Caldera (company)

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This article is about the original US-based Caldera Inc. For its post-split subsidiary better-known by the "SCO Group" name, see Caldera International. For all other businesses using the "Caldera" name, see Caldera (disambiguation).
Industry Software industry
Founded October 1994 (1994-10)
Defunct  ()
  • Caldera UK Ltd.
  • Caldera Deutschland GmbH
  • Caldera Taiwan
  • Caldera Systems, Inc.
  • Caldera Thin Clients, Inc.

Caldera was a US-based software company founded in 1994 to develop Linux- and DOS-based operating system products.


Caldera, Inc. was a Canopy-funded software company founded in October 1994 and incorporated in January 1995 by former Novell employees Bryan Sparks, Ransom Love and others to develop the Caldera Network Desktop and later create a Linux distribution named OpenLinux. The company was originally based in Provo and later in Orem, Utah, USA.

Their first product was Caldera Network Desktop (CND), which was based on Red Hat Linux and Novell's Corsair Internet Desktop.

The later OpenLinux distribution was based on the German LST Power Linux distribution maintained by Stefan Probst's and Ralf Flaxa's company LST Software GmbH (with LST standing for Linux Support Team) in Erlangen, Germany.

Looking for a DOS operating system to bundle with their OpenLinux distribution, Caldera, backed up by The Canopy Group as their largest investor, acquired Novell DOS 7 and other Digital Research assets from Novell on 23 July 1996.[1] The deal consisted of a direct payment of US$400,000 as well as percentual royalties for any revenues derived from DR-DOS to Novell.[2] Caldera filed the Caldera v. Microsoft antitrust lawsuit the same day.[3] This lawsuit related to Caldera's claims of monopolization, illegal tying, exclusive dealing, and tortious interference by Microsoft. An example was that certain beta versions of Windows 3.1 produced technically groundless "non-fatal" fake error messages when installing and running them on DR DOS 6.0 due to a check known as AARD code in order to create fear, uncertainty and doubt and destroy DR DOS' reputation.[4][5][6][7][8] Another example was bundling and artificially tying MS-DOS 7 and Windows 4 into a single product (Windows 95) in order to eliminate competition. Caldera later demonstrated that it would have been beneficial for DOS and Windows users to have a choice between MS-DOS and DR-DOS featurewise, and that it was technically possible to run Windows 4 on DR-DOS 7 simply by faking some new, unnecessarily complex but functionally non-essential internal interfaces through WinGlue.[3][9][10][11]

While active, Caldera, Inc. created a number of subsidiaries:

Caldera UK[edit]

Under the direction of Roger Gross as General Manager of Caldera's Digital Research Systems Group (DSG) the UK-based development center Caldera UK Ltd. (51°12′19″N 1°28′44″W / 51.20531°N 1.478786°W / 51.20531; -1.478786 (Caldera UK Ltd., Aldwych House, Winchester Street, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 2EA, UK)) was incorporated on 20 September 1996[12] to continue the development of the DR-DOS operating system in a converted barn (51°11′18″N 1°29′15″W / 51.188306°N 1.487498°W / 51.188306; -1.487498 (Caldera UK Ltd., Norman Court Barns, Norman Court Lane, Upper Clatford, Andover, Hampshire, UK)) at the periphery of Andover, Hampshire, UK. Caldera UK developed various DOS-based products including OpenDOS 7.01, DR-DOS 7.02, DR-DOS 7.03 and DR-WebSpyder. Caldera Thin Clients, Inc. closed the Caldera UK Ltd. development office in February 1999 soon after the release of DR-DOS 7.03, thereby effectively stopping any DOS development.

Caldera Deutschland[edit]

The collaboration with LST since 1995 eventually led to LST becoming Caldera's German development center Caldera Deutschland GmbH for Linux-based technologies in May 1997.[13]

Caldera Taiwan[edit]

On 1 June 1998, Caldera, Inc. opened a sales office for its DOS-based products in Taipei, Taiwan, run by Irrana and Henry Huang.[14]

Caldera, Caldera Systems and Caldera Thin Clients[edit]

On 2 September 1998, Caldera, Inc. announced the creation of two Utah-based wholly owned subsidiaries, Caldera Systems, Inc. and Caldera Thin Clients, Inc., in order to split up tasks and directions.[15]

Under Sparks' lead, the shell company Caldera, Inc. remained responsible for the Caldera v. Microsoft lawsuit. Microsoft lawyers tried repeatedly to have the case dismissed but without success. On 7 January 2000, immediately after the completion of the pre-trial deposition stage (where the parties list the evidence they intend to present), Microsoft settled out-of-court for an undisclosed sum,[16] which in 2009 was revealed to be $280m.[17] Caldera, Inc. ceased to exist soon after.

Caldera Systems, Caldera Holdings, Caldera International, Caldera K.K., and The SCO Group[edit]

Main article: The SCO Group

Caldera Systems, Inc. (CSI), headed by Love as President and CEO since its incorporation in Orem, Utah, on 21 August 1998,[18] targeted the Linux-based software business including OpenLinux, with Caldera Deutschland as their German Linux development center. The company reincorporated in Delaware on 2 March 2000[19] and completed an IPO of its common stock. On the first day of trading Caldera's shares doubled in value, briefly touching $33, and by the end of the first day the company had a market capitalisation of $1.1bn. However, at a time when technology IPOs were attracting extremely high valuations, Caldera's performance was generally perceived as a disappointment.[20][21]

The company reorganized in August 2000 and became Caldera International, Inc. (CII) in March 2001.

In May 2001, Caldera International, with investments of Fujitsu and Hitachi, opened the Caldera K.K. subsidiary, directed by Makoto Asoh, in Tokyo, Japan.[22]

In August 2002, Caldera International renamed itself into The SCO Group, Inc. under the lead of Darl McBride.

Caldera UK, Caldera Thin Clients, Lineo, and Embedix[edit]

Main article: Lineo

Caldera Thin Clients, Inc. (CTC), incorporated in August 1998 and originally led by Gross as President and CEO,[15] instead developed DOS- and Linux-based thin clients and solutions for embedded systems. Originally located in Orem[15] and later in Lindon, it was meant to become the US-based "parent" company for Caldera UK Ltd., but when Gross resigned and Caldera UK Ltd. was disbanded in February 1999, and when the attempt to relocate the DR-DOS development into the US failed,[23][24] Caldera Thin Clients under the new lead of Sparks soon refocused on Linux and was renamed into Lineo, Inc. on 20 July 1999,[25] who licensed a stripped down OpenLinux distribution from Caldera Systems and named it Embedix. Lineo continued to maintain the former Caldera Thin Clients sales office in Taipei in 1999. In January 2000, Lineo reincorporated in Delaware.

In July 2002, the company reformed as Embedix, Inc.[26] under the lead of Matthew R. Harris, formerly a Summit Law attorney for Caldera, Inc. Embedix ceased to exist later that year. Some DR-DOS assets fell to the Canopy Group and were acquired by DRDOS, Inc. aka DeviceLogics in 2002. Key parts of the Linux-based Embedix assets were acquired by Motorola's Metrowerks on 17 December 2002.[27]

Caldera (France)[edit]

Totally unrelated to the above mentioned US-based Caldera companies, there is also a French software company named Caldera, specialized in imaging software for wide format digital printing. Created in 1991, it has since got back its trademark from SCO, as well as the website. This French company produces RIP software as well as other solutions dedicated to digital printers and to the Digital Printing industry.


  1. ^ "Software Developer Caldera sues Microsoft for Antitrust practices alleges monopolistic acts shut its DR DOS operating system out of market". Caldera News. 1996-07-24. 
  2. ^ Jones, Pamela (2004-05-12). "Now It's Novell v. Canopy". Groklaw Blog. 
  3. ^ a b Susman, Stephen D.; Eskridge III, Charles R.; Susman, Harry P.; Southwick, James T.; Folse III, Parker C.; Borchers, Timothy K.; Palumbo, Ralph H.; Harris, Matthew R.; Engel, Lynn M.; McCune, Philip S.; Locker, Lawrence C.; Wheeler, Max D.; Hill, Stephen J.; Tibbitts, Ryan E. (May 1999). "In the United States District Court - District of Utah, Central Division - Caldera, Inc. vs. Microsoft Corporation - Case No. 2:96CV 0645B - Caldera, Inc.'s Memorandum in opposition to defendant's motion for partial Summary Judgment on plaintiff's "Technological Tying" claim" (Court document). Caldera Inc. Archived from the original on 1999-06-01. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  4. ^ Schulman, Andrew (September 1993). "Examining the Windows AARD Detection Code - A serious message--and the code that produced it". Dr. Dobbs Journal. Archived from the original on 2005-12-10. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  5. ^ Schulman, Andrew; Brown, Ralf; Maxey, David; Michels, Raymond J.; Kyle, Jim (1994). Undocumented DOS - A programmer's guide to reserved MS-DOS functions and data structures - expanded to include MS-DOS 6, Novell DOS and Windows 3.1 (2 ed.). Addison Wesley. p. 11. ISBN 0-201-63287-X. ISBN 978-0-201-63287-3. 
  6. ^ Ball, Lyle (1999-04-28). "Caldera submits evidence to counter Microsoft's motions for partial summary judgment" (Press release). Caldera, Inc. Archived from the original on 1999-06-01. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  7. ^ Susman, Stephen D.; Eskridge III, Charles R.; Southwick, James T.; Susman, Harry P.; Folse III, Parker C.; Palumbo, Ralph H.; Harris, Matt; McCune, Phil; Engel, Lynn M.; Hill, Stephen J.; Tibbitts, Ryan E. (April 1999). "In the United States District Court - District of Utah, Central Division - Caldera, Inc. vs. Microsoft Corporation - Consolidated statement of facts in support of its responses to motions for summary judgement by Microsoft Corporation - Case No. 2:96CV 0645B" (Court document). Caldera Inc. Archived from the original on March 1999. Retrieved 2013-05-12. 
  8. ^ Wheeler, Max D.; Hill, Stephen J.; Tibbitts, Ryan E.; Susman, Stephen D.; Eskridge III, Charles R.; Paterson, Thomas W.; Dow, Stuart J.; Palumbo, Ralph H.; Folse III, Parker C.; Borchers, Timothy K. "In the United States District Court - District of Utah, Central Division - Caldera, Inc. vs. Microsoft Corporation - Case No. 2:96CV 0645B - First amended complaint and jury demand" (Court document). Tech Law Journal. Archived from the original on 2016-11-25. 
  9. ^ Lea, Graham (1998-03-23). "Cebit: Caldera shows Windows on DR-DOS, denying MS claims". Cebit news. Hanover, Germany. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  10. ^ Romano, Mike (1998-09-16). "The mouse that roared. Forget the feds. It's up to an obscure Utah company to prove what we already know: that Microsoft is a monopoly.". Seattle Weekly. Furthermore, Caldera claims that Microsoft's flagship product, Windows 95, is nothing more than an "artificial tie" between its MS-DOS operating system and Windows graphic interface with no business justification other than to keep competing underlying operating systems—like Caldera's DR-DOS—off the market. To prove its point, Caldera will soon release a piece of demonstration software called "WinBolt," which, it says, will allow users to install the Windows 95 interface atop DR-DOS. The demo will show, Caldera says, that there is no significant technological advancement, or justified business efficiency, to the combination of MS-DOS with Windows in Windows 95. 
  11. ^ Lea, Graham (1999-11-05). "Win95 – is it just Dos 7 plus Windows 4 after all? The judge thinks it could be...". The Register. Archived from the original on 2016-11-25. Retrieved 2016-11-25. 
  12. ^ Company Data Rex: Basic information about company Caldera (UK) Limited. Company Number 03252883, Record as of 2001-07-01 (CALDERA (UK) LIMITED).
  13. ^ "LST Software GmbH Merges With Caldera Inc. - Critically acclaimed European Linux developers strengthen Caldera's Commitment". PRNewswire, Linux Congress. 1997-05-23. 
  14. ^ "Caldera establishes Office in Taiwan in response to the embedded market's demand for DR-DOS". PRNewswire. 1998-06-01. 
  15. ^ a b c Caldera. Caldera creates two wholly-owned subsidiaries. Press-release, 2 September 1998, PR-Newswire (Caldera Creates Wholly-Owned Subsidiaries).
  16. ^ "Caldera vs Microsoft - the settlement". 2000-01-13 – via 
  17. ^ "Exhibits to Microsoft's Cross Motion for Summary Judgment in Novell WordPerfect Case". Groklaw. 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  18. ^ Jones, Pamela (2004-02-29). "Caldera, Inc./Caldera Systems, Inc. 1998 Asset Purchase and Sale Agreement". Groklaw Blog. 
  19. ^ Certificate of Incorporation of Caldera Systems, Inc.. 2000-03-02 (Certificate of Incorporation - Caldera Systems Inc.(Mar 02, 2000)).
  20. ^ "Caldera Systems CEO happy with $1 billion market cap". 
  21. ^ "Caldera IPO Marks First Linux Disappointment". 
  22. ^ Business Editors/High-Tech Writers: Caldera Establishes Japanese Subsidiary -- Caldera K.K. -- With support from Fujitsu and Hitachi., Orem, Utah (BUSINESS WIRE), 2001-05-31 (Caldera Establishes Japanese Subsidiary -- Caldera K.K. -- With Support From Fujitsu and Hitachi. - Free Online Library).
  23. ^ Lea, Graham (1999-04-27). "Caldera closes UK thin client development unit - Development being moved over to Utah". The Register. 
  24. ^ Lea, Graham (1999-04-21). "Caldera unveils simple install Linux system - No expertise claimed to be needed for OpenLinux 2.2". The Register. 
  25. ^ Caldera. Embedded Linux moved to top priority at Lineo, Inc. formerly known as Caldera Thin Clients, Inc.. Caldera, Inc. press-release as of 20 July 1999 (Caldera News Release 1999-07-20).
  26. ^ (Lineo Is Now Embedix - SD Times: Software Development News).
  27. ^ "SPECIAL REPORT: Motorola/Metrowerks acquires embedded Linux pioneer Lineo" Check |archive-url= value (help). Linux Devices. 2002-12-17. Archived from the original on 2013-01-28.