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Caldera Businesses

SCO Will Pay You Not to Use Linux 513

Verteiron writes: "As if things weren't weird enough already, SCO is now planning to pay companies to migrate away from Linux.. even if it's not toward UNIX. According to the summary over at Groklaw, SCO will provide 'financial incentives and discounts' to users that switch to 'other operating systems that have a stronger IP basis than Linux.' This doubly amusing when considered together with the following statements straight from SCO's 8-K form filed with the SEC: '...plans to expand SCO's intellectual property licensing program to allow for migration alternatives to end users... and continued efforts to protect SCO's UNIX intellectual property rights and SCO's belief that the private investment will enhance SCO's ability to pursue currently pending legal actions... SCO has a history of unprofitability and has only realized revenue from its SCOsource licensing initiative during the last two quarters...'"
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SCO Will Pay You Not to Use Linux

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  • by gooberguy ( 453295 ) <gooberguy@gmail.com> on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:24PM (#7421134)
    Where do I sign up?
  • I love SCO (Score:3, Funny)

    by PorkCharSui ( 583216 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:24PM (#7421142)
    Holy mother of God, this story keeps getting better and better.
    • by KingDaveRa ( 620784 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:29PM (#7421208) Homepage
      They've gone totally loony now!

      "Here's 10k towards a new server for you to run Windows 2003 server on"

      WHAT?! I think a few companies should maybe go take the money and buy some IBM servers running a certain IBM UNIX. That'd be one in the eye for SCO. "Its not Linux guys, honest!"
      • Re:I love SCO (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Zemran ( 3101 )
        Every time I think 'they cannot get much worse' they go and prove me wrong. If the company was run by a single person he would be wearing a straight jacket by now. How can a group of people come up with strategy like this?

        I think there will be a lot of take up from companies that were not really going to use Linux anyway and those that are going to use Linux will do so anyway.

        How this will effect the standing in the coming court case is anyones guess.
        • There's some psychological term for it, but I think this poster [despair.com] pretty much sums it up.
        • Re:I love SCO (Score:5, Interesting)

          by NoMoreNicksLeft ( 516230 ) <`john.oyler' `at' `comcast.net'> on Friday November 07, 2003 @11:31PM (#7422427) Journal
          You don't understand. Let me explain.

          For years, people like myself would complain about dos or windows, and how much software cost. And we'd here whiny assed comments about how "if you don't like it, write your own".

          Do not be confused, myself, I couldn't even contribute to linux, let alone write any significant portion of it on my own. But someone did, following that sarcastic advice. And lo and behold, it was better software.

          Now, we have them running scared. We're not hostages anymore. And they are doing whatever it takes, to turn back time, to when we were. If they can buy judges, laws, or legislators, they will. If they have to do a svengali on some little crackpot Utah outfit, to persuade them to be cannonfodder in this war, they will.

          The thing that scares me, is what if this tactic works somehow? Everyone here bitches and moans about how it makes no logical sense, that there could be no justice in it. Me, I worry that those were never necessities in the first place, when big money is in the courtroom.
    • X-Box? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lispy ( 136512 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:48PM (#7421395) Homepage
      Make em bleed! Buy an XBox. That way you can still run Linux and switch to a platform with more IP (whatever they mean by that, since Linux is copyrighted anyways!) That way you can screw SCO and Microsoft altogether. Maybe this is all about getting rid of Sony, or am I taking this too far? ;-)
  • w000! (Score:4, Funny)

    by devphaeton ( 695736 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:24PM (#7421143)
    I have 5 FreeBSD boxes running.

    Where do i sign up?
    • Re:w000! (Score:3, Funny)

      by Brandybuck ( 704397 )
      I've only got 4 FreeBSD boxen running. But it's no skin off my back in install dozens more! Heck, this is easier than collecting boxtops for a secret decoder ring...
  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) * <skennedy@AAAtpno ... inus threevowels> on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:24PM (#7421148) Homepage
    Ok, seriously, who thinks the underwear gnomes have a better bussiness plan?
  • Sweet (Score:5, Funny)

    by Illserve ( 56215 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:24PM (#7421151)
    I don't run Linux on my wristwatch. Where's my check?

  • by thrillseeker ( 518224 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:25PM (#7421152)
    Remind me again how much Microsoft "invested" in SCO?
  • interesting... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PepsiProgrammer ( 545828 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:25PM (#7421156)
    Depending on the sum, I could be convinced to go BSD I suppose...

    Or better yet, if they pay me enough to buy an apple.
    • by __aavhli5779 ( 690619 ) * on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:30PM (#7421216) Journal
      I wonder if they took into account the possibility of users switching away to another free *NIX.

      Assuming they did, that makes it even more clear how much of their attack is focused on the GPL itself. BSD-licensed software may be free, but it can be added to any proprietary system with the sole provision that the copyrights are maintained and there is no warranty of fitness for any particular purpose. True "free software" is obviously what scares SCO and their puppet masters.

      That's assuming they considered that possibility. Knowing how out-of-touch SCO's executives have proven themselves to be, there's a good chance they didn't.
      • by RoLi ( 141856 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @09:25PM (#7421947)
        I wonder if they took into account the possibility of users switching away to another free *NIX.

        I wonder what SCO has to do that people stop believing them.

        "Hey, we have proof that IBM violated our IP, honest!"

        "Hey, we have proof that we own all versions of Unix, honest!"

        "Hey, we have proof that Linux is just a modified version of Unix, honest!"

        "Hey, we pay you a lot of money if you migrate away from Linux, honest!"

        Seriously: I think all the "Hey, I'll migrate to FreeBSD and stick it to the man" people here should cancel their E-Mail account immediately because they are in very serious danger of falling for Nigeran scam.

        tehdely, when Darl McBride says he wants to launder 10 million, you get 20% and 10% are for "expenses in the transaction", would you also believe it?

  • At last... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by __aavhli5779 ( 690619 ) * on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:26PM (#7421162) Journal
    Nice to see some confirmation finally that SCO is not in the business of selling software, and has only the destruction of Linux as its objective.

    This should clear the air a bit and help wake up those poor souls who still think that the SCO Group is some sort of software company, and not a lawsuit factory with a worthless, deprecated UNIX implementation on hand that they're not even developing to any useful degree any more.

    And on the speculative front, I'll refuse to be 100% sure that Microsoft and/or Sun are behind SCO's actions until I see some sort of paper trail, but this makes me sure enough.
    • Sell SCO short? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Russ Nelson ( 33911 )
      I've been thinking of selling SCO short, because they OBVIOUSLY cannot win this lawsuit. However ... if the endgame is that Microsoft buys SCO, then selling SCO short would be a mistake.
  • by DunbarTheInept ( 764 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:26PM (#7421164) Homepage

    switch to 'other operating systems that have a stronger IP basis than Linux.'

    Good luck finding one. FreeBSD is equal to linux in this regard, and everything else is less.

  • by scotch ( 102596 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:26PM (#7421167) Homepage
    4 or 5 years ago during the dot.bomb days.

    VC weenie: What's your business plan?
    Darl McB: Pay people to switch from an OS we don't own to others we don't own.
    VC weenie: Here's 5 million dollars - can I be on your board?

  • by drgroove ( 631550 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:26PM (#7421172)
    Microsoft-funded initiative from SCO?

    I *really* hope that IBM either aquires or buries this company. If MS is so overly interested in SCO, isn't there a threat that MS could purchase SCO? What if SCO *wants* to be purchased by MS? What would happen to Linux if MS owned the rights to UNIX? If IBM doesn't aquire them, perhaps RedHat, or Novell... any company other than MS.
    • by flossie ( 135232 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:37PM (#7421293) Homepage
      What would happen to Linux if MS owned the rights to UNIX?

      Development would cease while al the Linux developers chatted on Slashdot about the impending anti-trust cases against Microsoft launched across the globe.

      Seriously, there isn't the remotest possibility that Microsoft could buy SCO if it would actually have a measurable effect. Of course, that is all predicated on the notion that SCO and its "IP" does actually count for something. Personally, I don't think it would make the slightest difference. IBM/SGI/SUN/etc. already have the rights to the stuff that matters and any new owners of SCO would not be able to withdraw those rights on a whim.

    • "What if SCO *wants* to be purchased by MS? What would happen to Linux if MS owned the rights to UNIX?"

      There seems to be lot of confusion over this. SCO does not own UNIX, and if Microsft were to buy SCO they would not own UNIX either. Novell holds the patents and the OpenGroup owns the trademark.
  • by Feyr ( 449684 ) *
    2 dollars rebate on this brand new 1U server running windows 2003 server edition!
  • by wuulfgar ( 703966 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:27PM (#7421179)
    Use *anything* other than Linux. Note the biggest discount is Windows.

    So, pay SCO only $299.00 for Linux.
    But stop using Linux. Hmmm, so why the $299? Move on.

    Start using Windows.

    And this helps SCO how? You're not using their products. Oh, but you paid $299 for a product (Linux) they claim infringes on something of theirs, but then stop using the allegedly infringing product.

  • It must be pretty good stuff!
  • I will happily move my 586 to Solaris X86 if SCO is willing to pay for it. Why not? It will simply drain them.
  • by tekiegreg ( 674773 ) * <tekieg1-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:29PM (#7421205) Homepage Journal
    Doing a Carrot instead of stick strategy will work a little better for SCO to accomplish their means. Granted lawyers = $500 - $2000/hr whereas user incentives = $500/user maximum (thinking Windows XP + MS office pro).

    What kind of impact this will have on the Linux community that thinks they're a bunch of (every expletive you can imagine inserted here) I don't know. Anyone here in the Slashdot community who trusts SCO raise their hand.

    Though all the same, some users who are looking to upgrade just might....naaah I shan't think such heretical thoughts....
  • by rdean400 ( 322321 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:31PM (#7421220)
    RedHat's case rests on the allegation that SCO's actions are deliberately trying to damage RedHat's sales potential (as the #1 Linux distribution). This would seem to directly support that allegation.

    The same could be said for IBM's counterclaim.

  • Konq (Score:3, Funny)

    by xanadu-xtroot.com ( 450073 ) <xanadu@[ ]rbit.com ['ino' in gap]> on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:31PM (#7421224) Homepage Journal
    Tools --> Change Browser Identification --> Internet Explorer on Windows 2000

    /me then looks for the form on SCO's site.
  • Not to put too fine a point on it, but wasn't this the "technology" that Microsoft "licensed"?

    True, this is a bit more blatant than one might have expected, but otherwise not entirely unexpected.

    Reading between the lines you can simply interpret this as a public admission that they've acknowledged their position is that of the Light Brigade and that they're going off to slaughter like good little foot soldiers for "God, Honor and "Innovation.""

    It can be taken as a given now that they know themselves to b
  • I log onto Slashdot every day and often view these outrageous headlines about SCO. This one struck me this most. It seems to me that SCO is the Linux world equivilant of a suicide bomber, set up by "them" to bring down what could be a serious threat to the software economy. In such a high stakes game I certainly wouldnt put it past Microsoft or some other corporation to set up a dummy company to use the courts to take down their opponents. Any thoughts on this?
  • by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:35PM (#7421262) Homepage
    So their only income right now is that they're trying hard to sell you the product (which they hate) for $699, but at the same time they're willing to lose money if you agree to stop using it?!
    • by bstadil ( 7110 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @08:07PM (#7421532) Homepage
      Scott Lazar over at GrokLaw had this theroy

      More like that one Daffy Duck short where he's on stage, struggling mightily to get ANY kind of audience reaction.

      He sings, he dances, and the audience just yawns. Finally he uses his one remaining sure-fire act to get a reaction. He swills down a bottle of nitroglycerin and makes himself explode.

      And the crowd goes wild, but meanwhile, nothing but of Daffy remains except for a black stain. That's what this whole thing is:

      Daffy, until it explodes and there's nothing left.

  • by HillClimber ( 530465 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:35PM (#7421268)
    Here's an article from a UK source today, called Microsoft millions back SCO case [vnunet.com]. It also highlights Boies' et. al. backing of SCO. Just so there's no confusion about who it is that's scared of Linux.
    • and it turns out that SCO have been lying all the way does this make MS guilty of conspiracy to defraud?

      If so, who at MS will be held responsible for the decision because it's quite hard to believe that a minion at Microsoft could take a decision of this magnitude.

      Scene 1:

      Prison Cell containing two men. The fatter of the two seems to be dancing in a style something akin to a monkey......

      Fat man....

      That's another fine mess you've got us into Darl....

      Darl...... (add own blubbery weeping noise here)
  • by El ( 94934 )
    How much will you pay me to not develop software for Linux? Let's talk!
  • Class Action? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LetterRip ( 30937 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:36PM (#7421273)
    This seems like clear grounds for a class action lawsuit by the shareholders.

    There seems to be no business justifiable reason for such an action.

  • by ThisIsFred ( 705426 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:37PM (#7421280) Journal
    ...for everyone to believe that this was never about a pump-and-dump stock scheme, but rather a backroom deal by the enemies of the GPL to smear and FUD until CTOs run screaming at the sound of the words "open source".
  • by Mudd Guy ( 716972 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:37PM (#7421281)
    I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist but...

    What possible reason can SCO have for encouraging people to switch over to Windows (as the article indicates they might) unless they are in bed with Microsoft? Has SCO become a front for Microsoft in it's war against Linux? That is a scary prospect, because SCO doesn't care about it's reputation and so can do really nasty things that Microsoft would never get away with on it's own.
    • This is exactly right. How can a company be profitable by paying people to not use one competitor, but rather use another, unless the dominant market leader is controlling the puppet strings?
    • What possible reason can SCO have for encouraging people to switch over to Windows (as the article indicates they might) unless they are in bed with Microsoft?

      Maybe they want people to experience first-hand how much Windows sucks?

  • by JUSTONEMORELATTE ( 584508 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:40PM (#7421318) Homepage
    No, really. I love Linux, and my company uses it on many desktops (about 40%) as well as our main file server, mail server, and ftp server, and I'll unplug each and every one on Friday, November 14th if they'll pay me.
    Of course, the sad fine print is that my company is closing on Friday, November 14th, but I'll do it, by gum. Just show me the money!

  • by PurpleFloyd ( 149812 ) <zeno20@@@attbi...com> on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:41PM (#7421328) Homepage
    How exactly would customers moving from Linux to other non-SCO OSes help SCO at all? If I were a SCO stockholder, I would want to have some answers from Darl & company, fast. I hope that this serves as a wakeup call to those who still think that SCO has potential. While non-technical folks who don't understand the IP issues behind the lawsuit might be guiled into believing SCO's party line, I don't see how anyone can spin this as a good decision.

    If I had any money in SCO, I would want to take it out now, or be on the phone to my lawyer, looking into some sort of minority-shareholder lawsuit against the company for wasting shareholders' money by paying them to switch to a competitor's product. There is simply no financial benefit for SCO in having users switch from Linux to Windows, Solaris, or anything but a SCO product. Unless SCO has some sort of plan to move into the Windows services market (that they've kept under wraps all this time), they shouldn't be paying for people to move to Windows. It's almost enough to make me believe the SCO-Microsoft conspiracy theories.

    • > If I were a SCO stockholder, I would want to have some answers from Darl & company, fast.

      Trouble is, you have to be a stockholder in order to sue.

      Heh... Canopy Group buys up dying company for its lawsuit value, shareholders buy up dying company stock for its lawsuit value.

      Maybe that's what's proping SCOX prices up.

      • I would imagine that there are some people who have bought into SCO for its past growth (just look at a 6 month or 1 year chart; it's grown from around $3/share to roughly $17/share). Also, people who don't understand just how Free software works might honestly think that SCO's lawsuit has a chance; of course, if SCO were to actually win their lawsuit, their share price would skyrocket and anyone who bought in early would be rich.

        However, there is simply no way to spin this into a good thing, even to those

  • by overbyj ( 696078 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:41PM (#7421331)
    to use AIX? That is not Linux.
  • Is this legal? (Score:5, Informative)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:48PM (#7421389) Journal
    Excuse me... but wouldn't offering financial incentives to not use a competetive product be illegal in some way?

    I mean, it's legal to give incentives to use my product... but to drive a competitors business away...?
    • Re:Is this legal? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BanjoBob ( 686644 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:50PM (#7421418) Homepage Journal
      Ah, no, this is definitely illegal. The Clayton Act, on agreement not to use goods of competitor

      It shall be unlawful for any person engaged in commerce, in the course of such commerce, to lease or make a sale or contract for sale of goods, wares, merchandise, machinery, supplies, or other commodities, whether patented or unpatented, for use, consumption, or resale within the United States or any Territory thereof or the District of Columbia or any insular possession or other place under the jurisdiction of the United States, or fix a price charged therefor, or discount from, or rebate upon, such price, on the condition, agreement, or understanding that the lessee or purchaser thereof shall not use or deal in the goods, wares, merchandise, machinery, supplies, or other commodities of a competitor or competitors of the lessor or seller, where the effect of such lease, sale, or contract for sale or such condition, agreement, or understanding may be to substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly in any line of commerce.

  • by Hairy1 ( 180056 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:48PM (#7421396) Homepage
    How is this for an idea:

    If you are a company which supports Linux, develops software for use on Linux, or uses Linux in some way, simply offer a discount of - say 25% - for all services related to migrating SCO users from SCO products to Linux.

    Next thing to do is write press releases to the local papers telling them about it. You should point out that SCO customers face an uncertain future, since SCO will proably loose its fight with IBM, and will then be taken to court for its actions. You can also describe how SCO's new path is not developing new and better software for you, but simply based on taking advantage of its "IP".

    Obviously there are many potential Linux converts out there, and it would be a good idea for Linux companies to compete for those users by offering them discounts to move away from SCO first.

    I also believe that companies should cease supporting SCO versions of software - but at the same time offer existing clients a migration path to a more solid platform - such as Linux.

    I know the SCO's lack of revenue is hardly a worry to them now, however it will make great news, and possibly make their stock price reflect reality.
  • SCO's plan (Score:3, Funny)

    by EvilStein ( 414640 ) <(ten.pbp) (ta) (maps)> on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:48PM (#7421400)
    They're trying to make such a huge, confusing mess out of the while issue that someone buys them out just to shut them up.

    SCO is getting worse than the crazy homeless people in San Francisco that scream Bible passages at you as you're walking by..
    Actually, wait. The homeless nutcases have a better business plan.
  • by Hanzie ( 16075 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:52PM (#7421428)

    The article says:

    Incentives will be offered "in the coming months."

    Attention SCO: Your plan has worked!

    I'm migrating from MS to Linux right now in preparation for the incentives to migrate away later.

  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @07:58PM (#7421471) Homepage Journal
    Where the hell do i sign up before they go bankrupt?

    They are nuts.. or really hitting the drugs hard.

    I still dont understand their desire to destroy linux, if it wasnt for linux, caldera would never have had the capital to purchase SCO and start this lunacy..
  • 1. Switch from Linux to FreeBSD
    2. Get money from SCO
    3. Switch back
    4. Lather, rinse, repeat
  • by dameron ( 307970 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @08:01PM (#7421497)
    Microsoft is allowing, via its "Shared Source Licensing Plan" [microsoft.com] for companies to take a look at selects portions of the windows source code.

    Call me a nut, but I've half a mind to believe that MS is floating this whole SCO mess as a trial balloon, to probe the defenses of the open source community, and plans to have its' own code "stolen" and incorporated into Linux.

    That way they can move from a "Cold War" by proxy to a direct attack on Linux and open source.

    And more tin foil: who do you suppose might be responsible for the root backdoor that someone tried to slip into the kernel recently...?

    • Call me a nut, but I've half a mind to believe that MS is floating this whole SCO mess as a trial balloon, to probe the defenses of the open source community, and plans to have its' own code "stolen" and incorporated into Linux.

      OK. "NUT". *grin*

      Only if someone held a gun to Linus' head. Remember, anything that gets into the kernel, Linus takes at least a passing squint at. M$ code isn't good enough to get into the kernel.

  • by piobair ( 586119 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @08:12PM (#7421560)

    SCO is offering _discounts_ on licenses.

    Meaning if you switch over to another OS now you don't end up oweing SCO the full license for linux ($699 or something) that they're claiming you now owe. You'll probably just end up oweing a mere $500 (or whatever - even I couldn't stomach reading the details on that in the article).

    • This is very important. This ALMOST sounds like a modified version of the RIAA's "amnesty". You sign up with SCO verifying you will switch away from Linux for some money. Then you do, then they have proof that you WERE using their IP without paying for it (assuming they win), and they then have all the evidence they need to collect payment....um....with their discount of course.

  • bizzaro world... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kevin lyda ( 4803 ) * on Friday November 07, 2003 @08:35PM (#7421677) Homepage
    ok. let's just say sco does have ip in linux. and let's say they can bypass the gpl and charge for it. neither are likely true, but just humour me here. now let's say that they expect scosource to be their future revenue stream.

    just pretend all of that is true, factual and on the level. say it's possible and what sco is honestly planning on.

    how in the fuck does this latest move make any sense even in that nightmare fairie tale?

    "here, you folks have violated our ip, we plan on continuing to charge you and, oh, by the way, here's some money to buy our competitors products so you won't have to pay us anymore."

    is it any wonder that sco never took the unix world by storm in over a decade?
  • by pair-a-noyd ( 594371 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @09:01PM (#7421839)
    How in God's name can so few smoke so much in so little time??

    Damn, and I thought the people on the west side were bad!

  • by Scooter ( 8281 ) <owen AT annicnova DOT force9 DOT net> on Friday November 07, 2003 @09:04PM (#7421865)
    ..the entire world looking up from whaetver they are doing for a brief moment and vaguely mumbling:

    "what? er.. yeah right - whatever.."

    Before installing Linux on another 100 Intel servers, and a z-series.. (try doing that with SCO unix..)

    Nobody's listening any more SCO - your outbursts have become so far fetched, you're like the kid that invents ever more unlikely stories to get attention. These guys are like parasites - they no longer create, but are desperate to get a slice of any pie going. Give it up - even if you won every court action from here til the next century - no one will do business with you ever again..

    I think we all realise by now that all of this is most likely a bizarre situation engineered to raise cash on SCO shares. Ignore them - they only want attention.

  • by Fantastic Lad ( 198284 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @09:50PM (#7422035)
    That the goal of SCO is not profit.

    The Masters Of The Universe do not want you to be free. Period.

    Ergo, Open Source, non-corporate software MUST be destroyed. By whatever means. SCO, whether they realize it or not, (and I suspect they do), exists for the sole purpose of disabling this aspect of humanity.

    Waaay back when the first industrial grain grinding mills were being built by the land owners, the town sherif, (i.e., the hired representative of the gentry), would go around and see that all the hand mills in all the peasant households were dragged out and smashed. It was now illegal for people to mill their own corn. What was once free, was now something they HAD to pay for. --All in the best interest of social advancement, of course. The gentry always had a rational-sounding argument, which in the end, just reduced the power of the populace. The the same reasoning is used today in order to shift publically owned utilities over to private and corporate ownership. And many people, (you can witness many examples right here on Slashdot) still believe they are not being lied to. --The argument for competition, being that it creates real incentive to make the best products sounds great except this line of argument ALWAYS leaves out the undeniable reality that when a handful of corporations own everything, it is virtually guranteed that artificial price-fixing WILL take place, and that products will start to decline in quality and effectiveness in such a way that people will need to buy twice as much as before in order to get the same job done. It's all about the elite trying to squeeze an under-educated public into supporting them.

    In regard to SCO, nothing has changed since the days of the illegal hand mills, except in the level of sneakiness through which the ends are achieved. SCO's primary purpose, while it is profit motivated, it is not all in the way most people believe it to be. It's much, much bigger, and it's part of a war which has been going on for centuries.


  • This is ludicrous! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:00PM (#7422073)
    Lessee, just in the last week:
    1. Bill Gates publicly admitted in an interview that Windows will never be secure without a firewall to protect it from the Internet.
    2. Details about and early betas of Longhorn, Microsoft's next big Windows rewrite are the big buzz around the 'net.
    3. SCO promises to pay people to switch to anything else but Linux. Here's a company that was selling an OS but bleeding money at a furious rate until they got a generous transfusion of M$ cash.
    4. Red Hat, a company who worked very hard to fuse two incompatible desktop GUIs for Linux into one seemless whole, drops all support for desktop Linux and concentrates on "Enterprise" customers.
    5. Someone hacked the CVS site for the Linux kernel attempting to install a vulnerability.

    Hmmmm, does any of this connect for anyone else? Or just me? Where did I put that tinfoil hat?

    [donning tinfoil hat]
    Suppose Microsoft, having tried for years to plug the innumerable holes in their OS and failing miserably, decided to de-emphasize server support and concentrate on the desktop where their strength has always been. Red Hat decides to play nice with Microsoft by dropping all efforts at the desktop in return for which they get better cooperation (short term, naturally) from Microsoft and provide servers to Enterprises that have mainly Windows desktops right now. SCO discourages people from trying Linux the only way that hasn't been tried yet (since nothing else worked!) by actually paying people to use anything else! At the same time, tiring of predicting the infusion of Linux viruses that never occurred, some desperate Windows user actually tries to create a hole for one by sneaking source into the kernel; it doesn't work this time, hope those guys are even more vigilant now! Meanwhile, Microsoft has delayed its release of the much-hyped Longhorn for another year. Why?

    I predict that all of this is just a holding action against Linux. The SCO suit is slated for a court date sometime in 2005, providing there re no more delays. Wanna bet there are? Just enough to drag it out to 2006, the release date for Longhorn. In the meantime, Red Hat will hold the line against many competing Linuxes. Concentrating the market for Enterprise servers in one company makes an easy target for Microsoft. In the meantime, Microsft has bought enough time to write many, many incompatibilities into Longhorn. When Longhorn is released, I'll bet it totally doesn't work with anything except Microsoft server software. Red Hat will be crushed, SCO will disapear and Linux will find itself trying to conform to a thousand incompatibilities in Longhorn.
    [doffing tinfoil hat]

    As for me, the choice of OS is easy now. After seeing Microsoft throw in the towel and seeing that virus writers are so desperate to get any virus into Linux that they actually tried to sneak bad code into the kernel to do it, Linux is the OS for me. Who knows what will happen in 3 years? Maybe there will be enough apps that I damned well don't care what windows is by then. I almost don't now.
  • by El ( 94934 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:01PM (#7422079)
    Don't Faustian bargains usually cost you your immortal soul?
  • by Skim123 ( 3322 ) <[mitchell] [at] [4guysfromrolla.com]> on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:01PM (#7422082) Homepage
    Linux has a higher TCO than Windows.
  • by DDumitru ( 692803 ) <doug@@@easyco...com> on Friday November 07, 2003 @10:25PM (#7422172) Homepage
    Paul Murphy at E Commerce Times

    http://www.ecommercetimes.com/perl/story/31932.htm l

    has an absolutely insane article about this whole mess. Mind you, 98% of the article is completely nuts as it basically blames IBM, or anyone else, for not paying off SCO already. He does not understand that paying off the mob is bad social policy and that Linux is about social policy, but I digress.

    Here is one interesting part:

    - - -
    # SCO is attacking the entire Linux community.

    It is not. Responses from SuSE Latest News about SuSE and Red Hat to the contrary, the SCO demand for license fees from Linux users was classic legal fiction. Both key SCO executives -- Darl McBride and Chris Sontag -- have said repeatedly that they are trying to work through issues to achieve justice without putting "a hole in the head of the penguin."

    Most people find these license claims outrageous, but think about the drivers behind the demand and you might yet see SCO as a victim of its own lawyers and the way the courts operate.

    Fundamentally, the court eventually will require SCO to show a quantitative, market-based derivation for the value of damages claimed. Demanding license fees is one way of establishing that basis -- and one likely to appeal to lawyers acting on contingency because a few successful sales would suffice to establish an enormous fair-market value.
    - - -

    Terrifyingly, this almost makes sense. If SCO can set a "high" license value on their property, they can then multiply this by the number of Linux systems to get their damages. It only takes a couple of bozos (or co-conspirators) to create "license sales" that can then be multiplied out. This is not too disimilar from the RIAA / WebCasting royalty calculations. Take what Yahoo will pay during the bubble, and then try to get everyone else to empty their pockets. It is very likely that they are not trying to actually get licenses, but that they are trying to establish a "market value" that is to their favor.

    If this is actually their plan, then it is not only SCO that needs taken down, but their lawyers as well.
  • by aldousd666 ( 640240 ) on Saturday November 08, 2003 @02:37AM (#7423002) Journal
    Phew! I'm relieved to see all they are doing is expressing that which they hold deep within their hearts -- the desire to see companies everywhere strive to charge large sums of money for anything useful. And for the willingness of the population to scoff in the direction of anything with a 'less than snazzy' pricetag. I was actually worried that they were selfish bastards who thought nothing of anyone but themselves. They're really just trying to preserve the American Dream, how incredibly noble of these good 'ol boys.

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.