Caldera chief pleads for Linux unity

Linux stalwart Caldera International has called upon fellow Linux vendors to join forces and create an industry standard or face...

Linux stalwart Caldera International has called upon fellow Linux vendors to join forces and create an industry standard or face potential ruin.

Speaking at the company's Caldera Forum in California, president and CEO Ransom Love also called for consolidation among Linux distributors. "There is no place for multiple Linux distributors," he said. "There's no business to be made from the bits and bytes of Linux."

However, Love was adamant that there was still a future for the operating system. "The sun hasn't set on Linux," he insisted. "As the technology matures, Linux is becoming an integral part of solutions. But we need an industry standard, a commercial offering.

"My plea is to let us stop competing where there is no reason to compete, and let us provide an industry standard that people can build on top of."

The Caldera CEO went on to warn Linux supporters that if they failed to unite and produce a kernel standard, the market would be forced into consolidation, which could jeopardise the future of some organisations.

Drew Spencer, the chief technology officer at Caldera standardisation, said: "[Producing an industry standard] makes life easier and allows us all to work to economies of scales. We can pool our resources and have the same kernel, and build products that help solve people's problems."

Chris Ingle, a senior consultant at the analyst group IDC, said: "There are two ways Linux distributors can make money at the moment: by providing software and by providing services based on solutions.

"If this commercial Linux distribution they're talking about is going to erode software revenue, it won't get support. But as Caldera says, it would be hard for vendors to support four different distributions."

Summing up his argument, Love said that the continuing worldwide economic slowdown made the creation of an industry standard all the more urgent. He warned that all Linux distributors would have to compromise if the operating system was going to become a serious player in the IT market.

Love added that Caldera was buoyant following the acquisition of Santa Cruz Operation last year and would use its strength to lead the standardisation drive.

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