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
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."
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