SCO’s Game Face

With so much news surrounding SCO related to its
various legal battles over Linux, it’s sometimes easy to forget that
they are still a UNIX-based company. Today SCO officially announced
a barrage of new products that are intended to combat Linux
and help the company regain market share.

SCO announced updates to both its UnixWare and OpenServer products, as
well as a new embedded UNIX product called SmallFoot. Productivity and
collaboration tools also got a boost with the announcement of SCOoffice
Server 4.1 and the Vintela Authentication from SCO Release 2.6.

“It’s been quite some time since we have released new versions of our
operating systems,” Jeff Hunsaker, senior vice president and general manager
of the SCO UNIX division, said in a morning conference call. “As you can
appreciate, in the world of any operating system company, you live and die
by new releases and new technologies and new certifications, which we’re
now seeing and we’re now launching.”

The UnixWare 7.1.4 release introduces a number of significant new enhancements
to the SCO product, including an SMB edition and a Web Services Substrate (WSS).
SCOx WSS enables the transformation of character-based legacy
applications into Web-enabled services as part of an SOA . The WSS
is comprised of a number of technologies, including Ericom Host Publisher
for console-based apps, SQL Encapsulator for database driven apps and the
SCO WebFace GUI to present the data. The toolset allows for .NET and Java integration.

“Although the Web Services market is still emerging, many companies today
are finding substantial business value in their Web Services initiatives,
both in terms of reduced cost and increased agility,” said Jason Bloomberg,
senior analyst at ZapThink, in a statement. “SCO understands
the potential of this market and how Web Services technologies can help companies
solve a range of application and legacy integration problems. The company is
making solid moves to roll out its innovative Web Services-based products like
the SCOx Web Services Substrate to its SCO UNIX customers and resellers.”

Also new to UNIXware is a small business edition (SBE), which is squarely aimed
at Microsoft and Red Hat Linux users. The initial pricing on the offering is as
low as $599 for a five-user license.

The SCOx SBE offering includes file and print services, DHCP, RDBMS, firewall,
proxy server as well as the open source Apache webserver and Mozilla web browser.

The Smallfoot embedded UNIX product is SCO’s entry into the embedded market.
Currently shipping in the offering is a development toolkit that is intended
for numerous applications, including gaming and point-of-sale units.

As part of its effort to further improve collaboration, the company also released the Vintela
authentication product, a single sign-on user identity
management tool that can be used across Windows and multiple UNIX environments.

“This product complements our UNIX business,” Erik Hughes senior director of
SCO Product Management said in a morning conference call. “The problem in
heterogeneous environments is that there is no way to securely share user
identities across UNIX and Windows environments — no single point of
authentication that doesn’t have many inefficiencies.”

Hughes also described SCOoffice Server 4.1, which will be available at the end of July.
“Even though we’ve been in the collaboration business for a couple of years,
we have not provided a solution that runs on our own UNIX products,” Hughes
said. “This product represents a substantial opportunity for SCO and our
partners to upgrade OpenServer and UNIXware and to upgrade their mail capability.”

SCOoffice is a typical collaboration suite, which includes a calendar, a global
address book, shared folders, advanced e-mail capabilities and Microsoft Outlook

SCO’s revenues have been declining. In its recent second quarter results, the company
revealed that
it lost $15 million in the quarter. Declining UNIX revenues, as well as
a lack of revenue from its SCOsource Linux license program were among the
reasons for the loss.

Legal battles also plague the company, as a pair of rulings in SCO’s ongoing tussles
with IBM and Novell
were handed
last week. Both cases will continue, but SCO says it has the financial reserves
to keep paying for the litigation.

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