SCO has been handed a lifeline this week, with IBM announcing it will integrate its Unixware 7 operating system with its own AIX, raising the possibility of a Big Blue acquisition of the company. The deal also has the backing of chip-maker Intel, and Sequent, and the companies claim it will lead to an industry-standard Unix.
As predicted by VNU Newswire last week, IBM will take Unixware 7 as its 32-bit Unix product, including earmarking a ?substantial? investment in channel and marketing programs.
At the same time, SCO will take some of the key AIX technology to enhance Unixware 7?s high end capabilities, and IBM will provide engineering resources to port its middleware technologies to the Unixware platform. It will also seek to encourage independent software vendors to develop and port applications to Unixware.
The companies will also work jointly on a single 64-bit version for Intel based servers, using both Unixware and AIX technology, leading to a single Unix product line across IA-32, IA-64 and IBM processors.
SCO?s ability to stay in the Unix market as it moves to 64 bit has been under question for some time, given the high levels of investment required - over $100 million annually, according to some estimates - and with many of its earlier partners, including Compaq and Hewlett-Packard, taking their own direction. This deal appears to give it both the resources and partners, analysts have long been claiming it needs to survive.
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