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SCO Sells Out, Oracle Stops Selling

  • April 19, 2011
  • By Sean Kerner

Another week and another interesting set of events on the Linux Planet. Once again, SCO made headlines and Oracle finally threw in the towel on OpenOffice.org.

1. SCO Sells Out

After all the legal battles and courtroom drama surrounding SCO, the company finally sold out. This past week UnXis acquired the SCO Unix assets, pledging to invest $25 million to push the company forward.

It all seems like a bad dream doesn't it?

UnXis is backed by Stephen Norris Capital Partners, a group that has been propping up SCO over the past several years. While the new owners of SCO's Unix business will push SCO products forward, at this point, they aren't taking any interest in the SCO litigation.

Apparently, UnXis Inc. has no involvement whatsoever in the litigation matters, including SCO vs. IBM. Now that doesn't necessarily mean that will remain true, and it doesn't necessarily mean other SCO elements won't continue to try and appeal verdicts, as they have for years.

It does mean a new chapter in this saga, where the players are changing and so are the names. It's not likely, however, that SCO or UnXis will ever re-emerge as a legal or business threat to Linux, but one thing is for sure: The SCO story isn't over, yet.

2. Oracle Backs Out of Selling OpenOffice.org (aka Stick a Fork In It, OpenOffice.org is Done)

Oracle officially announced it will be giving OpenOffice.org back to the community and stop its commercial backing of the project.

Who didn't see this one coming?

Months after nearly all the major players contributing to OpenOffice.org forked the project to create LibreOffice, Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) finally saw the writing on the wall. Why it took so long to come to its decision is a mystery.

It is clear that all the major Linux distros are in the processing of including LibreOffice for their upcoming releases. Novell, which had been a major contributor of OpenOffice.org, now has its own commercial support for LibreOffice as well.

Instead of working with the community, Oracle stubbornly held on to OpenOffice.org as its contributors and community slipped away to LibreOffice. At this point, OpenOffice.org's greatest value is likely the copyright for the OpenOffice.org name.

Whether or not Oracle's community, such as it is, and LibreOffice will now be able to come together and end the fork remains unknown, although it is highly unlikely.

LibreOffice has already staked out its own path, and so far it seems to be the big winner in the battle with Oracle.

3. Novell Issues Final SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 Release

Enterprise users tend to standardize their Linux deployments on a particular release and then stick with it. That's why long-term support is so critical.

This past week, Novell issued SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 Service Pack 4, marking the final update from SUSE Linux Enterprise 10. The Service Pack itself includes patches and updated hardware support.

Perhaps more important though is the fact that Novell is now extending the life of SUSE Linux Enterprise 10. The general support of SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 is set to run out in 2013. Novell is now offering a Long Term Service Pack Support (LTSS) providing an additional three years of support, or 10 total years of support.

Red Hat also has up to 10 years of support for its enterprise distributions. Canonical's Long Term Support (LTS) releases for Ubuntu, however, provide only five years of support on the server. Anyone want to bet that we'll see Canonical providing extended support some time soon?

4. Debian Renews Its Leadership

While there are plenty of leaders-for-life in the Linux world (think of Shuttleworth, Torvalds and so on), the Debian Project Leader (DPL) is not one of them.

Unlike most of its peers, Debian elects its leader. That's right, no corporate overseer hires a leader and then drop ships them in.

Stefano Zacchiroli was first elected Debian Project Leader in 2010, and he has now been re-elected to his post for 2011. The 2011 results shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, as he was unopposed.

Zacchiroli helped to oversee the release of Squeeze, and he is now leading the charge for the Wheezy release. While some might argue Debian isn't a relevant distro anymore, Zacchiroli is continuing in his mission to prove them wrong, again.

5. Fedora 16 Gets a Name

Unlike Debian, Fedora doesn't elect its leader in an open vote. The Fedora community isn't locked into distros named after Toy Story characters, however. Instead, the Fedora community gets to pick the name of the distro.

Normally, the process for a Fedora release name is a tame affair. This time around though, there was some active campaigning for the name 'Beefy Miracle.'

Ultimately, the Fedora community did not vote for the 'Miracle'; instead they opted for the name Verne. No, that's not a particularly 'Natty' name, but then again, Fedora is not known for its whacky release names.

The Fedora 16 release isn't even the next major release for Fedora either. Fedora 15 is due out first on May 24. In case you were wondering, Fedora 15 carries the name, Lovelock. So yeah, there will be no Beefy Miracle following the Lovelock.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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