The SCO Group has again extended its offer of cut-price Linux licences, this time until the end of the year - and possibly beyond.
The UnixWare licensing scheme, announced at the beginning of August, set the price at $1,399 (£828) per server for Fortune 1000 companies, but offered a special price of $699 for those who signed up before 15 October.
In October, SCO extended its reduced price offer for two weeks to the end of the month. Take-up is thought to have been poor so far, but the company refuses to issue the exact number.
Blake Stowell, SCO's director of public relations, told vnunet.com: "The company has made the decision to extend the $699 US pricing to the Fortune 1000 [companies] through to the end of 2003."
He would not say why the offer has again been extended but revealed the licence only applied in the US. SCO plans to extend the licence to other businesses elsewhere in the world in the coming months, also at the discounted price.
Asked if there would be yet more extensions to the discount in the US, he said: "I can't comment on what the licence will cost after December 31, 2003."
SCO claims Unix code which it owns was added to Linux without permission and believes Linux users should pay for a UnixWare licence.
Stowell added that the takeover of SuSE Linux by former Unix-owner Novell would be unlikely to materially affect its $3bn case against IBM, but might affect Linux distributors if SCO wins.
Recently Big Blue subpoenaed SCO investors and an analyst who had been in discussions with SCO. SCO then subpoenaed Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation, in what some construed as a tit-for-tat move.
But Stowell said: "From a legal standpoint there is a time by which either side can issue subpoenas, and I believe this is why both sides in this case issued their subpoenas at about the same time."
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