SCO ready to make Tarantella switch

The Santa Cruz Operation Inc. (SCO) as we know it will likely come to an official end Friday as shareholders are expected to approve part of the company's sale to Caldera Systems and the rebranding of SCO's remaining assets as Tarantella Inc. Moreover, Caldera Systems will become Caldera International at the close of the acquisition.

In August of last year, Caldera announced plans to acquire two SCO divisions -- Server Software and Professional Services -- leaving the software vendor with the Tarantella unit, which is the part of SCO focused on software and services for Web-enabling applications. With Caldera's acquisition of the pair of SCO units finalized, SCO will take on the Tarantella name as its official corporate identity, Tarantella officials said. At the initial announcement of the split, officials said SCO agreed to sell the two businesses for US$7 million in cash and 28 percent of Caldera's stock. SCO had been a prominent player in the open source software market for a number of years selling Unix and Linux operating system-compatible server software. Officials at the company, however, saw the change into Tarantella as a way to push the company into new directions.

Tarantella is looking to move away from a focus on smaller companies and instead try and attract large businesses with its software products. The majority of the company's software lines support Windows, Unix and Linux operating systems and can help automate the exchange of information between servers and various client devices, according to Dennis Adams, vice president of marketing at Tarantella.

Tarantella's Enterprise 3 flagship software, for example, is middleware that handles the flow of data between servers and a variety of clients, including Web-based clients. The company expects its products to attract customers trying to add thin clients and mobile devices to their network.

Tarantella officials expect trading with the company's new ticker symbol -- TTLA -- to begin sometime next week on the Nasdaq exchange. Tarantella will own about 25 percent of Caldera International, Adams said.

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