SCO Hoping a Name Change Can Change Fate?

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 07, 2008

Over at, Sean Michael Kerner points out an intriguing bit of information spotted at Groklaw indicating that SCO appears to be taking some steps toward reincorporating the Caldera International name. Insert copious amounts of wild speculation here.

SCO is currently restructuring, and truth be told, nobody knows what this filing for reincorporation truly means. Is SCO starting a new subsidiary? Is it trying to distance itself from its past? Is it going to deal in any way with Linux distribution development?

Kerner doesn't think it's likely, and I tend to agree. Whatever the name, the business will forever be associated with its past, and it would seem wiser to strike out in a different direction. There are no guarantees that will give the new company a better shot at success, but it might lessen the distraction of what's come to pass when trying to attract new employees, investors and partners.

An anonymous commenter at Groklaw speculates on the resurrection of the Caldera name:

I've seen a number of companies that went bankrupt look for a new name only to turn to one they "retired" before. With no money they can't afford branding companies, trademark checks, and all the other stuff that goes with picking a name so they turn to the cheap option, one they have sitting in their back pocket.

This also rings true. While returning to its naming roots might give the company a disconnect from its past, save money, and bring Linux users back to a place in time when the mention of its name didn't make blood pressures rise, it is really how the company manages the restructuring -- and the direction of the business plan -- that will determine if this filing was worth the effort.

On the one hand, given its situation, if SCO wants to carry on this was probably the cheapest, easiest way to attempt reinvention. Was it smart for the former SCO Group to use the Caldera name, when so many still remember (quite fondly) using Caldera and OpenLinux?

The verdict is out on that point, but the evidence feels really shaky.