September 7, 2000 5:40 PM PDT

SCO lays off 190 workers with Caldera deal

Gartner analyst George Weiss says Caldera's plan to purchase the server and services units of SCO puts a new spin on the evolution of Linux.

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Santa Cruz Operation will lay off 190 people and take a $5 million to $6 million charge this quarter as part of its sale of Unix operating system software and services to Linux company Caldera Systems.

The layoffs, 19 percent of the company's work force, will occur in the parts of the business being transferred to Caldera, SCO said.

"This reduction will lower expenses to better reflect SCO's recent performance in our server software and professional services divisions," SCO chief executive Doug Michels said in a statement. "We have worked closely with Caldera to ensure that these actions produce staffing results consistent with its future, post-acquisition business model."

Caldera acquired SCO's Unix products in August. SCO is renaming itself Tarantella, the name of its software that lets companies run programs on a server so that a multitude of stripped-down "thin client" computers can tap into it over the Web.

No layoffs will occur in the Tarantella business, SCO said.

The charge will be recorded in the current quarter, which ends Sept. 30.

The acquisition gives Caldera Unix software as well as Linux software. The company intends to make the software run similarly, so that higher-level programs can run on either Caldera's Linux or UnixWare without having to be modified.

The strategy will mean Caldera can serve customers who need an operating system that works on heavy-duty multiprocessor servers, where Unix has been for years and where Linux is just getting a start. Some analysts are skeptical about whether Caldera will be able to digest the SCO employees and businesses, however.


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