The UnitedLinux consortium was one year old today, but SCO's acrimonious lawsuit, which is threatening the group's future, cast a shadow over any birthday celebrations.
The consortium's general manager, Paula Hunter, was upbeat about UnitedLinux's achievements in its first year, saying the group had achieved all its major milestones.
But she remained tight-lipped over SCO's $1bn lawsuit with IBM, which now threatens the very existence of the consortium.
Comprising SuSE, Conectiva, TurboLinux and renegade SCO (formerly Caldera), UnitedLinux has given itself global reach, something none of the four members had previously achieved.
"Over the past year UnitedLinux has firmly established itself as the number two provider of Linux to the Enterprise [behind Red Hat]," Hunter told vnunet.com.
"The standing room-only attendance at the UnitedLinux Comdex press conference is testimony to the strong interest shown in our message and product."
Within the period, a series of technology partners such as IBM, Hewlett Packard (HP) and AMD have also been signed up, and Hunter listed some key milestones:
- UnitedLinux v1.0 released on time in November 2002.
- Carrier grade Linux feature set developed in collaboration with HP, IBM and Intel for telecoms companies.
- Inclusion in Oracle's Unbreakable Linux programme with advanced Oracle support.
- Creation of UnitedLinux Developer's Zone for hardware, application and tool vendors to create, port and test solutions.
- Announcement of a joint certification programme with Linux Professional Institute.
In an interview in late March with vnunet.com, Hunter insisted that the consortium was not concerned about the lawsuit. "[It] has nothing to do with UnitedLinux. It is not having any impact. We are continuing as before," she said.
Now analysts agree it is difficult to see a future for the group, especially as SCO has also threatened fellow member SuSE over its Linux offering, warning that it is not immune from future action.
Two weeks ago SCO cancelled its marketing, business development and financial resources for UnitedLinux, and stopped selling its Linux implementation.
But SuSE has indicated it can fill the gap left by SCO. And Hunter was bullish about the future of the consortium.
"In the upcoming months we will continue to focus on increasing the number of applications certified on UnitedLinux and sharing customer case studies that demonstrate the scalability, reliability and success of products 'Powered by Linux'," she said.
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