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Gartner Recommends Holding Onto The SCO Money 455

Posted by timothy
from the like-mel-gibson-in-ransom dept.
benploni writes "George Weiss of Gartner has published a paper with some interesting recommendations regarding SCO. They include 1) Keep a low profile and do not divulge details on Linux deployments. 2) Until a judgment in a case would unequivocally warrant it, Linux users should not pay SCO the license fees it has asked for to settle its allegations of infringement of intellectual property rights. 3) Do not permit SCO to audit your premises without legal authorization. 4) For customers of SCO Open Server and UnixWare, an unfavorable judgment could cause SCO to cease operations or sell itself. That could harm future support and maintenance. Just in case, prepare a plan for migrating to another platform within two years. There's more, but are the analysts finally catching on?"
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Gartner Recommends Holding Onto The SCO Money

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  • by dolo666 (195584) * on Thursday November 20, 2003 @04:51PM (#7523096) Journal
    "Just in case, prepare a plan for migrating to another platform within two years."

    Maybe once the plans to migrate are prepared fully, smart employees will push for migration citing the existing contingency plans as existing (hey, we planned to move in 2003), and show how cheaper/better life could be without the SCO. At least with that plan, even the most obtuse managers would see the truth.

    Funny how the legal fees of a legal aggressor company like SCO prove that overextending yourself is a bad business model. They're like Rome! But at least they are setting the bad example, so that other businesses with money won't dare go after the Open Source community so readily next time around. I say it looks like we are proving ourselves to the traditional red herring pundits.

    IANAL, but wouldn't it be wise for everyone to just wait out the SCO? They are doing their damndest to ruin their own business reputation, so the rest isn't far off anyway. I mean it's obvious, right?
  • Why wait? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) * on Thursday November 20, 2003 @04:51PM (#7523097) Homepage Journal
    Just in case, prepare a plan for migrating to another platform within two years.

    Why wait? Migrate now to something less controversial. Really though, this is a well done paper and really explains it well. Gartner goes into the real dollar concerns of this litigation.

    Linux is a commodity and as such can be provided by many companies. RedHat has pretty good support , flames of hellfire not withstanding their decision to go only enterprise. Then again if you're using SCO you're an enterprise anyway.
  • by Space cowboy (13680) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @04:53PM (#7523117) Journal
    ... complete with handbrake squeals. Is it just me, or does Gartner appear to just write what they think will go down well, rather than really analyse things.

    Of course, we like it when it agrees with what we think (and I think they're right to say what they're saying now, but that just makes me no different from (m)any of you reading this :-)

    Simon
  • Re:Why wait? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 20, 2003 @04:56PM (#7523139)
    >> Why wait? Migrate now to something less controversial.

    You mean windows? Cause linux is just as controversial and SCO Unix right now.
  • by BubbaTheBarbarian (316027) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @04:58PM (#7523155) Journal
    Remember Rambus v. World? The same thing happened to them. They tried to sue the world, and lost. In middle of it, Gartner said basically the same thing.

    This is a HUGE blow to SCO, to have as respected a group as Gartner say these things about the case. They have basically had all of what they have done over the past 6 months ripped out. No one will pay them for nothing, and even worse, they now have the real possibility of losing alot of their current customers.

    Is this why IBM has been so quiet?

    Duhryl must be crying in his Jello salad today.

    Thank you for comming! See you in hell!

    (this post not worth spell checking)
  • Re:Why wait? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkBlackFox (643814) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @04:58PM (#7523164)
    What would be considered less controversial? With SCO as the center, they seem to have roped Linux and now BSD into the controversy. Migrating from Unix to Linux wouldn't be a bad idea, but it wouldn't clear you from controversy- on the contrary, if you are an existing customer of SCO and they find you moving away, wouldn't that be more incentive for them to slap you with an invoice for the "infringing linux" deployment?

    Of course, it is important to migrate off a sinking bohemoth of a ship, but I doubt it would be any less contraversial given the players involved.
  • by MoonFog (586818) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:00PM (#7523179)
    This paper at least seems like it was put together to draw some attention to themselves. It doesn't really say anything that hasn't been said before.
    It tells you to wait and see what happens if you are or want to be a Linux customer and have a backup plan in case SCO wins, and it says to wait if you are or want to be a SCO customer, and have a backup plan if SCO loose..
    Basically, it could be said with the simple words "Just wait for the whole thing to end"
  • To be fair... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Vexler (127353) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:02PM (#7523195) Journal
    If you read the article carefully, similar recommendation was also given to Linux users to delay large-scale deployment until the dust begins to settle a bit (i.e. 1st quarter of 2004). Granted, deep down Gartner probably feels, as many of us do, that SCO's days are numbered, but good sense calls for level-headed thinking that should apply to all who are involved - not just a particular subset of the whole.
  • by azaris (699901) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:02PM (#7523198) Journal

    prepare plans to migrate...

    Is this Gartner's answer to everything?

    MS software insecure - prepare to migrate.

    Sun changing licensing terms - prepare to migrate.

    SCO threatens Linux users - prepare to migrate.

    I've used to seeing "switch to another platform/software package" as the default answer on Slashdot to most articles about potential problems any piece of software in existence, but some people actually pay for these Gartner analyses.

    When are people who constantly advocate jumping ship whenever a potential problem appears with a product your relying on in you're business going to stop breathing since you can potentially be poisoned by air-borne pollution?

  • by EvilTwinSkippy (112490) <yoda&etoyoc,com> on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:05PM (#7523232) Homepage Journal
    Remember though, we had a few 800 pound gorillas in the form of IBM and Novell.

    Far more Earth shattering was the USL vs. BSD lawsuit. BSD went from being on the ropes to routing USL badly. Rumors are that part of the sealed evidence showed the much of Unix was actually lifted from BSD. Especially impressive because it was pretty much Berkley defending itself. There were no industry players coming to bat.

  • by burgburgburg (574866) <splisken06@em a i l . com> on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:06PM (#7523242)

    If high-performance Linux systems are in production, develop plans that would enable a quick changeover in case SCO wins a favorable judgment and requires the Linux kernel code to be substantially changed. Unix systems are the best alternatives.

    No, BSD is the best alternative. SCO faces an even greater uphill battle to try and imply that they have any IP issues with it, considering the AT&T 1994 settlement.

    Yes, I remember that yesterday there were intimations that SCO would be going after BSD next. And while I know Darl is crack-addled and David is clueless, I think there might be a paralegal or an associate around who might be able to point out to them the extreme problems they'd have. Or maybe one judge who'd be willing to just slap them upside the head, as they've long deserved.

  • by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:08PM (#7523262) Homepage
    ... to port the NetBSD USB stack to osr5! They sure don't mind stealing open source when it suites them!
    To be fair, the BSD license permits this. Is it really stealing if you accept something that somebody else gives you?

    (Also, Microsoft has been accused of the same thing -- using *BSD code in their products. And as far as I can tell, this accusation is completely true -- but irrelevant, because it's not illegal or even `wrong'.)

    I've always wondered why people who make embedded devices like WAPs and the like chose Linux rather than *BSD -- with BSD they don't have the GPL requirements to open up the source. If you intend to give out the source, fine -- use Linux -- but if you don't, it seems to be that one of the BSDs would be a better choice.

  • by cybergrue (696844) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:09PM (#7523273)
    Somebody paid how much for this? They could have gotten the same advice on Slashdot for free.
  • "software company" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by siskbc (598067) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:10PM (#7523278) Homepage
    But what I can't figure out is why they think SCO is a software company . . .

    Analysts are required to maintain some degree of objectivity and avoid controversial statements. That said, if you read between the lines, he basically said just what we've all been saying.

    From Gartner:

    We believe that these moves compromise SCO's mission as a software company.

    If he thought SCO was still a software company, he would have said "We believe that these moves compromise SCO's ability to remain profitable." He's stating, quite clearly, that because these moves make it impossible to remain profitable as a software company, they only make sense for SCO as a litigation manufacturing company. In other words, they're changing their "mission," as he puts it.

    He can't say that SCO are a bunch of litigation-happy jackasses that deserve to be sued into the stone age (at least in print). But he can, and did, say things that readers can translate as such.

    All in all, it sounds like he completely gets it, if you read between the lines a tad.

  • It's 2Q04... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by j0keralpha (713423) * on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:14PM (#7523333)
    Do you know where your emergency migration plan is?

    Its very like gartner to play both sides of the fence, but i find it interesting that the analyst's true opinion shows out here. Quite aside from SCO's financial woes (lets face it, you'd need the Sultan's treasury to really afford taking on IBM) he doesnt place much faith in any of SCOs bullying, or their case. He basically warns you to sit tight, do nothing, and watch SCO sort of topple over and die. I applaud him for his very sensible advice.
  • by smd4985 (203677) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:17PM (#7523368) Homepage
    "There's more, but are the analysts finally catching on?"

    Perhaps the whole SCO fiasco will be a boon for Linux in the long run. First off, any kind of press is good press. Secondly, the SCO lawsuit forces the media to understand the issues regarding GNU/Linux and free software, so perhaps this will lead to more widespread understanding and support.
  • by IA-Outdoors (715597) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:20PM (#7523378)
    This Gartner guy recommends to SCO customers to be thinking about contigency plans should SCO not be around. Personally, if you are SCO customer you'd be better off doing that regardless. My main justification is that you should not run your enterprise on software built by a company who feels their only way for survival is to sue competitors.

    If they had a sound business plan and a good set of products then they would have customers and their bottom line wouldn't require these desperate tactics. The harder decision to make out of all this is what you should switch to. I'd be interested to see how non-linux, non-BSD based posix operating systems (i.e. Solaris) now that SCO is suing everbody.

    You know, in the end this SCO thing is probably best settled with ski masks and crowbars.
  • by Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:24PM (#7523414) Homepage
    If you are running some SCO Unix, you want to do exactly that - start migrating.
    If you are using Linux and are worried, draw up a contingency plan and home you don't actually have to use it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:28PM (#7523450)
    Think about it. Consultants (and, by extension, analysts) don't make money telling you to preserve the status quo. A consultant's job is to recommend centralization of distributed systems and distribution of centralized systems. Above all, change, change, change -- because that's where the money's made!

    Put another way: when was the last time you heard of a consultant that did an evaluation of anything and then said, "on balance, you're doing things pretty well; I don't think I'd alter your plans one bit."?
  • by KrispyKringle (672903) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:32PM (#7523491)
    Why is this marked Interesting? It should be marked Inane or Silly.

    SCO won't be doing address sweeps. The information gained from a TCp/IP fingerprint isn't nearly reliable enough to use to subpeona information on software usage. Doing the fingerprints, however, is arguably illegal in some states and violates the AUPs of many ISPs (though I don't personally think it should).

    More to the point, as SCO themselves have said, they will be going after big companies known to have large Linux deployments. In other words, Fortune 500 customers of RedHat and SuSE. They said themselves they won't be suing private users.

    Yes. I know SCO are The Devil. But cut me a fucking break. This is why I read the comments on Slashdot less and less. I get to see a few insightful points, a lot of garbage along the lines of `see how much I know' and random, weird comments like this.

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:36PM (#7523516)
    And the major missing recommendation:

    Move all SCO stock you own out of your long term hold portfolio.

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:37PM (#7523525)
    Background:
    SCO hasn't had a new release in years and they are still years behind on 64-bit.

    SCO's business is dead. New deployments are going to Linux or Microsoft or Sun.

    My guess is that this was ORIGINALLY an attempt to get IBM to buy them out and shut them up.

    But SCO messed that up so badly that IBM decided to face them in court.

    So, the SCO execs have a failed company and not much hope for an easy buy out.

    So the decided to pump-n-dump their stock. That way they can realize SOME profit.

    So SCO goes public with all sorts of claims, people seem willing to buy SCO stock on the "lottery" principle.

    SCO execs dump their stock as fast as they can. That's on the record.

    But the SEC doesn't like pump-n-dump schemes.

    SCO has to do something so the SEC doesn't start digging.

    So now you have SCO making strange claim after strange claim after even stranger claims.

    That's why SCO is taking venture capital funding for stock.

    That's why SCO is paying their lawyers in stock.

    All they have to pay for the things they need is stock.

    So they have to keep the stock price up.

    But repeating the same claims over and over has a diminishing rate of return. People don't buy your stock in 4th quarter if you keep repeating the claims you made in 2nd quarter.

    You need new claims. Something to fire the imagination. Something to get those "journalists" calling you again and printing your words.

    Something like ....... announcing ANOTHER lawsuit.

    But don't actually file one. SCO cannot afford to split their legal department.

    Just threaten to file one. That's just as good for those "journalists".
  • by KrispyKringle (672903) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:37PM (#7523526)
    I had the fortune to hear the CTO of RedHat give a speech. Afterwords, over refreshments (mmm...donuts), I asked him about this. `Why isn't it RedHat BSD?'

    He said partly it was historical accident, but that there is also a good reason. He said something like, `Well, look at it this way. IBM recently pledged $1,000,000 to Linux (though where that money is I can't say). With Linux, we know that whatever they put into it will come back out. But if it were BSD, nothing would stop IBM from putting that money into BSD and making ``BSD+'' and not releasing the code. Here, we know we can benefit from what others put in without them closing it off.' I had to admit this was a pretty good point. To guys like you and me, it seems as if the companies get nothing out of it. But to the companies, the hard work of independent developers is just as important as their hard work is to us.

  • by jimfrost (58153) * <jimf@frostbytes.com> on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:38PM (#7523529) Homepage
    Rumors are that part of the sealed evidence showed the much of Unix was actually lifted from BSD.

    I think the quote was, "as much as 50%." There is a hell of a lot of BSD in SVR4. That certainly seems to have pushed them to a fast settlement (and they got off cheap!) but there were a variety of other things that probably would have shot them down too -- many of which are still going to be true in a case against Linux.

    One of the primary issues, not decided by the judge but hinted strongly at, is that 32V may actually be in the public domain. In that light the decision to put it out under a BSD license was a kind of damage control; if it's out under a loose license then most likely no one will test the validity of the original copyright in court.

    This case may well reopen that can of worms seeing as the only case of obvious copying they've pointed out is rooted in 32V.

    I rather hope that IBM is doing/has done its own code commonality inspections because it seems highly likely that there is GPLed code in SCO's product (that's the easy way to compatibility you know). If so that would tarnish their case badly, although it's not very likely to be as damning as it was in the BSD case.

    One of the things I find most amusing about their claims of open source being lax on IP protection is that it's been my experience that code pilfering is quite common in closed source projects. Certainly we know it happened at least twice in the history of SysV -- once wholesale in SVR4, and again in R5. And I would suspect it happened again when Caldera implemented Linux compatibility.

    I kind of hope IBM or some other SCO source licensee does their own code analysis. My bet is that there are many more lines of code pilfered from open source in SCO stuff than vice versa. SCO is really only getting huge infringement numbers by counting whole subsystems as infringing, using theories of "derivative" that are unlikely to hold up.

    Go take a look at the BSD lawsuit papers (various links posted around the net). The judge's opinion where he denied the preliminary injunction against BSDI is really quite remarkable.

  • by n1ywb (555767) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:42PM (#7523563) Homepage Journal
    You know, it's not just SCO UNIX customers that should have contingency plans in case SCO folds. Lets say hypothetically that SCO loses the case, declares bankruptcy, and liquidates their assets... Now what happenes to every other System V derivitive OS, like AIX, Solaris, etc? Seems like a lot of uncertainty. I think it would be prudent for any organization that uses any Sys-V type UNIX to have a contingency plan, just in case.
  • Re:Why wait? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pyros (61399) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:43PM (#7523575) Journal
    Why tell them anything?

    So that they know, in no uncertain terms, that such conduct is unacceptable and is costing them your business. Tell them, professionally, that you consider their actions to be unethical, and as a result are taking your business elsewhere, and recommending to all clients, peers, and friends to avoid SCO products. Make no mention of technical quality or value of SCO products. Leave no question that you can't do business with a company willing to make baseless claims affecting other companies' businesses, file frivolous lawsuits, and engage in stock pump and dump scams.

  • Re:Nobody is... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by freeweed (309734) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:45PM (#7523588)
    an issue that only exists in places like Slashdot and is solely sustained by the "media" attention the OSS community and trolls that work for Fortune give it

    Tell that to IBM's lawyers.

    The first half of your post was true. The rest IS a troll, and if you're wondering why you'll get moderated as such, it's not (just) because people disagree with you.
  • by decapentaplegic (540107) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:46PM (#7523597)
    So is anyone starting up companies that specifically do consulting on how to migrate away from SCO?

    One of the open source mantras is that the profit isn't in the code itself, it's in consulting, customizing and tech support. So this one seems like a no brainer. Get a bunch of specialists who understand what keeps SCO's current customers in the SCO fold. Put together specific GNU/Linux packages to match those needs and sell "migration consulting services". Best of all, one could write 2 tier contracts. One tier is just a migration plan analysis. The second centers around the work to be done to implement it if (sorry, when) SCO implodes.

    This seems like a business model with considerably better fundatmentals than selling 50lb bags of dogfood over the internet.

    Plus doing the sales calls could be fun: "Your chief technology supplier currently has a market cap of X million dollars. They are in a legal fight with IBM, which has a market cap of Y billion dollars. IBM has stated that they have no plan to settle before the damage wrought by their lawyers can be seen from orbit. For Z hundred thousand dollars we can show you how to not be collateral damage."
  • Re:Why wait? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pmz (462998) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:47PM (#7523607) Homepage

    What would be considered less controversial?

    Well, there's controversy and there's risk. Any company can fold at any time (e.g., meteor hitting their headquarters), for example. As far as SCO is concerned, risk might be weighed by which companies are willing to take the heat for their customers. Is there another "indemnified" OS other than Solaris (permanent license) or, perhaps, Mac OS X (Mach kernel)? Even Windows NT/2000/XP could be a target with their known use of BSD code.

    Regardless, I think any lawsuit against Linux/BSD/UNIX/Apple/Microsoft/etc. could only go in SCO's favor due to a rediculous technicality, not real merit. And, if that happened, there would be no end to the bitterness felt towards SCO, which would do wonders for destroying whatever business they try to conduct after the suit.

    In conclusion, if SCO loses, they lose, and, f SCO wins, they lose.

  • by DarkSarin (651985) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:51PM (#7523637) Homepage Journal
    You obviously know nothing regarding categorical variables, which is what pie charts are used for (as are several of the more common statistical analyses). IF you are going to say X % of folks use linux,and y% use windows, you had better have a category for z % who use both, and w% who use neither (and probably a% for those who use apple).

    A categorical variable is considered discrete--on or the other, NEVER both. The most common example of this is biological gender. You are male or female, NOT both. Although recently it has become possible to change which you are.
  • by Artifakt (700173) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @05:52PM (#7523641)
    This is a great example of how to read an analysis. Anyone who invests in the market needs to know this sort of thing before they get in over their heads. Good, professional people, knowing that their words can have an impact beyond their face value, will be careful to say only what they can back up. Your 'warning' that the stock's a turkey is never going to be a simple "Don't buy this Turkey!".
    About the clearest I've seen was "While X claims to have resolved all major old contract disputes, the state wherein X is incorporated allows a full year for filing appeals." (Meaning they have been in court a lot in just the last fiscal year, and It looks like there's a good chance things aren't as resolved as they say. If you don't have the sense to check in detail to see just what the company considers a "minor" dispute, and whether any of the "major" ones ARE filing an appeal, you should not invest in stocks.) Most warning signs are subtler than that example.
  • by Spamalamadingdong (323207) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @06:00PM (#7523702) Homepage Journal
    To be fair, the BSD license permits this. Is it really stealing if you accept something that somebody else gives you?

    (Also, Microsoft has been accused of the same thing -- using *BSD code in their products. And as far as I can tell, this accusation is completely true -- but irrelevant, because it's not illegal or even `wrong'.)

    No, and yes. The user (whether SCO or M$) has no legal obligation, and thus can't be legally accused of stealing anything. However, on the moral level it's otherwise. Both SCO and Microsoft are trying to crush all competition in their respective niches, and their use of the same free software that they are trying to get rid of is grossly hypocritical.

    This is why the GPL is better for the world than the BSD license; it prevents attempts to take the commons private, and allows much more rapid advancement of the useful arts. (If you think having to work around a minefield of patent rights is a problem for software, consider that patents expire 5 times sooner than copyrights do.)

  • by joe_bruin (266648) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @06:03PM (#7523729) Homepage Journal
    i work at a company that makes embedded devices using linux, and i'll tell you why.
    the real advantage is that we give up relatively little. sure, we have to give out the kernel source, but it's not like we ever owned that in the first place. we have to share most of our custom driver code, which arguably has some value, but we make our money selling hardware, not writing drivers. the advantage, however, is that we can grab patches and drivers from dozens of other companies that use the same cpu/flash/dac/video chip/... as we do. the gpl forces everyone to share their code, so we can take advantage of work done by other companies (and they can benefit from ours). for the "cost" of giving out a bit of our in-house code, we get the benefit of using the code from all those other companies for free.
    while i'm a big supporter of the bsd license, there's no way all these companies (many of them our competitors) would release this code if they didn't have to, and our work would be much harder.
  • Re:Slow learners (Score:3, Insightful)

    by benploni (125649) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @06:07PM (#7523757) Journal
    Sure, it's blindingly obvious to techies. But they are not the consumers of Gartner's research. The real effect of this "research note" will be to SCOX:US's stock price - and that's a good thing.
  • by amplt1337 (707922) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @06:09PM (#7523774) Journal
    I'm a little concerned by the "any kind of press is good press" argument -- are Michael Jackson's album sales going up this week? It seems like a lot of people saying "no, stop!!!" to generally conservative business decision makers does not further the cause of mainstream Linux adoption. (That's not everybody's goal, but the poster's reference to 'good press' suggests that s/he considers it to be one.)

    And *nothing* can force the media to understand something. They'll choose to understand eventually, if given proper incentives, but media understanding is sort of an oxymoron :~)

    What would be good is if we can finally get the GPL officially vetted by a judge, so people no longer have to worry about it being theoretical. Assuming the case ever goes anywhere.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @06:09PM (#7523776) Homepage
    1) Keep a low profile and do not divulge details on Linux deployments.
    How is even a medium size company going to do this? A quick scan of company servers would be enough to see if they're running Linux or not. And even if you do change the servers to say they are Win 2003 or something, what about social engineering? Calling up the company, saying you're MS tech support, and you found a problem with the company's web servers. "But we run Linux." Gotcha! What about companies that have already said they run Linux? Yahoo, Google.

    There's a world of difference between keeping a low profile, and keeping it a complete and utter secret. E.g. sending out press releases and giving interviews where you quote the great cost savings in moving to Linux, pointing out it's lack of licence fees would be a high profile.

    Vague and ambigious answers like "We run a variety of OSs based on their cost-efficiency for their various tasks, desktop/workstation/server etc." would be keeping a low profile. "We are currently evalutating our Linux strategy (or OS strategy, migration strategy, whatever) and would not like to comment on it at this time." also.

    It's not about keeping SCO from finding out. It's simply about not sticking your neck out, in case SCO takes a swipe at the most vocal advocates of Linux. After all, there's damn many to pick from, and as long as there's no reason they should pick out *you* in particular...

    Kjella
  • Re:Slow learners (Score:3, Insightful)

    by benploni (125649) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @06:21PM (#7523894) Journal
    I understand where you are coming from, but you're missing some things. For example, Darl's employment contract, and the Bay Star Capital contract. They both have provisions for severe consequences if SCOX:US falls below a set price. It will almost certainly put SCO in bankruptcy.
  • by ngreenfeld (321295) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @06:30PM (#7523958)
    I've been an industry analyst in a firm like Gartner, and I also have a Ph.D. in computer science. So, for my 2-cents (or less) worth:
    1. There are good analysts and poor analysts; some know what's going on, others just read headlines and sound good superficially.
    2. Analysts have a different viewpoint than most observers -- they have to cover the "100,000 foot" level view for a lot of clients with issues not like normal individuals.
    3. Firms like Gartner are a business. They make money by giving clients a warm-fuzzy feeling (that is, a feeling that they are reducing risk for those clients), so they have to be somewhat conservative.
  • by MachineShedFred (621896) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @06:33PM (#7523983) Journal
    What happens? Simple.

    One of the licensees of SysV buys the rights and codebase for pennies on the dollar in bankruptcy court.

    Life goes on, hoping that the new owner actually posesses more intelligence than a bag of rusty hammers.
  • by zurab (188064) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @06:36PM (#7524002)
    Yeah, that's a good idea ... until ...

    What happens when Microsoft does its IP address sweep? They will see you are running Win2k, determine who you are, that you don't have a license; then they will have to bring in the BSA with U.S. Marshalls in and force you to pay up and run their spyware on your network at your own cost.

    They will even have compelling evidence you have been running Win2k and you won't be able to produce any licenses for that OS. Unless, you would be OK with getting sued and dragged into court for a lengthy and expensive trial, having to prove to a judge how you modified your "IP fingerprint" hoping he will understand and believe.
  • Re:Slow learners (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @06:37PM (#7524011) Homepage Journal
    It should be obvious not to pay invoices when no product or service has been requested, and not to allow searches unless legally required, but look at the recent reality. Customers are increasingly caving in to increasingly intrusive demands, and vendors are asking for powers once reserved for federal law enforcement. MS wants to compel customers to upgrade on a yearly basis or pay large fees as punishment. Music labels want the ability to destroy physical property on the suspicion of civil violations of their rights. I think in this reality it is quite necessary for a firm with some merit to come out say just don't do it.
  • Re:Why wait? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by steveg (55825) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @06:42PM (#7524035)
    Then again if you're using SCO you're an enterprise anyway.

    I guess that depends on what you call "enterprise". A lot of doctor's offices use a SCO system as a base for their accounting/practice management software.

    I interviewed with a company that wrote software used for a sales management system used by car dealerships -- which ran on SCO. Their new version was going to be non-SCO -- they were planning on moving to Linux. Even a year ago they were having trouble stomaching SCO.

    I think SCO is primarily used in vertical markets populated by small to medium sized businesses rather than anything I would characterize as "enterprise". Enterprise customers usually have IT departments with people who are familiar with good Unix behavior and can recognize a poor quality Unix. Smaller businesses don't know any better -- they have heard that Unix is clunky and aren't surprised when SCO proves to be.
  • Re:Slow learners (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 20, 2003 @07:00PM (#7524151)
    SCO management obviously falls under the category of not understanding their own business...
  • precedent? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mr_burns (13129) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @07:24PM (#7524288)
    I just had a thought. Seems to me that with IBM courtroom showdown so far away and by the looks of it SCO's going to lose, perhaps these little suits have nothing to do with collecting fees.

    Maybe what they're trying to do is win against paople who can't defend themselves adequately against Boise and Co to set precedent, then meet IBM in court with that.

    So maybe the thing to do, once these things come out is to try to get a stay until the end of the IBM/Red Hat mess or file a joint counterclaim with other defendants to pool resources and compell discovery. I think the stay might be prudent because that one case will definitely test the legitimacy of SCO's claim AND will have more capable and better informed council on both sides.
  • by XO (250276) <blade.eric@NOSPAM.gmail.com> on Thursday November 20, 2003 @07:29PM (#7524304) Homepage Journal
    I love how they are looking for "7+ years of web technologies experience"... Has the web passed it's 7th birthday yet?

    If it has, not by much...

  • by Corpus_Callosum (617295) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @07:36PM (#7524340) Homepage
    Why is Gartner saying not to disclose Linux deployments?

    It seems to me that disclosing Linux deployments is irrelevant. SCO lawsuits win or loose, anyone who has Linux installed will meet the same destiny, regardless of whether they discuss it... The only party that gains from not disclosing Linux deployments is, ahem... Microsoft...
  • by beowulf405 (239384) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @08:00PM (#7524475)
    I think the comment that they aren't a software company anymore is very much to the point. If SCO wins they will get paid for each copy of Linux in use. Why continue to develop and sell SCO Unix? If I was using SCO's products I'd be planning on to change on the assumption they won't be supported any more win or lose.
  • Re:It's strange... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @09:04PM (#7524877)
    Wow, companies are willing to let just anyone come in and do audits for products which they don't even own, and then bill them for it? Maybe I should take this up as a profession.

    "I'm here to do an audit of your company for all copies of Internet Explorer, which I'm the IP owner of. I'll have to charge you a $699 fee for each copy I find."

    I may have to skip the country, but it wouldn't take long to make enough money to make the scam worth it.

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