On 14 May 2003, SCO sent a letter to about 1,500 large enterprises to caution them that their Linux code may contain SCO intellectual property. In addition, SCO announced its withdrawal from the Linux market (based on Caldera's Linux distribution) although it will continue to support Linux customers. SCO will refocus its business on Web services.
SCO claims enterprises may be liable if their Linux production systems run some of SCO's Unix System V code or libraries. In March 2003, SCO sued IBM, whose Linux code allegedly contained Unix elements, and threatened to revoke IBM's AIX license. Although Gartner has reservations on the merits of the case, don't take it lightly:
Gartner believes that SCO's motives include:
Gartner believes SCO made a strategic error when it chose to defend Unix on Intel over Linux, against market trends. SCO is building a new Web services framework on the upcoming Unix System V v.6, and wants to steer OpenServer, UnixWare and SCO Linux customers to an expanded Web application programming interface. To support its legal claims against the Linux industry, SCO had to withdraw its Linux distribution from the market. But SCO damaged its own credibility and cut off the one potential avenue of high growth for its framework.
Analytical Source: George Weiss, Gartner Research
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