SCO said it will provide assistance through its Developer Network, which is being expanded and improved to better serve developers looking to create applications for the new operating system.
The programme will offer increased educational opportunities, online seminars, improved development tools, collaboration capabilities and access to technical information and support to help with writing or porting applications and drivers to SCO Linux and other UnitedLinux products. The initiative is designed to ensure that independent software vendors know that SCO will also actively help them publicise and sell their products through SCO's 16,000 worldwide channel resellers, giving them a ready market for the time and investment they spent to create the software, Steve Spill, the director of SCO's developer network, said.
"The focus will always be business," Spill said. "We and the developers are in this for business."
The company is also working to build a "porting centre" by the end of this year where hardware can be provided to run code for developers as they work on their products for SCO operating systems, Spill said. The centre, which will initially be located at SCO facilities in California, will be equipped with 32-bit hardware. But SCO hopes to add new 64-bit hardware when it becomes more widely available next year so developers can port their products to it.
"We have to work with [hardware] partners to make that happen," he said. "Success on the 32-bit side will hopefully encourage our partners to say, 'okay, let's get that 64-bit stuff in there.'"
Still to be worked out are the logistics for how developers will get their code to the centre, Spill said. "We're working on how we can make the most effective use of that."
Bill Claybrook, an analyst at Aberdeen Group, said the enhanced assistance to developers is a good move on the part of SCO. "The thing that the channel resellers for SCO [need] is that they want more things to sell," Claybrook said. "That will help them greatly."
"It helps those people who don't have the tools or the software or the right hardware available, and it gives them assistance," he said. "What Linux needs is more applications."