Novell CTO tells SCO to put up or shut up

SourceWars, Episode 14: Novell's chief technology officer - and steely-toed Linux evangelist to boot - Alan Nugent has tossed another broadside into the litigious pursuits of SCO, saying that the Utah-based vendor should justify its claims as fact - or quit moaning.

"I think it really has to come up with some facts. It has really got to demonstrate where it thinks the issues are, and then let the people who may be affected respond. I tend to operate as a fact-based sort of person - innuendo and sleight of hand really doesn't do well for me. It needs to put up or… just cease," Nugent told Computerworld.

Asked if Novell had its time again it would have sold to SCO, Nugent was making no apologies-nor accepting any culpability.

"Jeez… I guess the only thing I regret selling is my 1963 Corvette in 1968 because it would be worth a lot of money now. But I wasn't with the company at the time and I don't know what decisions drove the company at those particular junctures. It's a futile exercise to think about what could have been…" Nugent said.

Meanwhile, Nugent is out among his current and prospective Australian user base selling open source for all it's worth, saying that more vendors and enterprises than ever are headed towards open source.

"The intrinsic value of Linux is what is driving the decisions by large enterprises and government agencies that are adopting it. It's built a reputation around firewalls and Web servers - but now it's pulling into the centre, towards the data centre," the Novell CTO claims, adding that major vendor support easily outweighs any legal shenanigans.

"When you have companies like Novell, IBM, HP and Oracle all saying 'this is the right technology, we support it from applications down through the OS, 7x24x365', that eliminates a lot of the concern on behalf of large enterprise customers. You have to juxtapose that against the noise of the circus."

Nugent predicts that large corporate uptake of Linux will "explode" in the next 18 months, with mainstream applications and desktops coming on tap around 2005-2006.

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