In the 1980s I was MIS Director here at TMCnet. In case you aren’t aware I introduced desktop publishing to TMC around 1986 or so and we were one of the first publishing companies to standardize on PCs instead of Macs. At the time I saw no long term future for Apple. Boy have times changed.
Around 1990 I also upgraded our computer system from a proprietary Zilog-based UNIX to an Intel-based UNIX. At the time the two major players were SCO UNIX and Interactive Unix.
SCO was more expensive but the company’s sales team convinced me that SCO was spending on the marketing and would be around for the long haul. I believed them because their ads were everywhere at the time and Interactive was much more quiet.
Over the years we migrated away from UNIX and became a Microsoft shop. In the last seven years however a bunch of Linux servers have appeared throughout our office.
I suppose our move to Linux and not UNIX is part of the reason a company like SCO declared bankruptcy. It is more complicated than this because you may be aware SCO declared war on Linux, IBM and many companies choosing to use Linux. Unfortunately for SCO, the company lost the lawsuit and now must compete on its own merits.
This is obviously almost impossible to do when you compete against such a popular product which is also free.
As SCO plummets – potentially into oblivion I suppose another era has emerged in the computing world. In this new world, you give things away and charge for services such as support in the case of Red Hat or outbound calling to the PSTN in the case of Skype. A company like Digium makes money from training and other value-added services.
As markets evolve, companies must evolve as well or they face extermination. It is a shame to see SCO go but they took a chance by suing and they knew it was a risky move. They bet the farm and lost and will now just be a lasting memory in the minds of the few (like me) who used the OS to run a growing company in the eighties and nineties.