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SCO ready to clean out Linux users for $1399 per CPU

Good scrubbings don't come cheap

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Linux users face a serious question. Is $699 too much to pay for a good bath?

The $699 scrubbing fee is exactly how much SCO wants for one CPU's worth of a Linux license, and that's just for the time being. Come October 15, the single CPU fee jumps to a whopping $1,399.

This is the latest word from SCO handed down by Mr. Clean himself - SCO CEO Darl McBride, during a Tuesday conference call. SCO had been holding out on exactly how much it planned to charge Linux users for their use of what it claims is borrowed Unix code, but now all has been made clear - crystal clear.

"Clearly, it's at a point and time where we are going to take matters into our own hands and move forward," McBride said. "It's time to start marching onward again with our legal claims."

McBride enjoys referring to Linux users as a "tainted" bunch. He seems to see them as some group of unbathed mongrels that that covet other peoples' intellectual property for their coding pig-pens.

This really isn't the nicest language to use for such an amicable crew, especially when SCO's real beef is with IBM and Red Hat. But SCO claims that IBM and Red Hat are the ones that forced it to put the blame on Linux users. Since IBM and Red Hat won't rush to the Linux community's rescue and hand over millions for unproven claims, SCO must attack the little guys.

And attack it has. Both the $699 and $1,399 fees are a hefty price to pay for something you are not even sure exists.

Does SCO own some pieces of Linux? Is it IBM's fault? Is Red Hat to blame as well? Only a court can decide this, and the IBM lawsuit is not set for trial until 2005 with any legal action against Red Hat following that.

Dropping a few bucks for a car-wash may make more practical sense in the near term, if being clean concerns you.

If, however, you are an enterprise Linux customer that wants to go ahead and shell out a few grand for the 'dirty' Linux servers in your data center, then give 1-800-726-8649 a call. Customer service representative are standing by. SCO has hosed them down with a month's worth of training.

SCO is not saying how much a multiprocessor or embedded license will cost just yet. Representatives on the conference call noted that providing such information would bore the tech journos and analysts ringing in. Not true.

These details are to be posted on SCO's Web site at some point and time. The licensing needs, of course, only apply to users of the Linux kernel 2.4 and above.

Should you have any doubts about how far SCO plans to take this death march, have a quick peek at the SCO Forum page. It's here that we are told, "The World Is Not Enough." (Thanks for that, Charles.) ®

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