LJ Archive

Caldera Splits

Phil Hughes

Issue #55, November 1998

The software company is now two subsidiaries: Caldera Thin Clients, Inc. and Caldera Systems, Inc.

Caldera, Inc. recently made a move to focus itself better on two product areas. The intent was to create two wholly-owned subsidiaries to address Caldera's two target markets. What are those markets? The one we know is Linux, the other is the Embedded OEM (original equipment manufacturer) market, where they offer DR-DOS.

On the DR-DOS side, the new company is named Caldera Thin Clients, Inc. Linux folks care because this is a market in which Caldera competes with Microsoft's Windows CE. Offering DR-DOS-based solutions makes for more compact solutions for the developers, and also shows that an Open Source alternative can make it in a non-Linux market.

On the Linux side of the house, the new company is named Caldera Systems, Inc. Ransom Love is President and CEO of this company and Dean Taylor is Director of Marketing. Bryan Sparks, who will remain President and CEO of Caldera, Inc. said, “The ever-increasing popularity of Linux-based solutions for business encourages us to create a company solely focused on these opportunities.”

To me, this move makes sense. Both subsidiaries are pursuing non-Microsoft computing solutions, but they are in different directions. DR-DOS is being offered as an embedded solution. As it is quite small, it can fit the needs of the low-end embedded market which includes such devices as digital cameras.

Linux solutions, particularly those for business, which is Caldera's focus, require a totally different approach. To be a business success, you need to offer a complete solution. In one market, this could be Linux configured in a particular way to act, for example, as a router or firewall. On the more complicated end, we could be talking web server, database and web development software or a vertical application such as a system designed to run a dentist's office.

The types of marketing and support for these two markets are quite different. By splitting into two subsidiaries, it will be much easier for Caldera to follow the needs of the markets and form the necessary alliances to make things happen. I expect to hear more about this in the near future.

Linux in Kelper's Parade

In Pacific Beach, Washington, there is an event called Kelper's Weekend. Last year we entered the parade with my old Mercedes and a computer attached to its roof. This year we went one better. The theme was “Linux Invades Pacific Beach”. Our entry included my electric car decorated with glitter, an alien on the roof and even an alien driving it. The word LINUX was prominently displayed on three sides of the car. Besides the car, we had a motorcycle driven by a penguin and a host of SSC employees and friends in Linux T-shirts handing out candy and toys.

Although one naysayer championed Microsoft as the car passed, it was noted that once again that software giant was not represented in the parade. On Monday, The Daily World, the only daily newspaper in the area, had a photo of the Linux alien car and motorcycle penguin on the front page. It was nice to see good press coverage of our operating system here in Washington state.

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