When The Santa Cruz Operation announced three weeks ago that it was selling its Unix server software and professional services divisions to Linux provider Caldera Systems, many customers wondered what the move would mean to their own operations.
But at last week's SCO Forum2000 event here, many of those customer concerns were answered, as executives from both companies assured users that SCO Unixware will live and thrive.
Those were just the assurances the resellers and customers wanted to hear. With the acquisition, the concern was that Caldera would move to drop either Unix or Linux to focus on its future.
Those fears were addressed at the conference, when Caldera's president and CEO, Ransom Love, stressed that the two product lines will live together side by side, adding strength to each other.
Caldera pledged to continue the SCO OpenServer and Unixware 7 lines, he said. "Why would we buy it to destroy what we buy?" Love asked. "That wouldn't make any sense."
One (US-based) SCO partner, Shay Tochner, a worldwide strategic consultant at Magic Software in Israel, agreed. To make it work for customers, though, Caldera must be serious about keeping the Unix and Linux lines separate, he said. "If they're integrating correctly, they can be a winner. But if things are going to degrade in the SCO infrastructure, then this is going to be a disaster for both parties," he said.
"I'm calm," said Tochner, whose company has been using OpenDesktop, OpenServer and Unixware during the past seven years. "I'm not worried. I still have to believe what they're saying. They have to be stupid to go against it."
Reseller Marcelo Gonzalez, president of Sisat SA, has been selling and supporting SCO products for 12 years and is also pleased with the sale to Caldera.
"It will take a little time for the Unixware customers to see that this will be good for everybody," Gonzalez said. "The words of Ransom Love are very important."
SCO and Caldera announced the sale on August 2. SCO is keeping its Tarantella software line as its core business, though the company announced at Forum2000 that it's renaming itself Tarantella. The sale of the two divisions should be finalised by October.