[Talk] SCO vs. IBM - the gloves come off...

Greg 'groggy' Lehey Greg.Lehey at auug.org.au
Wed Jun 18 14:03:18 EST 2003

On Wednesday, 18 June 2003 at 13:07:01 +1000, Con Zymaris wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 18, 2003 at 12:05:04PM +0930, Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:
>> On Tuesday, 17 June 2003 at  9:54:35 +1000, Con Zymaris wrote:
>>> On Tue, Jun 17, 2003 at 09:20:32AM +1000, David Purdue wrote:
>>>> In its latest press release, SCO announces:
>>>> "SCO Announces Immediate Termination of IBM's Right to Use and Distribute
>>>> AIX Software and Files for Permanent Injunction"
>>>> (http://ir.sco.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=111534)
>>>> SCO wants IBM to immediately stop shipping AIX and return all copies of
>>>> System V source code to SCO.
>>> I wonder if this will ultimately lead to the more rapid diminution of (non
>>> Solaris) traditional vendor UNIX(tm).
>> Why should it?  There's no reason to assume that IBM will even stop
>> shipping AIX, let alone other vendors.  An interesting point, though
> my reasoning...
> If I was IBM, I would consider the fact that another firm (SCO) had some
> level of control over such a critical component (AIX) of my product
> (POWER-based servers) that it could derail my business strategy in that
> market, a _major_ negative. I would much prefer to move to a platform
> (Linux) that no other company can make legitimate claims over, and for
> which we do not need to sign licencing contracts for, but which will run
> on our expensively R&D'd hardware.

Well, that's exactly what they're doing.  But I don't think that SCO
will have much effect on that decision.  Note, of course, that SCO is
forcing them to do exactly what SCO is complaining about: dropping
UNIX in favour of Linux.

> If I was a user, I would consider the fact that my vendor (IBM)
> could be potentially stopped from shipping product (POWER-based
> servers) that I have strategically chosen to rely upon, due to some
> distant-cousin IP claim by a party (SCO) that I have no dealings
> with. I like the hardware from the vendor, and want to continue with
> it, but want an OS that can be guaranteed not to have a 'licence
> revoked' situation arise, ever. The only OS that begins to offer the
> features that AIX has on that hardware platform and offers this new
> imperative, is Linux.

That's only one aspect.  Other obvious ones are that SCO is spreading
FUD about Linux, that typical AIX users probably look down on Linux
anyway, and that any change involves a lot of work.  Recall the talk
by Peter Gigliotti at the NOIE seminar, where he spoke about exactly
this transition.  In the long term I expect that IBM will drop AIX,
but in the short term it's a pain for all concerned.

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