The SCO Group has been best known in recent times for its licensing dispute over Unix intellectual property, but its leader said on Monday the company was in the process of reinventing itself as a mobile application platform.
Calling its new direction a "turning point for the company," SCO President and Chief Executive Officer Darl McBride said from the SCO Forum that the company is ready to "get back into business."
Although SCO will continue to offer its Unix products, its core focus going forward will be on a new set of subscription-based mobile services called Me Inc. that it has developed using a new mobile software development platform called EdgeClick, he said.
"We want to provide a level of personal automation down to the class of mobile device users," McBride said. "We invite third-party ISV friends and mobile solution partner friends to develop applications and business logic on top of this platform. We're very bullish on where this all goes."
At the conference, SCO unveiled partnerships with Palm and Microsoft. to help developers build mobile services using EdgeClick. SCO joined the developer programs of both companies so it can provide better tools for developers to build services for Palm's Treo 700w and Treo 700p smartphones, and devices that use Microsoft's .NET platform.
McBride said he expects SCO to leverage its relationships with both companies to sell Me and other mobile services built using EdgeClick.
One Me mobile service, called Shout, allows users to send real-time, personal voice messages to a group of any size from a smartphone or PC. Another one, Vote, is for creating opinion polls that can be sent the same way.
SCO also soon expects to release a new HipCheck service for remote-control monitoring of Windows and Unix systems on Treo devices, it said. HipCheck, which also had its debut at the SCO Forum on Monday, also will allow for monitoring of clients using the forthcoming Windows Vista OS from Microsoft.
McBride declined to comment much on SCO's ongoing litigation with IBM over intellectual property, choosing instead to focus on the company's new direction. But he said SCO is anxious to bring its case to court and expects to do so in about six months. It has cost the company more than $50 million, he said.
"We are very much looking forward to having our day in front of a jury of our peers," McBride said.