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osOpinion: SCO and Linux

Sep 02, 1999, 14:47 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Zedlewski)

[ Thanks to Kelly McNeill for this link. ]

"How should existing UNIX vendors deal with the rise of Linux?" For now, though, let's focus on SCO as a case study."

"Where they stand now: SCO is, in terms of volume, the world's largest distributor of UNIX Unlike virtually every other UNIX vendor, their OpenServer and UnixWare run on commodity Intel hardware, not proprietary RISC chips. This had been the key to the company's rapid expansion, and it places them more directly in competition with Windows, NetWare, and Linux than, say, Sun, which retains the benefit of their own high-end hardware."

"The problem: SCO's low-end offerings are positioned as low-end file/print/web servers. At this level, what advantage can they offer over Linux systems? Just the Tarantella-based WebTop administration system, the CDE (if for some ungodly reason you consider this an advantage over KDE, GNOME, or XFCE), and the SCO brand name (which does swing a lot more weight than the Linux name in many corporations). As Linux becomes better-known, better-trusted, and easier to use, UnixWare's advantages at the departmental level quickly go out the window. Linux also continues to improve at a pace far faster than any other OS on the market today. On top of that, companies which insist on a non-open- source solution will be able to get Windows 2000. Win2k supports the same theoretical scalability as UnixWare (32 processors), aims to improve reliability, and offers a brand name that certainly dwarfs SCO's. In the next two years, we'll see a dramatic drop-off in sales of UnixWare, I absolutely guarantee it."

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