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You'll have SCO to kick around for another year

Survival code

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The SCO Group has promised to stick around for at least another year.

The Unix software maker this week dished out a year-end filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission detailing its financial state. Things continue to look grim for SCO as it burns through cash and suffers from dwindling software sales. Still, SCO thinks it can maintain a fine financial line, despite claims from rival Novell that bankruptcy is near.

"We believe that based on the combination of our existing cash and cash equivalents and available-for-sale securities as of Oct. 31, 2006, we will have sufficient cash resources to fund our operations for at least the next 12 months," SCO said in the filing.

SCO detractors should quell their fevered anticipation. That's the exact same language SCO has used in past year-end, 10-K filings.

Some SCO watchers had hoped the company would be more direct in answering Novell's bankruptcy charges. Novell claims that SCO owes it $26m from a Unix purchase agreement - $26m that SCO does not have on hand to pay.

Earlier this month, SCO promised to share detailed information about "all aspects" of its business and then promptly failed to do so. And this week's 10-K filing brings us no closer to elucidation.

As of the end of its fiscal year, SCO employed 142 full-time staff with 40 workers in product development, 48 in sales and marketing, 17 in services, 7seven in customer delivery and manufacturing, three in its SCOsource licensing program and 27 in administration.

The company could sure use another worker in its IT department because SCO's website has gone bonkers once again.

In December, we detailed SCO's ongoing battle to gets its Clustering software site up and running. Thanks to our advice, SCO fixed the problem, although apparently for just a few days. Checks today show SCO's clustering site down again.

SCO has shifted its web presence in-house after relying on an ISP, which may be the cause of the problems, according to the company's spokesman. SCO is again looking into the clustering matter.

While trivial on the surface, broken website links do seem a real cause for concern at SCO. Much of its ability to remain a going concern hinges on improving Unix software sales – or SCO says in its filings. It's tough to drive interest in a product when customers can't get any information about it.

SCO closed its last fiscal year with $7.6m in cash and another $5m of restricted cash for its litigation. ®

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