The name SCO was very deliberate - the folks in Santa Cruz were a different company but when dealing with Microsoft people in Redmond wanted to seem like part of Microsoft. Consequently "Santa Cruz Organization" made it sound like they were a branch office rather than outsiders.
Many don't know what made SCO successful. Imagine you were a dentist. A local VAR would package up a system for you, such as a Compaq server, tape drive (for backup), terminals, SCO Unix, appointment and finance software and install it. SCO Unix tried really hard to be easy to use, ranging from the documentation to the software. (Remember it is a dental employee running backups not an IT specialist). The VAR made their money via a ~15% markup. There wasn't really much competition for small business systems at the time. Trivia: it used to be that the only software for managing a pet cemetery ran on SCO.
Caldera wanted SCO for access to that network of 15,000 VARs. The VARs were used to their markup on a $1k or more copy of SCO Unix, but it isn't as attractive as 15% of a $29.95 copy of Caldera Linux. Caldera would have been able to sell for more, but then the VARs would be questioning why they needed Caldera.
In the end it all failed, largely because Caldera wasn't needed. The irony is Clayton Christensen (of The Innovator's Dilemma) even spoke at the SCO annual event (SCO Forum) in 1999. SCO at the time was focussing more and more on "the enterprise" where Linux couldn't possibly be relevant :-) https://www.computerworld.com.au/article/51414/sco_forum_tec...
Meta question, and I'll try to ask it delicately:)
I know that you worked for SCO along time ago and its a different company than the one who started the lawsuit, but have you every had anyone refuse to hire you, or even joke about it, because you worked at SCO/had the name SCO on your resume?
With the SCO lawsuit a few years back there was an awful lot of vitriol from some people about how they'd never hire someone with SCO on their resume. I'd be curious to know if anyone ever did get black listed due to working at SCO/Caldera.
I was out of the industry by 2002 (do not ask me about what it was like to be part of a team making our first pitch for VC seed investments on September 12th, 2001 ...). But I am informed by a barrister of my acquaintance (over a pint) that because of a very interesting precedent set in English employment law following the collapse of BCCI in 1992, if SCO were still in business in the UK, and I was still in the field and had difficulty getting work because of the aforementioned vitriol, I could sue them for damages to my reputation and have a good chance of collecting.
(The Bank of Credit and Commerce International, BCCI, collapsed in an epic scandal of corruption, fraud, and money laundering: innocent former employees of BCCI subsequently sued the liquidators and received damages in compensation for the trauma and injury to their reputation, which in many cases rendered them unemployable in their industry thereafter. More on BCCI here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_of_Credit_and_Commerce_In... )
(Which reminds me: according to a legal friend of mine, here in the UK it's actually a civil offense for a corporation to bring its name into such disrepute that it damages former employees' prospects. This harks back to the BCCI collapse in the early 90s, but suggests that if I was still in the software biz I might actually have a case in law against post-takeover SCO for shitting all over my resumé. But I digress ...)
(Yes, the whole bit is a parenthetical.)
I've only somewhat recently discovered Stross's fiction and blog, I recommend both strongly.
It shouldn't surprise you that there was also a version of 68000 Xenix for the Lisa.
You could run DOS on a $999 computer, and you could run Windows on a $1999 computer. It took a $4999 computer to run UNIX. That's basically what kept home users on such futile operating systems. That's also what kept Windows NT off peoples desktops until 2000 or so.
CPU, RAM etc were not the constraining factors here.
Shouldn't this be "32-bit"? MS-DOS itself was always 16-bit.
In that context, they were probably talking about the upcoming generation of microcomputers, based around bigger chips: 80286, 68k, etc
The 68000 has a 16-bit data bus and ALU, a 24-bit address bus, and 32-bit registers, but is usually considered a 16-bit CPU. I guess for older CPUs, the data bus and the ALU size are the determining factors.
It was up and running till 1997 on a i386 with 16MB RAM and 1gb SCSI serving dozens of users in various locations via VT100. No TCP/IP stack running, it was not supported by our hardware.
I bet lots of companies still has this kind of setup, at least I saw a retailer doing the same setup but running MF Cobol instead of SGBD.
That platform was largely built around microfocus COBOL.