The SCO Group is to offer external developers the chance to bid for work creating software to work with its products.
The company said that by using the SCO Marketplace initiative, a feature of its SCO Developer Network, developers can bid for paid development work related to SCO products.
Early examples will be projects such as drivers, and the marketplace is due to launch by the end of the year, the company said.
Sandy Gupta, vice president of engineering at SCO, maintained that the initiative will help build a stronger relationship with external developers.
"It is really important to have a strong developer programme around our products," he said.
Internal engineering teams at SCO will work on the core operating system technologies, while external developers can add to software available on SCO's platforms, the company claimed.
SCO chairman and chief executive Darl McBride indicated that the initiative could lead to the development of an intellectual property marketplace, with SCO distributing applications developed by independent software vendors.
"There are a lot of developers out there trying to work out how to get distribution and how to make money. Where SCO Marketplace goes is potentially quite exciting," he said.
The company also released SCOofficeServer 4.1 email and collaboration services, which it is pitching as a replacement for Microsoft Exchange.
Available now on SCO OpenServer 5.0.7, the package offers spam-blocking and antivirus technology and can use email clients including Microsoft Outlook, Qualcomm Eudora and Netscape.
The next version of SCOofficeServer, codenamed Neon, is due in the first half of 2005.
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