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SCO directs attention to new software

The company's fastest-growing revenue source may stem from its software licensing efforts, but SCO is chatting up its products, which will soon support Web services.

SCO Group's fastest-growing revenue source stems from its efforts to enforce proper licensing of its software, but the company announced Web services software Wednesday that could steer some attention back to the company's products as well.

The company announced its SCOx framework Tuesday, a plan to build support for Web services standards into its Unix and Linux software. Web services technology--pioneered largely by companies including Microsoft and IBM--include a set of standards that govern how different computers can conduct sophisticated business transactions across the Internet.

SCO Group, a Lindon, Utah-based company still in the process of changing its name from Caldera International, is the inheritor of the Unix intellectual property initially developed at AT&T. Its business is struggling, though, and its biggest claim to fame now is a lawsuit seeking more than $1 billion from IBM that alleges Big Blue misappropriated SCO intellectual property by building Unix features into Linux.

The lawsuit is the highest-profile part of the SCOsource initiative to wring more revenue from Unix intellectual property. In the most recent quarter, ended Jan. 31, SCO had a net loss of $724,000 on revenue of $13.5 million. In the quarter ended April 30, revenue should increase to $23 million to $25 million, with $10 million coming from SCOsource, SCO said earlier.

SCO has begun distributing portions of the Web services work. The company plans to show off some applications at its SCO Forum conference in Las Vegas on August 17.

SCO will support basic Web services such as UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol). The SCOx framework will be able to run software developed for other Web services infrastructure, including Microsoft's .Net and Sun Microsystems' Java 2 Enterprise Edition, SCO said.