The Heart Of The Matter
Since SCO UNIX is such a downer, could Linux have destroyed the SCO market with or without any of the code SCO alleges is its intellectual property? One can answer that simply by looking at the better alternatives. The rapid growth in Linux has been eroding the market for every flavor or UNIX, including Solaris, HP-UX, Irix, and others. Yet neither Linus Torvalds nor IBM had to steal secrets from Sun, Hewlett-Packard or SGI to accomplish this. Therefore, there must be something about Linux that people desire more than these alternatives.
I think you can guess what that "something" might be. Linux is free software and open source. That, my friends, is the crux of this whole case. Linux is not a threat because it includes source code that is also present in SCO UNIX. Linux is a threat because all the source code, common or uncommon, is open and free.
Linux leaves SCO with few ways to survive, two of which seem rather obvious. First, SCO could get off its heinie and start turning SCO UNIX into something someone might actually prefer to Linux. That is obviously too strenuous for the company, because the SCO leadership has instead chosen to seek an easier way to restore its prior existence of comfortable mediocrity.
That brings us to the other alternative, which is equally obvious -- not because it is logical or makes sense, but because SCO has been doing it so loudly. SCO has decided instead to throw one pre-adolescent tantrum after another. SCO has announced one outrageous claim and target after another, each time promising that it has no other intentions. Each time, SCO is (rightfully) ridiculed in the press, after which it breaks its promise and launches an attack on another victim, from 1,500 companies to Linus Torvalds himself.
SCO clearly has no talent to build on, no products with which to survive, and no leadership other than a cadre of poor losers. I'm tempted to say they're simply losers, but given my cynical view of the justice system, the outcome of all these shenanigans remains to be seen.