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VNU Net/CRN: Caldera closes in on SCO

Jul 26, 2000, 17:29 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nick Booth)

By Nick Booth, Computer Reseller News

Linux vendor Caldera Systems is reportedly close to buying Unix pioneer SCO in a move that would give it access to a well-developed reseller channel in the UK as well as many of SCO's applications.

SCO's server division would cost Caldera about $70m (£46m), according to sources familiar with the deal. Caldera would gain possession of SCO Openserver, the Unix-on-Intel operating system that established SCO as a major IT player.

It will also get Unixware 7.0, the foundation technology for Project Monterey which was the IBM/SCO version of Unix designed for Intel's 64bit processors. IBM has launched a £200m initiative to push Linux in Europe.

Caldera would also have access to Vision2K, which provides terminal emulation and allows Microsoft Windows to access applications that use X-Windows and the Network File System.

Barry Walker, UK regional director at SCO, was unable to comment on the speculation owing to Wall Street regulations, but some of the members of SCO's channel were less circumspect.

"It's very exciting; good news for us and for the channel," said Sean Fane, director at Caldera distributor Interquad. "It already has an effective technology story. This could put the support infrastructure in place."

Jonathan Ellis, sales and marketing director at Open Computing, SCO's biggest UK distributor, was more sceptical. "It's too early to say how it will affect us," he said.

Analyst Robin Bloor said the deal would be good business for both Caldera and SCO. "SCO's market share has been eaten away by Linux, while Caldera needs the channel," he said. "The whole Linux/Unix market is turning into a juggernaut and the vendors will have to position themselves."

[ First published in Computer Reseller News ]

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