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osOpinion: Endgame for SCO

Jul 13, 2000, 05:02 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Zedlewski)

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"In a truly extreme example of the "blame anybody but reality" complex that tends to engulf Wall Street when earnings turn bad, the Santa Cruz Operation recently pre-announced bleak third-quarter earnings and blamed the results on "lingering year 2000 issues." I couldn't help but think of a Simpsons episode where Skinner blames the fire in his house on "the aurora borealis, at this time of year, localized entirely in the kitchen." Analysts have been commenting for over a year that Linux would wipe out SCO's core Unix business, and the company has wholly denied that these results are anything but a short term dip. But, tagged on after the standard expressions of feigned hope, the management team added a note that they had retained the investment company Chase H&Q to explore "future directions" for the firm, including possible "strategic combinations"."

"The most likely scenario seems to have SCO spinning off Tarantella (probably as an immediate acquisition target), and looking for a Linux vendor to merge with the rest. If they could find some more VC cash, I think that TurboLinux could be a fairly straightforward candidate, as they could hone their focus in on Linux clustering, already their strongest point and a very promising market niche. I don't want to harp on the details, because I discussed similar scenarios here and here. Let's look instead at the more interesting, more fun possibilities."

"SCO as we know it, as an independent Unix vendor, is already dead. But, once we've admitted that, we can see a huge range of exciting options that can drag the remaining bits and pieces of the company out of the 1980s and into, well, the future."

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