Feeds

SCO, Groklaw and the Monterey mystery that never was

Bullets for SCO?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

Monterey fades

It was only as 2000 dawned that the bloom began to come off the Monterey rose. IBM had used the LinuxWorld show in January to announce that Linux was a company-wide priority for IBM. In March the New York Times' published a Steve Lohr piece "I.B.M. Goes Countercultural With Linux" describing how Big Blue had changed strategy. In October 1999, Sam Palmisano (now IBM chief executive) had assumed command of the server group. On December 22, Palmisano presented CEO Lou Gerstner with the new strategy, and appointed a Linux "czar", Irving Wladawsky-Berger, to ensure all IBM's divisions marched in step.

In late spring IBM announced a major upgrade to AIX without any Monterey branding, but with an 'L' indicating, the marketeers, claimed, an "affinity" with Linux. Monterey had become the forgotten project. By August 2000, the same month that Caldera agreed to buy the brand and several important assets from SCO, IBM executive David Turek was talking about Monterey in the past tense. "Monterey was a project to make AIX a fully 64bit operating system, and make it run on POWER and IA-64 ... and we have done that. It is out in beta, people are doing applications on it, some OEM partners are working on it - and that is the evolution of Project Monterey," he told The Register.

NewSCO now claims that IBM only told SCO that Monterey was being terminated "on or about May 2001", nine months later - a claim that IBM rejects.

Meanwhile, Intel's hopes of storming the RISC camp were encountering problems. 1999 had been a torrid year for Merced. Six months before the Monterey announcement, Intel said Merced would arrive a year later than planned. Its launch would be overshadowed by talk of the second generation IA-64 chip, McKinley. (See Secrets of Intel's IA-64 Roadmap Revealed [28 April 1999]; HP confirms Merced retreat [5 May 1999]; Merced just a development platform for McKinley [10 May 1999] )

As 2000 turned into 2001, it was clear that Itanium's debut, delayed a further year, would be very low key indeed. Long before the first generation processor Merced appeared, vendors confirmed Register stories from the previous year that its HP-designed successor McKinley would be the first serious IA-64 contender. (See The lateness of Intel's Mercedium [20 July 2000].

So Monterey's fate was no mystery.

Linux was winning broad industry endorsements and support, and was being adopted more quickly than the Monterey partners had expected, as Intel's 64-chip processor looked like less of a sure-fire RISC killer. Intel's investment in its 32-bit P6 core was also paying off. The processor had briefly given Intel bragging rights to be the fastest chip in the world, and in Xeon, Intel gave it SMP capabilities and a large cache. IA-32 sales rocketed.

The Monterey Mystery

Groklaw makes some odd claims, including the emphatic "discovery" that Monterey was intended to run on IBM's POWER RISC processor. But this was never a secret - it was one of the project's initial goals, and widely publicized.

"As we now know, the plan was to move to Linux at the earliest opportunity anyhow," writes the author. The point is repeated over several articles: Monterey was a "stop gap".

"We knew oldSCO knew, when Project Monterey was going on, that Linux was the future and Project Monterey the stopgap," claims Groklaw.

At one point, a Register article is produced as evidence. In it a SCO employee working on the LKP (Linux-on-Unixware).

"Was SCO fully aware how quickly Linux would develop, that it would replace Unix, or did it take them by surprise? I have found the answer to that question. In an article in August 2001, in the Register, Caldera -- what SCO then called itself -- predicted 'In two to five years Linux will surpass where Unix is now'"

But that's a prediction by an engineer, not a strategy statement.

The most damning evidence offered in the Monterey Mystery is an IBM marketing document which can be found here, at DataTrends Inc., an IBM consultancy.

In it, IBM claims:

"Linux, over time, will develop into the standard application development platform for the spectrum of applications that comprise our customers’ e-business solutions."

But there's a big difference between a development platform and a deployment platform. The document is designed to assure IBM's Monterey, Linux and AIX customers that its server strategy won't leave anyone stranded. It offers little more than that.

The timing of its publication is particularly important. It appeared on the day that Steve Lohr's New York Times article appeared detailing the Palmisano/Wladewsky-Berger strategy. IBM co-operated with the Times and anticipated that its emphasis on Linux might make AIX and prospective Monterey customers nervous.

Top three mobile application threats

Next page: Damage done?

More from The Register

next story
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.