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Things are getting ugly - AIX is yanked!

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SCO announced that they are yanking the UNIX license (revoking it) for IBMs AIX - is this bad news? or has SCO just found the chamber with the round in it while playing russian roullete?....

SCO is now claiming that they are entitled to a percentage of IBM's total revenue resulting from the sale of UNIX to IBM customers. According to SCO, not o­nly is IBM no longer allowed to sell AIX with any of it's hardware, but some portion of any UNIX sales belong to SCO.

Darl McBride, SCO's chief executive said of IBM, "...based o­n the fact that they don't have an authorized version of AIX to ship," that they are going to, "...make a claim o­n that revenue stream."

IBM received an ultimatum from SCO to come to settle a billion dollar law suit by Friday the thirteenth. That day came and went and now SCO says that everyone (all of the IBM customer base that is) running AIX is no longer entitled to do so - Yah right! Everyone's just going to turn off their boxes, close the doors of their businesses and declare bankruptcy - BANKS INCLUDED!?

IBM says it's all bullshit though, "Our license is irrevocable. It's perpetual, and it cannot be terminated."

The IRONY is, right when most companies are feeling as if the Microsoft way of doing things is more like signing a contract consenting to extortion, SCO appears to be killing the people who have paid the salaries of the closed source, proprietary community - It could be argued that they are seemingly compelling IBM to adopt Linux wholeheartedly and dump other UNIX variants.

This leaves the question: Is McBride merely squeeling out the death-knell for their sins - like the wicked witch of the west when Dorothy douched her with water and melted her? Or could he be secretly subverting his own company through some secret philosophy he holds dear, propelling Linux into the mainstream at the demise of his own company?

It's not like people can't just switch over to Linux - they can. And this latest move provides IBM with added incentive to champion Linux even more now than they have been.

For the time being, it's not clear whether almost every Fortune 1000 company will be assailed for illegitimate operation of AIX. SCO could indeed come after them. Actually holding them accountable is an entirely different matter though, and it would behoove IBM to protect their customer base against such an assault from the dying compnay, SCO. o­ne cannot live upon lawsuits alone - and this can backfire too.

What if IBM told all of it's cusomers running AIX that it would forgive half the cost of labor for assisting them all in converting and porting everything over to Linux (which they could aquire from IBM and run for free)? Almost all of the Fortune 1000 companies have actually implemented, or at least given serious thought to integrating Linux into their enterprises anyway, and they could turn right around and defray any additional costs incurred in the process by suing SCO.

Yes it's ugly, getting uglier, yet the uncontrollable gufaws from the Linux community sitting ringside at this event are o­nly getting louder as they order another round of virtual beer from their cocktail waitresses.