The New SCO Strategy: New Name, New Product, Hope People Forget The Past

from the good-luck-with-that... dept

I’ll be posting another DEMO summary shortly, but a few people have asked what the deal is with SCO, and it seems like it deserved a separate post. For those familiar with the history of SCO, the company has gone through a number of name (and reputation) changes. It seems like the real purpose of the new offering is to put things in motion for a similar shift again. The company isn’t necessarily distancing itself from “the lawsuit,” but they seem to have finally recognized that it hasn’t done them any favors lately. The folks from SCO I spoke to still seem quite confident despite some serious questions being raised about their case — and not just by the “zealots” they keep trying to pin their problems on. The company’s position is that they’re going to let the lawsuit run its course and they believe they’ll prevail. However, reading between the lines, it’s pretty clear that the massive amount of negative publicity has hit the company hard — and the new announcements are designed to reinvent the company. They’re offering what’s basically a mobile apps and services platform which they hope they can sell to some existing customers. They claim it’s a unique solution, but it doesn’t actually seem that innovative by itself. There are some similar things out there, and it wouldn’t be hard for some more established players in the mobile space to create the rest (though, you have to wonder if SCO will start suing for that… but, I digress…). What was much more interesting than the actual product was the positioning. Everything about the presentation is focused on the brand name: Me Inc. All of the promotional material was branded as Me Inc., which has a completely different look and feel from SCO. The SCO name is there, but it’s usually tiny and hidden off in the corner. Even the business cards I got from SCO people were branded Me Inc prominently, with SCO in tiny print. It certainly looks like they’re embarrassed to be SCO — and perhaps for good reason. When asked, they claimed that the companies who are interested in Me Inc don’t care about the SCO reputation — but it must be an issue for many potential customers who recognize that just associating with SCO can lead to damaging PR. So, this new move almost seems like a way to try to shed the negative SCO brand and re-emerge with a very different product, strategy and (most importantly) name. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see SCO eventually officially rename itself Me Inc and hope enough people forget that it used to be SCO.

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Comments on “The New SCO Strategy: New Name, New Product, Hope People Forget The Past”

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Jeff R says:

Who would be foolish enough to sign a new contract

Who would be foolish enough to sign a new contract with a company that is very publicly suing current and former customers and whose CEO has previously said:

“Copyrights and patents are protection against strangers. Contracts are what you use against parties you have relationships with. From a legal standpoint, contracts end up being far stronger than anything you could do with copyrights.”

I’d call that a special kind of dumb.

alternatives says:

They had to try something...

Back 8 or so years ago, one of the VAR magazines was doing ‘polling’ at a trade show. 9 or 10 SCO vars were going to move away from SCO. Many were staying with UNIX….just not SCO.

Such numbers were like the DEC VMS -> UNIX migration numbers. 8 of 10 were leaving VMS for a different mini platform. And DEC was just not gonna be the vendor. Cept for 2 of 10.

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