Caldera to buy SCO units

Ending an era, software and services vendor Santa Cruz Operation will be selling off its Unix product line and professional services arm to Linux vendor Caldera.

The merged companies will offer the market yet another acronym - OIP. Short for Open Internet Platform, OIP combines Linux and Unix software products and services. The firms claim that this will result in a set of new Web-based offerings that let users run e-business applications on everything from thin clients to data centres with clustered server machines.

SCO, the leading Unix-on-Intel vendor, already has a wide variety of applications and technologies for security and clustering available to enrich Caldera's Linux product line. It also offers a large worldwide channel infrastructure - possibly the largest Linux channel in the world with 15,000 partners - to move the OIP wares. Users will get all the robust features of SCO's Unix products, but at a Linux price, Caldera claims.

Some of the buyout's specifics include plans by Caldera to create a separate holding company called Caldera, to handle the SCO server software and professional services divisions. SCO in turn will get 28 per cent of the new company and $US7 million in cash.

The deal was announced last Wednesday, several weeks after rumour of the sale appeared in the press. Just prior to the rumour, SCO had detailed plans to rollout its own Linux distribution.

Caldera says it will remain committed to servicing and supporting SCO UnixWare and OpenServer communities.