Gunning For Linux


Was it all too good to be true? That's the question Linux solution providers are asking themselves in the wake of SCO's sweeping claims of ownership to portions of Linux's supposedly 'open' source code.

The first shoe dropped March 7, when SCO filed a billion-dollar lawsuit against IBM for, among other things, donating it's AIX system code to the open source community in violation of its license with SCO.

The other shoe dropped earlier this month, when, in response to finding "multiple violations of SCO's intellectual property," according to SCO CEO Darl McBride, the company sent off letters to thousands of major companies, warning them they could be liable for using Linux.

Not surprisingly, many Linux partisans take a very dim view of the whole proceeding. They argue that SCO itself sold Linux-based solutions, that the company has not revealed specifics about its claims, and that their goal is to get acquired by a bigger company.

This week, though, SCO found itself an ally, and it's a big one. Microsoft announced it had licensed SCO's Unix code for use in its Unix/Linux products. Sceptics argue that Microsoft has a considerable interest in seeing Linux usage become more expensive and legally burdensome, and that SCO's claim played right into their hands.

Linux creator Linus Torvalds has not seen SCO's specific claims himself, (few people will until the matter's in court) but said that if violations of SCO's license are found, that the Linux community should be able to rectify them in short order. We'll see. This is going to be a very big story this summer.

Tech Builder/White Box

The system builder marketplace continues to be a hot segment of the solution provider world. At this month's Tech Builder XChange, vendors and system builders got together to discuss where the white box market is heading, and how to take advantage of the opportunity there. Find full coverage in our XChange News Center. Keep track of developments in the system builder world year-round in our White Box News Center

Sourcing Center

Our newest ChannelWeb service, the Sourcing Center, brings together on one page all our tools for researching product pricing and availability, along with outside reviews, white papers and e-commerce capability. It's a terrific stop for comparison shopping. Each of the businesses on the page is an independent company with a business relationship with us, CMP Media's Technology Solution Group (just to let you know).

The Network Directory

Meanwhile, we've rolled out another feature in our ChannelWeb Network Directory, our database of over 2,500 technology companies, including vendors, distributors and solution providers. Via the new keyword search you can search company product, customer and description information. Look for resellers of specific vendor lines, expertise in technologies or in specific verticals. Combined with our other search mechanisms, it's a great way to find vendors and possible partners.

New Newsletters

VARBusiness has launched its fourth newsletter. The 'Technology Advisor' brings together all of VARBusiness's print and online coverage of products and technologies. In particular, the newsletter features 'Sam's SAN Diary', an ongoing journal of one Manhattan law firm's efforts to work with vendors and solution provider's to build a storage-area network. Sign up for the Technology Advisor now!

Best of the Week

On the financial front, HP Earnings came out this week. Narrowly exceeding expectations, the promise of more belt-tightning at the company gave a lift to its stock. Novell posted a slim loss, though that represented a far better result than the year-ago quarter.