The IT community is eagerly awaiting the latest chapter in the SCO-IBM soap opera, but local AIX users appear unconcerned at the prospect of IBM losing its Unix licence.
When SCO filed suit against IBM in March, citing “misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference, unfair competition and breach of contract”, it threatened to revoke IBM’s AIX Unix licence in 100 days. That deadline passed at midnight last Friday and before the deadline last week SCO reiterated its threat.
Last week Gartner was reported as recommending that AIX users ask IBM to indemnify them against damages, but local AIX users spoken to by Computerworld were not taking any immediate action.
Sky City’s business solutions manager, Mike Foley, says the company has heard nothing on the issue from SCO or IBM. “At the moment we’re not in the process of doing anything.”
Kiwibank is taking a similar wait-and-see attitude. IT manager Ron van de Riet says the dispute has had no impact as yet, but the company is monitoring the situation.
TVNZ recently stopped using AIX. Neil Andrew, head of operations and technology, says the broadcaster still uses Linux.
“I’m probably not concerned from a TVNZ point of view, because our major applications aren’t Linux-based,” Andrew says, “but from an individual point of view I am.”
Andrew, a former developer, says “it’s nice to have a good competitive marketplace with Linux there. It would seem a real pity if Linux were not available.”
He was wary of the claims being made, and the lack of real information about SCO’s claims.
“If it is true, I could see they would be upset. But we don’t know.”
In AIX IBM uses System V Unix code, which SCO claims it holds the rights to.
IBM denies the charges brought by SCO and does not believe its licence can be revoked. "IBM believes that our contract is irrevocable and perpetual," IBM spokeswoman Trink Guarino says. "IBM will continue to ship, support and invest in AIX."
Last week SCO spokesman Blake Stowell said unless IBM corrected the wrongdoing by midnight on Friday, or settled the case, SCO would revoke the licence and weigh its further legal options.
"They need to correct their actions as outlined in our complaint. If those terms aren't met, then we will announce what our actions are on Monday," Stowell said last Thursday (Friday NZ time).