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01 March 2010, 09:55

SCO vs. Linux: Darl McBride set to buy SCO's mobile arm

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SCO vs Linux logo Things are hotting up in the USA – following an offer from majority shareholder Ralph Yarro to lend SCO Group more than 2 million dollars for its pending court cases, the administrator Edward Cahn has presented an alternative financing option to the bankruptcy court. None other than Darl McBride, the former SCO chief executive who was sacked by Yarro, wants to purchase and develop the company's mobile arm. As reported on Groklaw, the proposed conditions of sale are extraordinarily generous, with a purchase price of $35,000 being mooted. Licensing fees would be due only when the company's turnover exceeds 1 million dollars annually – they are not expected to exceed 30,000.

SCO's mobility business, which has developed products including an iPhone app and a messaging service for BlackBerries, would, under the administrator's plan, be sold to a company by the name of MIH (Mobility Inc. Holdings) – of which Darl McBride is the owner. In a court hearing in 2007, McBride valued SCO's mobility business at $6 million, though he was forced to admit at that time that it had not yet developed any products.

It now has an iPhone app based on the Franklin Covey time-planning system called Tasks. Reviews of the product at iTunes are extremely mixed. It is also doubtful whether the product will generate the million dollar turnover required for SCO to begin to see licensing revenues. No information on the number of installations of the mobility business' two other products, Shout and HipCheck, is available. The purchase price of $35,000 for the mobility business has been criticised by observers at Groklaw over the fact that the lawyers' fees for concluding the sale would exceed the sale price.

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(Detlef Borchers)


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