The SCO Group Inc. has detailed a new product road map and a more aggressive marketing plan for its Unix software — a move that comes less than a year after the company’s last attempt to reinvigorate its Unix business.
The renewed product push also followed a 53 per cent decline in total revenue during SCO’s second quarter, compared with the same period a year ago. The Lindon, Utah-based company two weeks ago said business totaled just US$10.1 million in its second quarter, which ended April 30.
SCO announced an upgrade of its UnixWare operating system, a tool kit for developing embedded versions of Unix and two other products. It also touted a release of its OpenServer software that’s due early next year — later than the schedule that was disclosed last August, when SCO said the new version would be ready this year.
SCO, which is embroiled in Linux-related lawsuits with IBM Corp., Novell Inc. and Red Hat Inc., has tried hard to buff up its image as a vibrant Unix vendor to regain market share lost to Windows and more recently to Linux. “We’re looking at this long-term, and we see value that we can provide to our customers now and in the future,” said Marc Modersitzki, a spokesperson for SCO.
But John Stroker, director of information and planning at Miami-based Palace Resorts, which operates a chain of hotels in Mexico and the Virgin Islands, said SCO’s new products don’t really interest him. Palace Resorts runs its back-office accounting and reservations-processing systems on SCO OpenServer 5.03, and Stroker said he doesn’t need to upgrade because the operating system is reliable and stable. “As long as the thing runs, that’s all I need,” he said.
Stroker is investing in some outside services to upgrade SCO’s graphical user interface so it’s more presentable to end users. But he said that if Palace Resorts decides in the future to migrate to a new operating system for technical reasons, he “probably wouldn’t look at Unix.” Instead, Stroker said, he’d be more inclined to switch to Windows.
Gordon Haff, an analyst at Illuminata Inc. in Nashua, N.H., said SCO’s legal campaign against Linux vendors and users has left some customers confused about its product development plans. The company has been focusing much of its attention on building an intellectual property licensing business around its Unix technology, not on remaining a viable software vendor, Haff said.
“It shouldn’t surprise them that their customers are jumping ship,” he added. “If I were a SCO customer…I certainly would be operating under the assumption that I’ll have to be moving to another platform sooner or later.”