Coffeehouse Thread

37 posts

Why doesn't Microsoft buy SCO?

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    I have been playing with my university's Unix server lately and I think Unix has a lot of potential as an operating system, but it is so prohibitively expensive that very few people are running it.

    Given that Unix is such an important operating system historically and even today and that SCO is not worth much after its Linux lawsuit, why doesn't Microsoft buy SCO and make Unix more affordable by lowering prices?

    Failing to buy SCO would give Google the opportunity to accquire Unix. Google has already been working on its own operating system (Android) and it will undoubtly try to expand its OS development into personal computing. Accquiring Unix would give Google a major jump start in OS development as by accquiring Unix, Google would be getting perhaps the most stable, best written and most reliable OS in the world. Building a GUI on top of it and bundling applications like Firefox and offline versions of Google's spreadsheet and word processor tools could enable Google to target Microsoft's core Windows and Office businesses, like Microsoft targeted Netscape's core business of selling web server software with IIS. With the halo effect that a Google OS would have with younger people, people would begin to start switching to it, eroding Microsoft's marketshare, similarly to what is happening with Apple's Mac OS X with younger people today. Heck, I have not counted, but roughly 10% of the computers run by my university are made by Apple and run Mac OS X because my peers want to use Apple's computers. Imagine that happening with a much more influential company like Google without the OS being locked to any particular OEM, sort of like Google's Android OS on mobile phones is beginning to do now (all of the telecommunications companies are working on making their phones use it), despite not even being out yet.

    Perhaps I am going a bit far, but I would really like the ability to buy a copy of Unix for my home PC for $15.75 at my university's store like I can with Windows Vista Ultimate, so I tried to make the best case I could for why Microsoft should buy SCO.

  • User profile image
    Cannot​Resolve​Symbol

    Probably because proprietary Unix is dying, being replaced with Linux and Windows Server machines.  Proprietary Unix is not a good investment right now:  Linux and Windows Server have become strong enough competitors that people are moving away from those legacy systems.

  • User profile image
    rjdohnert

    Not really dying, OpenSolaris is actually creating quite a vibrant community, FreeBSD and Mac OS X also have quite strong followings.

    CannotResolveSymbol wrote:
    Probably because proprietary Unix is dying, being replaced with Linux and Windows Server machines.  Proprietary Unix is not a good investment right now:  Linux and Windows Server have become strong enough competitors that people are moving away from those legacy systems.

  • User profile image
    TimP

    Shining Arcanine wrote:
    Perhaps I am going a bit far, but I would really like the ability to buy a copy of Unix for my home PC for $15.75 at my university's store like I can with Windows Vista Ultimate, so I tried to make the best case I could for why Microsoft should buy SCO.


    http://www.ubuntu.com/
    http://www.freebsd.org/
    http://www.openbsd.org/
    http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/

    Besides, I think that Novell vs. SCO lawsuit determined that SCO never "owned" Unix and that all Unix-related assets belong to Novell.

  • User profile image
    Cannot​Resolve​Symbol

    rjdohnert wrote:
    Not really dying, OpenSolaris is actually creating quite a vibrant community, FreeBSD and Mac OS X also have quite strong followings.

    CannotResolveSymbol wrote:
    Probably because proprietary Unix is dying, being replaced with Linux and Windows Server machines.  Proprietary Unix is not a good investment right now:  Linux and Windows Server have become strong enough competitors that people are moving away from those legacy systems.


    But proprietary Unixes (OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, and Darwin are all open source) are dying out.  SCO Unix is a proprietary, closed system.

  • User profile image
    Royal​Schrubber

    Shining Arcanine wrote:
    but it is so prohibitively expensive that very few people are running it.


    Well aside from human resources you can easily find implementations of unix that will cost you nothing (most common examples are BSD and linux). Besides - what is unix other than posix and few standard apps put together. Posix is something nearly all alternative operating systems support - they all suck posix application juice. If you don't have IIS you need posix to run apache/lighttpd/whatever - not unix.

  • User profile image
    TimP

    To follow up, try typing uname -a on your department Unix machine to identify the kernel. While it may look like Unix, I would be genuinely surprised if it was SCO Unix, since I've never heard of any universities running it this decade.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    Because SCO lost in SCO vs. Novell and has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and lost control over their source-code.

    SCO is a really, really bad investment for anybody at this time because its expensive and has remarkably few actual assets.

  • User profile image
    martin_lovi​ck

    TimP wrote:
    
    Shining Arcanine wrote:
    Perhaps I am going a bit far, but I would really like the ability to buy a copy of Unix for my home PC for $15.75 at my university's store like I can with Windows Vista Ultimate, so I tried to make the best case I could for why Microsoft should buy SCO.


    http://www.ubuntu.com/
    http://www.freebsd.org/
    http://www.openbsd.org/
    http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/

    Besides, I think that Novell vs. SCO lawsuit determined that SCO never "owned" Unix and that all Unix-related assets belong to Novell.


    Theres also Ancient Unix  @
    http://v6.cuzuco.com/ , http://www.lemis.com/grog/Documentation/Lions/
    & http://www.tuhs.org/
    If you are interested in learning about the development and history of Unix. It also has a number of distributions that you can download for free although they wont work directly on a pc, it might be interesting to try porting

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    TimP wrote:
    
    Shining Arcanine wrote:
    Perhaps I am going a bit far, but I would really like the ability to buy a copy of Unix for my home PC for $15.75 at my university's store like I can with Windows Vista Ultimate, so I tried to make the best case I could for why Microsoft should buy SCO.


    http://www.ubuntu.com/
    http://www.freebsd.org/
    http://www.openbsd.org/
    http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/

    Besides, I think that Novell vs. SCO lawsuit determined that SCO never "owned" Unix and that all Unix-related assets belong to Novell.


    I have tried Ubuntu before and it did not play nicely with Microsoft Virtual PC. Is it possible to do a dual-boot between Ubuntu and Windows XP? Also, I thought Ubuntu was Linux based and not Unix based. Can a Unix clone really as good as the real thing?

    By the way, since Novell owns Unix and SCO distributes it, why does not Microsoft buy both SCO and Novell, so it can own Unix?

    TimP wrote:
    

    To follow up, try typing uname -a on your department Unix machine to identify the kernel. While it may look like Unix, I would be genuinely surprised if it was SCO Unix, since I've never heard of any universities running it this decade.



    Here is what it says:

    SunOS sparky 5.9 Generic_122300-12 sun4u sparc SUNW,Sun-Fire-V440

    I did not think it was SCO Unix, as according to Wikipedia:

    Wikipedia wrote:
    By decree of The Open Group, the term "UNIX®" refers more to a class of operating systems than to a specific implementation of an operating system; those operating systems which meet The Open Group's Single UNIX Specification should be able to bear the UNIX® 98 or UNIX® 03 trademarks today, after the operating system's vendor pays a fee to The Open Group. Systems licensed to use the UNIX® trademark include AIX, HP-UX, IRIX, Solaris, Tru64 (formerly "Digital UNIX"), A/UX, Mac OS X 10.5 on Intel platforms,[11] and a part of z/OS.

  • User profile image
    staceyw

    Shining Arcanine wrote:
    


    By the way, since Novell owns Unix and SCO distributes it, why does not Microsoft buy both SCO and Novell, so it can own Unix?


    Why would they?  IIRC they owed part of it already and sold it in 2000 (gave it back).  They would never make there money back.  Moreover, it gets them no farther down the road with their os.  Doesn't IBM offer a student version of AIX? 



  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    staceyw wrote:
    
    Shining Arcanine wrote:
    


    By the way, since Novell owns Unix and SCO distributes it, why does not Microsoft buy both SCO and Novell, so it can own Unix?


    Why would they?  IIRC they owed part of it already and sold it in 2000 (gave it back).  They would never make there money back.  Moreover, it gets them no farther down the road with their os.  Doesn't IBM offer a student version of AIX? 


    What if Google was to buy SCO and Novell to get Unix?

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    Shining Arcanine wrote:
    
    staceyw wrote:
    
    Shining Arcanine wrote:
    


    By the way, since Novell owns Unix and SCO distributes it, why does not Microsoft buy both SCO and Novell, so it can own Unix?


    Why would they?  IIRC they owed part of it already and sold it in 2000 (gave it back).  They would never make there money back.  Moreover, it gets them no farther down the road with their os.  Doesn't IBM offer a student version of AIX? 


    What if Google was to buy SCO and Novell to get Unix?


    great, let them have it.

    really I think you are missing a few things like:

    if MSFT started buying *ANY* compmany that made *ANY* OS then someone somewhere would cry foul and start a legal action.

    why?  recall the legal past, they would accuse MSFT of trying to lock out other OS's and of tyring to create a monopoly etc....

    that alone would stop MSFT from the kind of move you are talking about.

    a very very very big risk with a huge cost and for what?

    let UNIX and Linux stand as they are.  they can rise or fall on thier own merits.

    as for cost: as posted Linux is for all intent UNIX with a new name and an open source.

    and yes you can dual boot between Linux and Windows.

    as for the distros that do not play well with VPC I say thats a bloody mess....

    the Linux guys are fools for not making thier distros "just work" with VPC -- having it not work due to some kind of "moral high ground" or whatever only hurts them.  makes it harder to try out the OS and intimidates the new user who is not an uber-geek.

    MSFT has left VPC with that old s3 video emulation for *WAY* to long....  several folks (me included) tryied to tell MSFT with postings on connect that they need to change that... and they did not seem to want to hear that....

    HEY MICROSOFT:  next version of VPC should allow the user to select from a small list of video card emulations, like say S3, one or two ATI cards and one or two NVIDIA cards.
    perhaps an API for adding other video emulations also ??
    and more support for USB ports!

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    Linux does work with VirtualPC.

    You just have change the X video mode to 16-bit color because the VPC emulated graphics card doesn't like true color (can be done from GUI or by editing xorg.conf) and add "-- i8042.noloop" to end of the kernel boot parameter in menu.lst to get the mouse pointer to work.

    Those steps above should take all of thirty seconds.

    Still... why VirtualPC?

    Unlike VirtualPC, there are several of other virtualization products that all have been optimized for a varity of Linux guests.

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    Open source Unix isn't going anywhere. BSD, Darwin, OpenSolaris, and Linux are strong despite laughable marketshare.

    The proprietary Unix cousins are done, though. MacOS X is a hybrid proprietary and open source Unix OS.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    Xaero_Vincent wrote:
    

    Linux does work with VirtualPC.

    You just have change the X video mode to 16-bit color because the VPC emulated graphics card doesn't like true color (can be done from GUI or by editing xorg.conf) and add "-- i8042.noloop" to end of the kernel boot parameter in menu.lst to get the mouse pointer to work.

    Those steps above should take all of thirty seconds.

    Still... why VirtualPC?

    Unlike VirtualPC, there are several of other virtualization products that all have been optimized for a varity of Linux guests.



    my comment was not that "it does not work" but rather that both groups (MSFT, Linux OS) have created a bad user experience that IMHO is just plain wrong.

    and *IF* they wanted to I bet some of the Linux distro folks could make a bit of code to deal with the problem so that a new user would not have to edit files and go looking for how to fix it.

    all the "Year of the Linux Desktop" and other grand statements show that the they "just don't get it" in some very simple cases.

    and MSFT needs to look at this also, while selling windows seats is msft's main thing having VPC seem to be "unable" to boot linux gives the less educated the impression that MSFT is not able to make a quality product or that perhaps they threw a wrench in the works to halt use of Linux / Unix.

    I am not saying that ither camp is doing this... just that both are making them selves look bad to all the folks that they should be trying to sway....

    both sides should be working to give the user a good experience.

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    Xaero_Vincent wrote:
    

    Linux does work with VirtualPC.

    You just have change the X video mode to 16-bit color because the VPC emulated graphics card doesn't like true color (can be done from GUI or by editing xorg.conf) and add "-- i8042.noloop" to end of the kernel boot parameter in menu.lst to get the mouse pointer to work.

    Those steps above should take all of thirty seconds.

    Still... why VirtualPC?

    Unlike VirtualPC, there are several of other virtualization products that all have been optimized for a varity of Linux guests.



    The cursor in Ubuntu 7.04 does not work in Virtual PC. Ubuntu 6.10 does not have that problem. It has the 24-bit color issue, but that can easily be worked around. The mouse problem in 7.04 cannot be worked around.

    As for why Virtual PC, it is free, it supports hardware virtualization and it is readily avaliable. I would really like to use a Virtual Machine that has all of that with SMP support as well.

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    Shining Arcanine wrote:
    The cursor in Ubuntu 7.04 does not work in Virtual PC. Ubuntu 6.10 does not have that problem. It has the 24-bit color issue, but that can easily be worked around. The mouse problem in 7.04 cannot be worked around.

    As for why Virtual PC, it is free, it supports hardware virtualization and it is readily avaliable. I would really like to use a Virtual Machine that has all of that with SMP support as well.


    According to Wikipedia, Virtual PC 2007 doesn't support SMP and uses regular virtualization. Xen and VMWare support SMP, paravirtualization and/or hardware virtualization (CPU kind). I also read that VMWare supports multi-monitors and experimental Direct3D 8 hardware acceleration.

    I personally use Virtualbox and it supports Linux distros just fine with full 24 bit color and a seamless mouse (with guest additons). Virtualbox has a neat RDP server feature, where you can remotely access your virtual machine via terminal services client.

    The mouse issue is at least solvable in Ubuntu 7.10 and other distributions using "-- i8042.noloop".

Comments closed

Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.