February 22, 2000 5:50 PM PST

Santa Cruz Operation strengthens Linux bid

Santa Cruz Operation tomorrow will announce the next step in its transformation into a Linux company: an agreement to bolster the help SuSE offers its Linux customers.

SuSE, based in Germany and most widely used in Europe, is one of the four most popular sellers of the Linux operating system. SCO has signed a deal with SuSE to provide consulting services such as planning complex installations, the company said.

SCO now has agreements to provide services for three of the four biggest companies, TurboLinux, Caldera Systems and SuSE.

Santa Cruz, Calif.-based SCO initially wasn't fond of Linux, a clone of the Unix operating system SCO sells. However, the company has had a change of heart, and analysts have said the shift makes sense as a way for SCO to keep its consulting staff gainfully employed while capturing some of the Linux momentum.

The company has a vested in interest in seeing Linux do well. SCO has invested in TurboLinux, Caldera Systems and LinuxMall.

Red Hat, perhaps the best-known Linux company, offers its own services around Linux and is the only one of the big four with which SCO hasn't signed a partnership. Other SCO competitors for Linux services include IBM, Linuxcare, VA Linux Systems and Atipa.


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