The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) plans to ship the next release of its Open Server operating system at the end of this month. This follows the announcement in March that it had U-turned on its previous policy of moving the product into maintenance mode.
The OS was SCO?s original flagship offering and still generates about 50 per cent of its revenues, but after the company acquired Novell?s Unixware product a couple of years ago, the two code lines were merged to create Unixware 7. SCO generated 20 per cent of its turnover from Unixware last year and is basing all its future strategies on that product.
However, Peter Walker, SCO?s director of marketing strategy, said: ?We didn?t recognise two years ago that there was still demand for Open Server and that people wanted new functionality built into the operating system. So, we defocused on it because we didn?t think people would need us to enhance it."
That was a mistake, he agreed. "When we launched Unixware 7 on 22 March, we made the first acknowledgement that we?d continue developing [Open Server] and that migration would be based on the need for people to go to a higher level of Intel functionality. There?s no burning need for Open Server to wither, but it will never be 64-bit.?
SCO is still keen to migrate the installed base, however, and will come up with a five-user version of Unixware Departmental Edition on 11 September (see related story) at the same price point as Open Server, to encourage resellers to 'sidegrade' or start using it for new applications such as Web servers. A five-user licence for Open Server currently costs $1,399, while Unixware starts at 25 seats and costs $2,295.
This five-user version of Unixware will be replaced in the first half of next year with a Business Edition of the OS, codenamed Voyager. It will come bundled with a Unixware only licence for the Tarantella connectivity software to seed the market, but to hook other back end servers to client machines, users will need to purchase a full Tarantella licence.
The offering was dubbed Voyager because SCO hopes to position it as the Open Server replacement and will also provide a phased release of migration tools over the course of 1999.
Version 5.05 of Open Server, meanwhile, will incorporate version 5.0 of Realnetworks? Realsystem Basic Server Plus video and audio streaming technology and version 4.05 of Netscape?s Communicator client software. It will also include improved support for the Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) to enable mobile users to hook in remotely, and support the IMAP4 Internet mail protocol for the first time.
Pricing is also being revamped and from next week will adopt the Unixware model. Previously prices increased in increments of 10 users, with a 100-user licence costing $2,500. It will now increase by $50 per active network connection, although the average installation size is 15 users compared with Unixware?s 20.
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