveling about, telling customers about SCO's new direction:

"This will be perhaps one of the most significant SCO Forum events in company history," said Jeff Hunsaker, President and Chief Operating Officer of SCO Operations. "We are now anticipating our exit from bankruptcy and charting a new course for the company. Forum will be an excellent opportunity to communicate these developments to our customers and partners, while reaffirming our long-term commitment to them," said Hunsaker. "I have been meeting with customers from around the world over the past few months, and they are very pleased with the strategy and direction of our product roadmap that will be outlined at Forum."

Excuse me, but since the rest of us must wait until SCO Forum opens on August 10, is he actually saying he is giving advance inside information to customers about a public company that we, the investing public, and the bankruptcy court, can't yet know about? That doesn't even address the fact that SCO's lawyers just told the bankruptcy court, according to our eyewitnesses, that they have pulled back the reorganization plan and are working on another version, but they might need an extension of time beyond five weeks, because the deal isn't actually struck yet. Is the extension so they can reach August 10 with their plans unrevealed to the general public? How can Norris talk about SCO and say "We" are committed to our customers? This doesn't smell quite right.

So... what are they telling these customers that the judge in bankruptcy court and SCO's creditors don't know? Anything we might be interested in? And if they already know, why are they telling the court they don't? And which is the true story? Actually, it seems this year only "current SCO customers and Registered Partners" may register to attend, so maybe we won't learn everything in August even.

Love the touch about August 10. That will be the anniversary of the ruling in Utah that dashed all of SCO's litigation fantasies.

[ Update: Maureen O'Gara is now telling this tale, after admitting that SCO just told her that the new deal isn't yet finalized:

Things are supposedly looking even brighter than before.

The new plan abandons the idea of giving SCO a $95 million line of credit to draw on to chase its legal anti-Linux ambitions against Novell and IBM et al and substitutes a straight infusion in support of its Unix and mobile interests as well as its myriad court cases – and no matter what they tell the bankruptcy court on or about May 11 when they file the new plan you should probably consider that legal fund a blank check.

They want blood drawn and heads to roll.

One of SCO’s many critics, Al Petrosky, who was at the short 20-minute hearing, reminded us to tell you that Stephen Norris, the co-founder of the Carlyle Group and more recently Norris Capital Partners, the billionaire facilitator behind the deal, is himself a lawyer – and besides all the legal talent he can buy – should be able to appraise SCO’s case himself.

Um. Lovely. Whose heads would that be? Interesting motives. Might some take that as a threat? And interesting bedfellows. Al feeding info to Maureen again, I see. I don't usually link to her, but since she claims this is straight from the horse's mouth, I thought it worth mentioning. (It's here, if you must: http://soa.sys-con.com/author/2390ogaralinuxbusinessweek.htm ) End update.]

[ Update 2: Here's what SCO's General Counsel, Ryan Tibbitts, told Provo, Utah's The Daily Herald about the new deal to come:

Instead of lending the company $95 million to fund its ongoing litigation with Novell, IBM and others, buying $2 million in SCO stock and paying down $3 million of SCO's prepetition debt, Stephen Norris Capital Partners now wants to buy SCO's assets as part of the new deal, according to SCO General Counsel Ryan Tibbitts, who was at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing in Wilmington, Del., on Wednesday.

"We will not be pursuing the proposed reorganization plan because the terms of the deal are changing. We will have another reorganization plan that's somewhat similar, but tracks whatever the new terms are," Tibbitts said. "We're working with Stephen Norris on a deal that's better for all. Some part of it may be an asset purchase, but we're not at liberty to talk about details yet."

*May* be? That's not for sure either, that it will be an asset sale? So what is the new press release about? End Update 2.]

Here's the press release in full:

******************************

New Investors and SCO management team will outline company strategy to drive customer and partner opportunities forward

LINDON, Utah, April 7, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The SCO Group, Inc., (Pink Sheets: SCOXQ), a leading provider of UNIX(R) software technology and mobile services, today announced that SCO Tec Forum 2008 will be held August 10th - 13th at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. SCO Forum, in its 22nd consecutive year, is an opportunity for key customers and partners to come together and hear strategy and direction from company executives. Stephen Norris and Mark Robbins of Stephen Norris Capital Partners (SNCP) who together recently committed to sponsor a reorganization plan of The SCO Group Inc. ("SCO"), will be present to speak with customers about their commitment to SCO's UNIX business. Key topics at this year's Forum event will include introduction and demonstration of SCO's virtualization strategy, UNIX product roadmaps and direction from new members of SCO's management team. SCO Tec Forum 2008 will also include many technical breakout sessions and a hands-on training on Day Three.

"This will be perhaps one of the most significant SCO Forum events in company history," said Jeff Hunsaker, President and Chief Operating Officer of SCO Operations. "We are now anticipating our exit from bankruptcy and charting a new course for the company. Forum will be an excellent opportunity to communicate these developments to our customers and partners, while reaffirming our long-term commitment to them," said Hunsaker. "I have been meeting with customers from around the world over the past few months, and they are very pleased with the strategy and direction of our product roadmap that will be outlined at Forum."

"It is important for SCO customers to understand that we are committed to provide them with world-class products and services," said Steve Norris, Chairman of Stephen Norris Capital Partners. "SCO Tec Forum is an important opportunity for my team to get to know SCO's customers and partners better. We have been impressed with the loyalty and commitment we have seen from SCO's customers and partners during our due diligence, and we will reciprocate," said Norris.

SCO Tec Forum 2008 is open to current SCO customers and Registered Partners who may register for the event at http://www.sco.com/2008forum/register.html

About SCO

The SCO Group (PINKSHEETS: SCOXQ.PK) is a leading provider of UNIX software technology and mobile services. SCO offers UnixWare for enterprise applications and SCO OpenServer for small to medium sized businesses. SCO's innovative and reliable solutions help customers grow their businesses everyday. SCO owns the core UNIX operating system, originally developed by AT&T/Bell Labs and is the exclusive licensor to UNIX-based system software providers. The Me Inc. product line focuses on creating mobile platforms, services and solutions for businesses and enhances the productivity of mobile workers.

Headquartered in Lindon, Utah, SCO has a worldwide network of resellers and developers. SCO Global Services provides reliable localized support and services to partners and customers. For more information on SCO products and services, visit http://www.sco.com/.

SCO and the associated logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of The SCO Group, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Microsoft and Windows are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

About SCO Forum

SCO Forum, in its 22nd consecutive year, is an annual technology event hosted by The SCO group in which partners and customers come together to network and share ideas while receiving product roadmaps and direction from company executives. This years Forum 2008 event is exclusive to registered SCO customers and partners. More details will be available soon regarding the specific location, times, agenda and details at http://www.sco.com/.

Forward Looking Statements

The statements contained in this press release regarding (i) the Company's exit from bankruptcy and new course as a company, (ii) the commitment of Stephen Norris Capital Partners to the customers and partners of SCO, and (iii) other statements that are not historical facts, are all forward-looking statements and are made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties. We wish to advise readers that a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from historical results or those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to developments with respect to SNCP's due diligence investigation, the negotiation of definitive agreements with SNCP, financing arrangements, confirmation of a plan of reorganization, the outcomes and developments in our Chapter 11 case, court rulings in the bankruptcy proceedings, the impact of the bankruptcy proceedings or other pending litigation, developments in our litigation, our cash balances and available cash, continued competitive pressure on the Company's operating system products, which could impact the Company's results of operations, adverse developments in and increased or unforeseen legal costs related to the Company's litigation, the inability to devote sufficient resources to the development and marketing of the Company's products, including the Me Inc. mobile services and development platform, and the possibility that customers and companies with whom the Company has formed partnerships will decide to terminate or reduce their relationships with the Company. These and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated are discussed in more detail in the Company's periodic and current filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2007, Form 10-Q for the quarter ended January 31, 2008, and future filings with the SEC. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which such statements are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events or circumstances arising after such date.

The SCO Group, Inc.


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