SCO ships Linux for Itanium

One month after filing a Linux-related lawsuit against IBM, SCO Group releases a version of Linux for Intel's Itanium processor family.

SCO Group, which gained notoriety for a Linux-related lawsuit it filed against IBM last month, released a version of Linux for Intel's Itanium processor family on Tuesday.

The Lindon, Utah-based company's product costs $999 for systems with as many as four Itanium 2 processors and includes a one-year subscription to SCO's software update service.

The software is based on version 1.0 of the Linux distribution from the UnitedLinux consortium, which includes SCO Group, SuSE, Conectiva and Turbolinux. The companies formed the consortium to counter the influence of dominant Linux seller Red Hat.

Operating systems for Intel's high-end Itanium chip family are a sore point for SCO, which had collaborated with IBM on an Itanium version of SCO's UnixWare called Project Monterey. The collaboration took place before SCO was acquired by Linux seller Caldera Systems, which last year adopted the SCO name.

But IBM abandoned Project Monterey in favor of Linux, a move that frustrated SCO and that eventually made its way into SCO's lawsuit against IBM. Among other things, SCO accused IBM of using Project Monterey as a mechanism to misappropriate trade secrets for running Unix on Intel processors--information that Big Blue then allegedly used to improve how Linux runs on Intel processors.

The lawsuit has triggered a hostile response against SCO among some in the Linux community. For example, the Linux news site PCLinuxOnline is urging a boycott of SCO products.

Two weeks ago, SCO warned that the lawsuit might hurt its business and alienate some in the computing industry. Indeed, SuSE, the SCO business partner that develops the UnitedLinux software SCO relies on, said it is reevaluating its relationship with SCO because of the lawsuit.

But SCO is sticking to its Linux business, even though most of its sales come from its Unix products. SCO Linux Server 4.0 for Itanium chips includes remote management features, clustering capabilities to let one system take over if another fails and security auditing tools. The software is available now.

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