February 23, 2019

Analysis: Novell Tries to Torpedo SCO Unix IP Claims - page 2

Now: Novell Upstages SCO Earnings Call

  • May 28, 2003
  • By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Ironically, both companies are partly owned by The Canopy Group and their histories are intertwined. Caldera, one of the current SCO's two parent companies, was founded by Ransom Love and Bryan Sparks, former Novell employees who grew frustrated by Novell's refusal to back Linux. They made this move with the blessing and with financial backing of Ray Noorda, who had recently retired as head of Novell.

With Noorda no longer at the helm, the new Novell CEO, Robert Frankenberg, sold the UNIXWare operating system and some rights to the UNIX System V Release 4.2 (SVR4.2) source code to the Santa Cruz Operation, the other parent of today's SCO in October 1995.

In return, Novell got enough SCO stock to give Novell a 17% equity stake in the company and Novell continued to get UNIX intellectual property royalties. At the same time, Novell authorized HP to make a next-generation 64-bit UNIX implementation. Novell made these moves because, on their own, they had been unable to turn a profit from UNIX.

Since then, SCO and Caldera merged and after first supporting the merger of UNIX and Linux, SCO decided to turn against Linux.

Novell also had a change of heart. At their annual Brainshare conference, Novell announced that they would be producing their own Linux and would support NetWare services both on Linux and Netware kernels. According to Schuster, Novell Linux, with the ability to support Netware applications, will be out in about eighteen months.

In addition, Novell is porting their GroupWise client to the Linux desktop and is now supporting open source development at their Novell Forge site.

So it is that SCO, founded in part by former Novell staffers and Linux supporters, is now anti-Linux while Novell, which turned its back on Linux, is now an ardent Linux supporter.

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