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Caldera And SCO Deal Nearly Finalized


Linux distributor Caldera is one step closer to purchasing SCO’s Unix business lock, stock, and barrel. Sources close to the negotiations report that Caldera top brass and board of directors, along with SCO’s CEO Doug Michels, have signed off on the deal. Only SCO’s board needs to put pen to paper to make the deal happen. SCO hopes to announce the done deal on Tuesday, July 25, the same day that SCO is due to announce its earnings for its fiscal third quarter.

Rumors of the deal have caused SCO stock volume to increase several times above its usual midweek. Despite that, SCO and Caldera’s stock prices have shown little movement. No dollar figure on the deal was available at press time.

Particulars regarding the deal remain sketchy. What seems certain, however, is that Caldera will end up with SCO’s e-Business Server division. In turn, that means that Caldera will get to use the Unix trademark; both shipping versions of UnixWare; SCO Open Server 5 Unix; and oversight of the older, no-longer-commercial versions of Unix. It also seems that Tarantella, SCO’s remote application middleware, may yet end up going to Caldera as well, but sources were less clear on this point.

Caldera also is expected to pick up SCO’s other Unix partnerships, including the IBM-dominated Monterey project devoted to creating a universal 32/64-bit Unix that will run on Intel’s IA-64 Itanium.

While some observers have commented that a Linux company suddenly becoming a Unix power could upset such alliances, Caldera already has partnership relationships with IBM of its own. IBM is investing in Linux for the long haul, as further evidenced by its announcement Friday to spend $200 million in Europe over the next four years to set up Linux development centers.

It’s unclear if Caldera will continue to enhance and maintain the existing SCO product lines, although from a customer standpoint, that would seem to make sense. Given Caldera’s open-source record, it also seems likely that some SCO Unix source code potentially could be released under an open-source license. Given that Caldera will own the Unix trademark, don’t be surprised if Caldera Linux ends up being sold under the Unix brand. It’s seems a given that elements of the SCO Unix family will be incorporated into Caldera’s OpenLinux lines and vice versa.

Interesting times are ahead as Caldera and SCO prepare to formally marry Unix and Linux.

A version of this story first appeared in Smart Partner.

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