The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) plans to re-enter the embedded market after decommitting from it in recent years, by coming out with a one megabyte version of its Unixware operating system to sell to OEMs.
While in the past the focus had been primarily on retail point of sale systems, the new offering, dubbed "Unix on a Megabyte" will be targetted at such black-box devices as routers and petrol pumps or any "appliance servers" that could be hooked up to the Internet, including self contained Web servers.
Doug Michels, SCO's president and chief executive, explained the move at the SCO Forum developers conference in Santa Cruz this week.
"An important trend in the network computing world is making devices simpler, while costing under $1,000. A lot of hardware vendors think it's an interesting business and we'll be coming to the market with it this year. We don't need a lot of OEMs - just five could sell hundreds of thousands of units and that could give us very significant revenues," he said.
He added: "I'm personally quite excited about it. The potential is huge. Very few people are actually involved with it though and it still sits in the operating system business, but if it gets big enough, we will make it into a virtual business unit like Tarantella."
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