Jose R. Valverde wrote:
I don't believe anybody sane would engage in deceptive action at that
level consciously with such big players as IBM. From all the history
of the cases it seems rather that this is a case of a change of
management to unknowledgeable, ambitious managers who paid too much
attention to the UNIX department on the Company and then had to put
a straight face to defend what resulted to be an untenable position.
I am not going to comment on Darl's sanity.
I think that you will find that Darl's problem was paying too little attention to
the people who actually understood what was going on, not paying too much attention.
He certainly didn't appear to pay much attention to this:
Try to put yourself in Darl's place: you make a decision based on the
promises of some head of department and sue IBM and the world. Then
little by little your move is proven wrong. What can you do? Yes,
say sorry, close the company, fire all workers and get punished for
admitting to a scam. Or you can put a straight face, defend that you do actually believe
the unbelievable -and look as a stupid instead- and try to save the company, the workers
and your skin
until you can find someone else to take the hot potato.
I think that it was more a case of suing IBM and the world based on what you (at the
time) sincerely believed and hoped *must* have happened, and then spending several years
and legal theories unsuccessfully trying to find any evidence for it.
Don't let your bad experience with Microsoft spread to all vendors. Some
have managed a long history of delivering on their promises, and Caldera
at the time was one such.
Personally, I think if they had stuck to Ransom Love and endured the
harsh times for a couple of years until the "boom" of Linux they would
have managed a lot better. Not to mention they could have unified UNIX
at last. But there's no way to know now.
One promise that, at the time, Caldera had never delivered on was making a profit.
Caldera did some good things in the Linux world but they were a distinctly second tier
Their decision to buy SCO' s UNIX business was a bad one, based largely on emotion
not on good business sense (I know this, because I was one of the people that helped sell
it to them).
At the time Caldera had no revenue stream but still had some cash from their IPO, SCO had
a rapidly declining revenue stream, and bunch of mostly 10 to 15 year old technology
which was still in reasonable shape but which wasn't going anywhere. Somehow (with
SCO's help) Ransom Love convinced himself that the deal made sense and that (most
important of all, because it appealed to his ego) he could succeed where everyone else
had failed and somehow unite UNIX and Linux and build a successful business out of it.
Sadly none of that turned out to be true and, had Ransom Love stayed as CEO I suspect
that the company would have been out of business by the end of 2003 at the latest.