Remember when companies invented, rather than sued?

Posted:

This whole SCO thing is getting on my nerves. Rather than compete with Linux, or create a better product based on Linux, the nutty managers at SCO are taking a page from the mafia playbook and shaking down Linux users for protection money. “Pay us and we won’t sue you” is a slimy business move. The only notable engineering SCO has done recently is to carefully rollout a series of escalating warnings about mystical “IP violations” in the Linux kernel involving Symmetric Multi-Processing support. Naturally, the folks using this feature of Linux are companies running beefy servers and clearly have money to burn. All this FUD has done very positive things for SCO’s stock price. I hope the SEC investigates them for manipulating the market.

Skunk Unix was at least a legitimate Unix player at one time. Over the years, SCO served increasing small niche markets. SCO Unix was never beefy enough for big data center work (like IBM’s AIX or Sun’s Solaris), was never sexy enough for SGI-style graphic workstations and was not friendly enough for software development (like SunOS/Solaris). Instead of fighting Linux 8 years ago, SCO ought to have found a way to leverage that OS to find new markets (for a similiar rant, change “SCO” to “RIAA” and “that OS” to “MP3s” in the last sentence).

All this FUD does is hurt Linux adopting in the short term. What SCO is doing is devising an exit strategy for its management. This is not a long-term business plan. Perhaps SCO hopes to force IBM to buy it so that IBM can continue its Linux program. Perhaps Microsoft will buy SCO and continue to FUD Linux to death.

Although I really like Linux, I’d also be happy if FreeBSD got a lot of new attention as a free Unix alternative for the desktop.

I understand that the pursuit of capital can be a dirty business, but SCO’s machinations wreak of desperation and meanness. Shame on them.

[Original use.perl.org post and comments.]