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InformationWeek: Microsoft And SCO Group: What's So Secret?

Mar 10, 2004, 16:37 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Foley)


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"The conspiracy theory gained what seemed like a shred of evidence when Eric Raymond, the outspoken open-source advocate who sometimes uses satire to make his points, got his hands on a leaked E-mail message that, interpreted a certain way, implicates Microsoft in a money-making scheme for SCO. It seems to imply--and I say 'seems' because the E-mail message in question is anything but clear and comprehensive--that Microsoft had a role last October in engineering a $50 million investment in SCO that was led by BayStar Capital. SCO, in fact, acknowledged the authenticity of the message, but it described the contents as 'a misunderstanding' by its author, an outside consultant. Microsoft, meanwhile, put out a statement describing Raymond's analysis as 'inaccurate' and denying any ties to BayStar.

"But Microsoft is attempting to put out this fire--or mostly smoke so far--with a squirt gun. What's really needed is a clear, unequivocal explanation of the nature of the company's relationship with SCO. As you may recall, SCO revealed last May that Microsoft had signed a contract to license some of its Unix code for an undisclosed amount. A few months later, Microsoft signed an extension to that original agreement that included additional technology and usage rights. The second deal was not disclosed by either company. Together, the deals were worth about $16.6 million, a significant 21% of SCO's total revenue in fiscal 2003..."

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