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SCO's McBride: Rumors of our demise are greatly exaggerated

'Everybody's saying this thing's all over...,' says the CEO

By Todd R. Weiss
October 1, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - If the corporate Grim Reaper is truly knocking on the door of The SCO Group Inc., no one apparently told the company's CEO and president, Darl C. McBride.

Despite SCO's a major court loss last month in its legal case against Novell Inc., its bankruptcy reorganization filing and an ominous-sounding quarterly U.S Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week in which SCO said there is "substantial doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern," McBride insists that no one should be lining up yet for his company's funeral parade.

On the heels of all of that news, Nasdaq even got into the act by announcing that SCO would be delisted from the stock exchange because the price of its stock had fallen below $1 per share. An appeal by SCO has delayed that action for now.

Since 2003, SCO and Novell have been fighting over who legally owns the rights to Unix and UnixWare. That's when Lindon, Utah-based SCO sued IBM in what became a $5 billion lawsuit, alleging that IBM illegally contributed some of SCO's Unix code to the then-fledgling Linux open-source project. In 2004, SCO sued Novell directly, prompting Novell to file counterclaims disputing SCO's case.

In August, U.S. District Court Judge Dale A. Kimball in Salt Lake City undercut much of SCO's case in a ruling that declared Novell the owner of the Unix and UnixWare copyrights. As a result, a bench trial will determine how much money SCO might now have to pay Novell for Unix licensing revenue it received from Sun Microsystems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. That trial was supposed to begin last month but was postponed because SCO filed for bankruptcy.

In an exclusive interview with Computerworld on Friday, McBride said he's frustrated that the bankruptcy filing and Nasdaq delisting proceedings are making news at a time when his company has been working to reinvent itself with upcoming mobility products and services.

"[There's] the view out there that we're just dead and everybody's claiming victory over SCO," he said. "It's almost like the World Series is over and the only thing that hasn't happened is the victory parade. It's like the Linux faithful are lined up ... for the bad news. They've got their confetti ready to throw and everybody's all excited, and they have their floats. Sam [Palmisano, chairman and CEO of IBM] has his, Linus [Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel] has his and everybody's pitching in. Groklaw [a Web site that has been monitoring the SCO-IBM case] and their followers are all there. Everybody's saying this thing's all over and now let's have a victory parade."

Instead, he insists, it's too early to call the final results of the case.



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