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SCO falls short in 1998

A profitable fourth quarter for Santa Cruz Operation isn't enough to pull the company into the black.

Stephen Shankland Former Principal Writer
Stephen Shankland worked at CNET from 1998 to 2024 and wrote about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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  • Shankland covered the tech industry for more than 25 years and was a science writer for five years before that. He has deep expertise in microprocessors, digital photography, computer hardware and software, internet standards, web technology, and more.
Stephen Shankland
A profitable fourth quarter for Santa Cruz Operation wasn't enough to pull the company into the black for this fiscal year.

SCO reported a fourth-quarter net profit of $2.7 million, or 8 cents per share, compared to a net profit of $4.5 million, or 12 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Yet for fiscal 1998, SCO had a net loss of $14.7 million, or 41 cents per share, compared to a net loss last year of $15.2 million, or 4 cents per share. Unlike this year's numbers, 1997's net loss included a one-time $8.4 million restructuring charge.

SCO's UnixWare operating system holds a 80-percent stake in the Intel-powered Unix systems market, said Dan Kusnetzky of International Data Corporation. Nonetheless, the company's foothold--low-end servers--is a market that is under attack by Linux supporters, Microsoft, Novell, and others.

Today, SCO and IBM announced that the two companies will combine their two Unix offerings into a new version of Unix. The new Unix OS, expected in 18 months, is being designed primarily to run on servers and workstations built around Intel's processors. Code-named Monterey, the new OS will be based on technology from both companies and Sequent, known for its high-powered corporate multiprocessor machines.

SCO hopes to benefit from more powerful Intel-based systems capable of running Unix and the spread of its UnixWare in commercial computing.