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Microsoft Not Underwriting SCO's Legal Fees?

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the thats-pretty-funny dept.

Unix 239

An anonymous reader wrote in to say "Linux Business Week carries this morning a claim that Microsoft only bought a Unix license from SCO Group because there's been a prior development project underway at Redmond that warranted it. "The license was not seen as a way to underwrite SCO's legal fees," says a source within the company. "The idea of getting a SCO license had been under consideration prior to the IBM lawsuit." "

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first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046488)

huzza!

Killed by BSD^HE! (-1, Troll)

MooKore (675835) (675835) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046494)

< BSD is dead >

\ \_______
v__v \ \ O )
(xx) ||----w |
(__) || || \/\

Yeah... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046496)

This is where all the slashdot, long haired, sandal and white sock wearing Linux fanbois claim it's not so and Microsoft is out to destroy the world...

Re:Yeah... (0, Redundant)

calennert (654624) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046510)

It's not so and Microsoft is out to destroy the world...

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046717)

Go! Get out of my store! [cdjewell.net]

Not Quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046566)

Microsoft is out to control the world, not destroy it.

Re:Not Quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046768)

Nah, Microsoft's out to charge everybody else for living in the world.

B O Y (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046873)

fanbois

Anyone who misspells the word "boy" in that fashion is clearly an Avril Lavin loving raging homosexual.

1st post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046497)

hahaha

How unbelievable (-1, Troll)

anandcp (617121) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046503)

How untrue! MSFT wanted to jeopardise the future of Linux and the only way is to legitimise SCO claims by 'licensing' it. MSFT is a Boa Constrictor. It embraces to Kill. Death to MSFT

Re:How unbelievable (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046583)

Well yes and no.

Microsoft would need to buy a Unix license from SCO. The IBM lawsuit isn't about who owns the Unix code, as far as I can tell this is beyond doubt, SCO owns the rights to it.

The lawsuit is about the Unix code being improperly used within Linux.

So, MS isn't 'legitimising' SCO's claims. Each case goes on it's own merit and from what I can gather, there's no way IBM can use the MS issue as leverage, the two aren't connected in any way, apart from being deals with the same company, one licensing one product, the other saying code from said product was used elsewhere.

It sounds better the other way round... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046508)

Enough of the conjecture *cough* BULSHIT *cough*

Cut to the chase already!

So? (5, Insightful)

SkArcher (676201) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046520)

There is no way of either truly confirming or denying this. Microsoft won't, i am prepared to bet, actually say what they are working on, and Very few people trust M$ to be telling the truth. End discussion, really.

right on. (3, Funny)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046547)

shall we end this discussion now?

Radical Off (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046725)

What discussion? We were considering not talking about it before the alleged discussion took place.

Re:So? (0, Troll)

sould (301844) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046721)

There is no way of either truly confirming or denying this.


Well. I'm sure MS will have plenty of documention from before SCO bought up the whole IP thaaang.


Thats interesting in enough itself really...

Re:So? (-1, Troll)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046772)

SCO is a big steaming turd. Without Microsoft's support it will be flushed.

Re:So? (4, Funny)

bob_jordan (39836) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046906)

I still find it odd that Microsoft licensed SCO code on May 19th.

http://biz.yahoo.com/rc/030519/tech_microsoft_un ix _1.html

And on May 20th ...

http://table.finance.yahoo.com/k?s=scox&g=d ... SCOs stock closed at 6.66

Coincidence?

Bob.

Of Course they Didn't (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046526)

They wouldn't do a thing like that. Now would they?

This is good news for Linux (3, Interesting)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046530)

Maybe SCO won't engage in ultra-frivolous lawsuits now since they can't get funding for them? This is good for Linux: Microsoft is rejecting a part that would lead them directly against Linux. Kind of makes you wonder what Microsoft is thinking, though. Did they drop the ball on this one? Or are they trying to survive longer by not appearing to be a monopoly (which they would if they used legal means against Linux)?

Re:This is good news for Linux (1)

inaeldi (623679) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046615)

I think you're thinking too hard about this.

Que pasa? (1)

eddy (18759) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046700)

That makes no sense to me, but you should know that they have the British Army [theinquirer.net] on their side:

The firm said today that the British Army will adopt SCO's Unix platform, server solutions and services to keep its helicopters trim and ship shape. The project is worth £3.5 million with a rollout finished by the end of next year.

Senor, Que pasa, Senor? (5, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046766)

That is totally coincidental.

Microsoft was planning long before the SCO lawsuit to respond to the popularity of Apache web servers with Apache helicopters.

Re:This is good news for Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046815)

which they would if they used legal means against Linux

I am not sure if I agree. By saying that they have legal leverage against Linux you are implying that Linux is a slapped together IP nightmate. I tend to disagree.
On the other hand, you also imply that legal action against Linux would solve Microsoft's problem.
Again, that is simply not true. Well, I guess unless US military gets in the mix. You have to remember that computing, and especially Linux do not end at the shores of North America. Some of the most powerful programmers/creators live or come from elsewhere.
So all in all I don't think that you have any reason to make such a statement.

But, if taken with ONLY U.S. context in mind, yes if this were to come to pass, it would in fact hurt the U.S. economy in a bad way. There you have a good point.

This is how the system is played. (5, Interesting)

subreality (157447) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046533)

Always remember these two words:

"Plausible Deniability"

Re:This is how the system is played. (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046580)

Not to doubt the evils of the great satan Microsoft...

but is there a real case of "plausible deniability" on record? We all know what it means, and we all can see its plausible use to hide government projects--but has it ever been used, by anyone?

(Besides which, I doubt that politicians need to honestly not know to be able to deny something. They're professional liars, after all...)

Re:This is how the system is played. (1)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046692)

Yep. I'm sure the timing was PURELY COINCIDENTAL.

Kernel 2.5.70 just released! (0, Offtopic)

MooKore (675835) (675835) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046535)

Get it before SCO does! [kernel.org] Linux is open source, if SCO wasn't after the money, it would of sent patches by now!

Mod parent up : NOT OFFTOPIC (0, Flamebait)

anonymous coword (615639) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046590)

He's right! SCO ARE just in it for the money. Linus would remove the offending code in a flash if they just disclosed the code. But they wont PURLEY because they want TO EXTORT from people. Some companies are underhandedly evil and will destroy the world for profit.

In your best Dr. Evil voice (4, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046538)

<voice style="Dr. Evil"> Riiiiiiiiiight </voice>

Exactly. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046542)

"The idea of getting a SCO license had been under consideration prior to the IBM lawsuit."

Exactly. They thought of it (the lawsuit), then implemented it.

And? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046544)

That doesn't disprove the allegations. It could only mean they were aware of what SCO was going to do before they did it.

First Pro MS post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046551)

troll tuesday in effect you dirty fruits.

meh... (1)

shione (666388) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046553)

of course Mickey$oft would claim that, what else would you expect them to say? 'Hey we are out to destroy linux'? That evil company is more cunning than that, look at how they thwarted the DOJ.

Re:meh... (1, Funny)

Loosewire (628916) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046581)

look at how they thwarted the DOJ.
why has no one made the joke "Dodged the DOJ"

Re:meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046757)

Um... because it SUCKS?

Re:meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046769)

Score:-1, Falsely moderated as funny

Re:meh... (1)

JJahn (657100) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046595)

Yes actually, I wouldn't be surprised if Ballmer came out and said "We are trying to crush Linux with any means possible". Or maybe he's already said something along those lines?

Re:meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046601)

Thwarted? They didn't "thwart" anything - any muppet could see they were as guilty as hell, they were let off. I wouldn't really expect anything else from the United Corporations of America's government though.

Re:meh... (1)

gaijin99 (143693) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046647)

what else would you expect them to say? 'Hey we are out to destroy linux'?

Well, it'd be a refreshing bit of honesty, as I said in my other post.

And really, why shouldn't they admit their true motives? Its not like everyone on the face of the planet doesn't know that MS has ambitions to be the sole operating system. Given that they don't have a chance of lying convincingly, why don't they just tell the truth?

I'd probably be less anti-MS if they did start telling the truth, actually. Ballmer: "Well of course we're trying to underwrite SCO's legal fees, we are taking all legal courses of action to keep Linux from spreading." I'd like to see that.

HAR HAR HAR!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046744)

Mickey$oft...what an original and funny joke...!!!

you are truly a comedic genious really..you don't look like a fucking idiotic linux poseur at all, nope.

Wait and see (3, Interesting)

jpmahala (181937) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046562)

The fact that the license would make it easier to enhance future versions of Services for Unix was a deciding factor.

I guess we'll have to wait and see if Services for Unix remains a half-assed endeavour...

Re:Wait and see (5, Insightful)

golgotha007 (62687) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046644)

Microsoft has been distributing their Services for Unix software for some time now. If you will remember, the entire purpose they attended LinuxWorld last year was to show this product and even hand out free CD's to try.

Basically, Services for Unix runs on Windows and is designed to replace UNIX servers by offering some similiar services such has NFS and NIS. The idea here is for companies to gracefully migrate their servers away from UNIX and lock them into a MS products.

I just don't understand why Microsoft didn't purchase this license years ago when the Services for UNIX was first started.

Re:Wait and see (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046923)

If you will remember, the entire purpose they attended LinuxWorld last year was to show this product and even hand out free CD's to try.

So the basic idea was to get people to give up their free Unix-like Operating System with a zero price tag, and instead to give Microsoft hundreds of dollars for a closed source not-Unix at all system with slightly less Unix functionality?

Wow, what a deal!

Why not ? (2, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046569)

There's been a development project underway for some time, he said, that would have required a SCO license to go forward.
Shucks, and the conspiracy theory looks so good in print.
Anybody buying this?


That's possible, why not ? after all, I doubt Microsoft developed Passport to run on top of Windows, since it's mission-critical.

Not surprising (3, Informative)

SamBC (600988) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046572)

For one, do you really expect Microsoft to admit publicly to any underhand tactics - unless you count halloween documents.

For two, it's been a reasonably popular view that SCO are a Microsoft Puppet for some time. I can't say whether it's true or not - I don't know. All I can say is that it seems to fit the evidence quite well.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046782)

now THIS is the slashdot i've come to know and love.

several posts down, and most of them have been anti-microsoft and had a nice ring of conspiracy to them!!!

yea!

(i've got to admit that it seems lately there are way to many microsoft apologists on slashdot lately...making me wonder if there has been a funded/organized movement to over run slashdot with dronez)

APP Network News... (5, Funny)

defishguy (649645) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046577)

Dateline OZ.... As reported earlier the Wicked Witch and her consortium of mean little monkeys has licensed rights to the Ruby Slippers from Glenda the Good Witch. Glenda, who is suffering financial problems, and was unable to leverage her IP against the Dorothy Corp (NYSE-DC) and with little opportunities elswhere in the Good Witch market it was assumed that the Good Witch franchise (NYSE-GWF) would soon collapse under the weight of farm houses. Timing IS everything!

Re:APP Network News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046621)

Sorry but...that's Glinda.

Re:APP Network News... (1)

warpSpeed (67927) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046632)

<Nit-Pick >
Glenda the Good Witch

I believe it is Glinda, not Glenda.

</Nit-Pick >

Pretty creative though. :-)

Nit picky spelling critics.. (1)

defishguy (649645) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046675)

Hmmmm... mabye I should find a good Unix spell checker and license it from SCO?

Every day a lesson on monopolies (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046579)

Microsoft is starting to remind me of the pyromaniac character in the Movie backdraft. (Donald Sutherland)

"Tell me Ronald, what you would you do with the world if you could do anything you wanted?"

*trembling, eager voice*

"I would burn it! Burn it all!"

or

"Develop them! Develop them all!"

The sad part. (4, Insightful)

Badgerman (19207) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046582)

Let's say this is true. Hey, it may well be.

There's still something to be learned from all of this - namely Microsoft's problem with people not trusting them is very real.

In short, Microsoft is not a company that a lot of people would give the benefit of a doubt.

After so much FUD, how can we trust them?

Re:The sad part. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046830)

In this case, the people who still don't trust Microsoft have shown time and time again that they are mentally unstable.

At least that's the impression you are leaving on the rest of the world.

From the Article... (5, Funny)

tclark (140640) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046588)

Then the suit came along. The lawsuit was seen as indirect supporting our position on the value of IP. Since other software vendors who depend on software licenses haven't been exactly falling all over themselves to support our position, seeing something that supported it was welcome. The idea of going ahead with the license was initially motivated by wanting to make a statement reinforcing everything we've been saying about IP.

Translation: SCO was looking to f*** over Linux and IBM, and we liked that. Most of the other software vendors, traitorous bastards that they are, have been all too happy to port their stuff over to Linux.

Now we know it is true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046592)

Anytime Maureen O'Gara says something about Linux is is typically to dis Linux somehow. She is nothing but a Microsoft shill. Avoid her words at all costs.

Why the need for an SCO License? (1, Interesting)

Brendor (208073) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046597)

Coming soon to a Reatailer near you . . . MS Windows X?

Re:Why the need for an SCO License? (4, Interesting)

Zelet (515452) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046635)

Actually they are working on a port for Office on Linux. I have a friend who was interviewed for a developer position for it.

Re:Why the need for an SCO License? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046734)

And I have a friend who knew somebody who had met a close acquaintance of a guy who worked on the alien spaceship kept at Area 51.

Doesn't mean that there's really an alien spaceship at Area 51, though.

Re:Why the need for an SCO License? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046771)

Mind you, if there were an alien space ship at Area 51, then the best way of hiding it would be to look as if you were trying to cover it up really incompetently, then only conspiracy nuts would believe it was there...

It's in warehouse 23, if anyone's interested.

eh, didn't MS sell the Xenix license to SCO anyway (1)

DABANSHEE (154661) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046849)

So are they now buying back the farm?

Making Office for Linux sorta makes sense. (1)

grag (597728) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046851)

This makes some business sense.

Hasn't anyone noticed how overly priced Office is for Windows or Mac? Office is Microsoft's biggest revenue generator. What better way to generate more revenue and keep businesses locked into a particular file format than release a version for Linux on an x86 hardware?

Of course, all this is speculation, and I'm too tired and sleepy to search around on the WWW for articles to support my claims.

On the other hand, there has also been speculation of Microsoft moving to an Application Server type model with Office. If this is so, then this gives Microsoft even more leverage to get into the big iron market.

I dunno, two hours of sleep and still having to go to work, I don't even know if this makes sense at all. :P

Re:Why the need for an SCO License? (1)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046913)

You can already buy Microsoft SFU (formerly called Interix), together with large parts of the GNU system. (Microsoft does obey the GPL and distributes the source code of those GNU programs.)

Double speak, or PC speak, call it what you will (4, Insightful)

gaijin99 (143693) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046620)

MS, of course has no intention of doing anything to undermine Linux.

What bothers me is not the lie, but the pervasiveness of this sort of attitude. They don't want to admit their true motives, so they lie and the mass media doesn't call them on it.

My question is simple: why are they bothering? They have financial interest in seeing Linux, and MacOS, failing. If Linux's market share expands, theirs contracts. Nothing difficult to understand here.

Unfortunately, that their pathetic lie being allowed to go un-challenged means that otheres will keep right on lying in ever more pathetic manners. Let's have some artistry here, if someone wants to lie to me I expect it to be plausable, not rediculous.

Its rather like the political "doner's" lie: "Oh, no, I'd never bribe a politician. This particular politician just wants to give me special favors because its part of his political philosophy, I'm just giving him money to express my support of that philosophy."

Since that excuse works so well in politics why not everywhere else: "Oh no officer, I wasn't paying that woman for sex, she simply has a philosophy of giving oral sex to strangers, I'm merely expressing my support for that philosophy."

Really, MS, politicians, their lies are just too transparent to be amusing. We need a better class of lies damnit. Either that or some honesty, that would be original too...

Re:Double speak, or PC speak, call it what you wil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046683)

she simply has a philosophy of giving oral sex to strangers

You got a phone no for this girl ?

Re:Double speak, or PC speak, call it what you wil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046714)

Why did you throw MacOS in there? MS has been pretty supportive of Apple, in porting Office and IE etc to work on the Mac when they really have no need to. MS appreciates Mac b/c it gives them an easy adversary.

speaking of OSX (1)

davesag (140186) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046764)

I am a little confused by this case, and have not really followed the details, but what could be the effect, if any, on BSD and therefore OSX? Are SCO saying they own unix? Isn't BSD a form of Unix, and also both free and Open Source? Will they come after Apple too?

Re:speaking of OSX (2, Insightful)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046925)

From what I understand, Apple already has a license (someone please correct me if I'm wrong...) Also, SCO claims that IBM took SCO code and put it in the Linux kernel, which would not affect BSD at all. Of course, there is nothing stoping SCO from claiming that (for example) Apple did the same thing - releasing SCO IP back into the BSD tree.

The whole thing is just SO full of crap of course that no sane person believes anything SCO says anymore.

Re:Double speak, or PC speak, call it what you wil (1, Troll)

sheldon (2322) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046799)

What bothers me is not the lie, but the pervasiveness of this sort of attitude.

Actually the problem here really has nothing to do with Microsoft.

The problem here is the pervasiveness of the attitude that every action done by Microsoft or any other company is a move to destroy Linux. This attitude is further problematic in that every reasonable explanation is accused of being a lie.

It makes the "Linux Community" look like a bunch of 2 year old children.

Warez the Loonix $upporters now? (-1)

anonymous coword (615639) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046624)

$oz kill (-9) ing Loonix and profITing from IT [yahoo.com]

You think that EYE BEE EM [yahoo.com] will $av? you! Wrong!

Mickey$oft [yahoo.com] wILL buy $0 and kill (-9) Loonix! Then j00 lo$ers will be forced into Indian sweatshops to write software to automate the process of A$$ raPING con$um?Rs!

And ... (2, Funny)

altp (108775) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046625)

And penguins might fly outta my butt.

Oh right.. (4, Funny)

MongooseCN (139203) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046634)

"I didn't mean to give that gun and 10,000$ cash to the murderer just before he killed my *&*(&$# cheating POS ex-wife. It was pure coincidence."

M$ would like nothing more than... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046641)

seeing Linux publicly disgraced by finding this mysterious code within the kernel space. I doubt very seriously that they will find anything, but if they do, said code will be re-written in a matter of hours, not days, and then things will be back to normal.

Re:M$ would like nothing more than... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046781)

I doubt very seriously that they will find anything, but if they do, said code will be re-written in a matter of hours, not days, and then things will be back to normal.

I doubt that very much. Sure, the suspect code will be replaced quickly, but companies will be a lot more wary of adopting Linux, since they will see this suit as precedence. They'd then be forced to look at alternatives. FreeBSD anyone?

of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046642)

Of course the money doesn't have anything to do with the case. If it did then they could get in trouble for monopolistic practices. And they certainly wouldn't want that now would they?

Yeah, yeah, yeah... (3, Insightful)

mrkurt (613936) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046643)

[*sarcasm*]I'm sure everyone believes that. But even if it isn't true, Microsoft could be "licensing" SCO to uphold their own position on intellectual property, which is that you must obtain a license and pay for everything. It fits in perfectly with their business model, and should hardly come as a surprise: we always knew where they stood. That this could be a little "down payment" on what they hope to get out of the litigation against IBM is a bonus.

I don't think so (4, Insightful)

stoev (103408) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046660)

They don't need SCO code for any UNIX emulation.
1. They can take (F,N,O)BSD code and get a perfect UNIX(ish) layer.
2. If they want to pay somebody, they can go to http://www.windriver.com/products/bsd_os/index.htm l and I guess they will get actually better support for what they probably want to do

Just tell me what is the benefit of SCO code from the MS point. I'll tel you - they know SCO was going to do something and now they are covering their traces with smoke.

I f itsmells like a duck.. (2, Informative)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046665)

If it smells like a duck and craps like on..then most problably it is a DUCK!

Side Note: The Bank loan secured by the Founder listeed in the financials pays for monthly cash flow needed to keep afloat..its due in October with a promise by founder to keep SCO Group afloat through end of Novemeber..thus they do not have the monye for a legal fund .. the only way they can get it is through license fees.. :)

Under consideration since long ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046678)

"The idea of getting a SCO license had been under consideration prior to the IBM lawsuit."

That just tells us M$ and $<0 have planed all this (and much more) long ago.

Bored now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046679)

You people make me sick. Why does everything have to be a conspiracy?



Why would it be in MS best interests for an ailing company to try and lawyer a much larger company to death cos we know it's not going to happen. Just look at the DOJ vs MS

More MS/SCO news... (2, Funny)

NineNine (235196) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046689)

... Bob in MS's UK accounting office said, "I really like SCOnes for breakfast". Coincidence? We think not! What did he mean by that? What is MS planning now?

Microsoft Quizz (3, Funny)

borgdows (599861) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046712)

The license was not seen as a way to underwrite SCO's legal fees ...

a) ... but to damage Linux reputation
b) ... but to be good citizens
c) ... but underwrite Cowboy McNeal's PR services

A few thoughts (2, Interesting)

KoolDude (614134) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046722)


I have a friend who works at Microsoft and about two months back, he invited me to discuss about "Linux people and IP infringement". Although the discussion didn't actually work out, after seeing this SCO vs. IBM lawsuit, I can imagine what he was planning to talk about.

Whether MS is directly supporting SCO on this or not, we can be sure that that Microsoft has its eyes laid on writing off Linux as an "Intellectual Property Issue". Look at the statements made by the MS executive in the story on XBox we discussed two days back:

Q. Folks have even built a Linux-Xbox computer. How can you control this?
A. Electronic hobbyists will do what they want to do...the numbers are not really that big. It's not a commercial as much as it is an intellectual property issue and we always pursue those. If someone finds a way to cheat, we close it down and do an update so people can't anymore.

Towards the beginning of the browser wars, Bill Gates wanted Microsoft to be synonymous with "Internet" and I feel what Bill wants now is to make Linux synonymous with "IP issues". Not sure how well the FUD strategy works, but we have a few problems ahead. What if this SCO thing is just a beginning ? With 2 or 3 more of these suits, MS can possibly keep Linux out of expanding. What can we do if some company X complains about IP infringement in Linux in the future ?

Another unsubstantiated Maureen O'Gara Story (3, Interesting)

beacher (82033) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046726)

Getting tired of her. Previous story about the SCO Threatens to Press IP Claims on Linux -$99/cpu [slashdot.org] was written by her and a lot of the comments were made that it lacked any real references. Now it's

"A Microsoftie fresh back from vacation decided to try to find out the real story behind Microsoft's controversial SCO license. (If you don't know what we're talking about see story below.) This is the explanation he came back with. Note that it is second-hand. "

Look, I know Microsoft has it's NDA agreements, but too many of her stories are uncited, unsubstantiated, and just plain dumb.
Is this really Microsoft's attempt to extend Windows Services for Unix? 3 years ago Microsoft announced that Windows Services for Unix works with all Unix variants including SunSoft Solaris and Red Hat Linux 5.0 [gcn.com] , so why bother buying SCO licensing now? Did they pay Redhat as well (GPL yah yah I know), did they pay anyone else?

The timining of this is too coincidental, but c'mon no more Maureen O'Gara stories. Let me know if more get published, I know some tinfoil manufacturers that I need to invest in. -B

Warez the Loonix $upporters now? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046728)

$oz kill (-9) ing Loonix and profITing from IT. ($8.70) [yahoo.com]

You think that EYE BEE EM ($85.26) [yahoo.com] will $av? you! Wrong!

Mickey$oft [yahoo.com] ($24.72) wILL buy $0 and kill (-9) Loonix! Then j00 lo$ers will be forced into Indian sweatshops to write software to automate the process of A$$ raPING con$um?Rs!

too bad for RHAT ($6.91) [yahoo.com] f and LNUX! ($1.37) [yahoo.com]

I know which development project (2, Funny)

FeeDBaCK (42286) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046733)

that Microsoft only bought a Unix license from SCO Group because there's been a prior development project underway at Redmond that warranted it

I know what project they're referring to... it is the "Kill Linux" project! *grin*

Doesn't M$ Own SCO, anyway? (1)

0x0000 (140863) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046735)

Well, this all comes as a real shocker, to me. It was my understanding (based on a conversation about a decade ago) that Micro$oft owns SCO outright.

The exact quote (iirc) from the 2nd-hand conversation circa 1993 was something like "...well, doesn't Microsoft still own SCO Unix, anyway?" -- the context was something around Xenix(tm) -- anybody remember where that came from? It was an SCO-derivative, wasn't it?

CYA Situation (3, Insightful)

Deathlizard (115856) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046740)

I still Believe that this is more of a Cover your @$$ issue than it is a IP Rights Issue or a Bash Linux Issue.

I mean they've been sued once by SCO already and lost because of DRDOS and SCO is now suing IBM Over Unix. Guess who's next in line that has a big pile of money sitting in a corner of a room that has Unix IP. Most likely Microsoft Lawyer XP(TM) is advising Bill that paying the Royalities is cheaper than going through yet another reputation damaging lawsuit over Unix.

MS is taking the bullseye off of it's back to allow them to work on their Unix Stuff without worry and forces SCO to go after other companies such as Sun.

Riiiiiiiighhhttt... (2, Interesting)

DarkVein (5418) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046767)

At first, I think "Okay, they could legitimately need a license for either of SCO's Unix products". Then, I realized something: Both of SCO's Unix product lines are completely inferior to every other form of Unix on the market. SCO's one strong point--uniproccessor speed--is surpassed by the BSD-licensed BSDs, which Microsoft has been legally borrowing code from for nearly a decade.

A far more believable reason to license this code is to make a political statement: that you support IP as a barterable asset instead of a development/creation incentive. MS made their fortune under a distribution network that mimics the idea of IP-as-asset.

This perspective is profitable but on extremely shaky ground right now As quoted, "[s]ince other software vendors who depend on software licenses haven't been exactly falling all over themselves to support our position, seeing something that supported it was welcome." In other words, this lawsuit is their first good opportunity to throw their support with another party to support this idea. Unfortunately for MS, it's also a pretty pathetic opportunity [opensource.org] .

The best part about this is that MS didn't have to buy the license at all. They tried it, then they bought it to support a company they (conditionally) respect. Bloody pirates.

Microsoft feeling lonely (2, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046775)

The lawsuit was seen as indirect supporting our position on the value of IP. Since other software vendors who depend on software licenses haven't been exactly falling all over themselves to support our position, seeing something that supported it was welcome.

Microsoft have pushed themselves onto this very high moral ground, and when they looked round to see if everyone had followed them, they were strangely alone....

Digital rights management, and self destructing emails are all to cover Microsofts own backside rather than getting on with the important task of giving the users what they actually want.
Linux offers this, and they are scared - rightly so.

MS Services for UNIX 3.0 (5, Interesting)

ebooher (187230) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046784)

Last week I received this months copy of SysAdmin magazine in the mail. What happened to accompany my magazine in the shrink wrap? None other than Microsoft's Services for UNIX 3.0 which used to be Interix Services. It's possible that this product has the potential to contain code that could be obtained from other sources.

I don't remember much about Interix before Microsoft bought them, but I do remember using a demo copy of the Interix Services package and what it did do was pretty cool. It gave a UNIX functionality layer to the NT system. You could log in via SSH and perform all command line functions that you would find on any *BSD, *Linux box. Including cross compile. I seem to remember the demo package including GCC that had been compiled specifically for this package.

Unfortunately I don't have a single MS box in my current possession to install this on to play with. One of my poor, ailing, FreeBSD boxes might get wiped to play with this for a few weeks.

Since everyone else is throwing out conspiracy theories, I suppose I'll throw my own into the arena. CAUTION the following is frivolous bullshit that has no way to be proven except in my own mind. But isn't that true of most of these theories people have?

Interix starts out as a company to build a UNIX compatibility layer for the NT kernel. What better way than to look at the source that is freely available to decide what road to take. Looking at *BSD and *Linux they find that with a little effort they can write a compatibility layer and run pure *NIX apps right on top of NT. (They even have a XR11 port for this layer) All fun, all native, all fast.

Since this is starting out as an exercise in theoretical mechanics of getting UNIX to operate directly on NT, they borrow some "free" code to figure out how exactly to get it all to fit together. Purely with the intention of yanking all "borrowed" code later should this prove to work as they can afford to.

Their compatibility layer works better than expected, apps can easily cross compile to their pseudo-kernel and anyone that isn't directly in front of the box doesn't know they aren't talking to UNIX. This causes Uncle Bill to take notice. He likes what they are doing, and since his own Services for UNIX is pretty piss poor he does what he does best. Buys the company. (I'm not just an Interix client, I liked them so much I bought the company.)

So now, instead of ripping out all the "borrowed" code that is working so well, the new team, who is partnered with pieces of the old team, continue to develop along side each other, integrating the MS UNIX codebase that was Services for UNIX into the Interix codebase to build SFU 3.0.

SCO comes along and starts the whole lawsuit procedure but isn't giving any examples of code. Uncle Bill, preferring to stay quiet and in control, doesn't know if they need to scrap the project or not. Easiest solution? Buy the rights to the problem. License the technology you've already stolen and improved upon, gaining the legal right to use it, before the originating company realizes what you are doing and comes after you.

MS may have deep pockets, but they aren't bottomless, and I believe the legal battles with Apple taught them one very important lesson. End it quick and as painless as possible, keep the government out of it, because they have a tendency to side with people who may be my enemy (MS almost lost the anti-trust suit before Clinton left office?) So make it go away quietly so as not to draw attention to us.

End Rant ..... just my two cents.

Dangerous Precedent? (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046785)

What if *gasp* They actually USE some of what they license, or do in SCO's eyes? Does that make it such that they have to continue to pay SCO's royalties from now until whenever they decide to be sued by SCO, if SCO were to somehow actually win against IBM/SuSE/RedHat/World?

As much as I want to see SCO stomped into the ground, I'll admit that if SCO wins, This would be a nice form of poetic justice...

Glad I use WIndows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046801)


A lawyer friend predicted this about three years ago. We made sure to check our licences and, as a result, have stayed proprietary-only. We hated some aspects of Microsoft's new licencing regime but, at least, have no fear of being sued by an IP-owning company such as SCO.

We knew it would happen, and are glad not to have the nightmare of compensation for stolen code (accidental or deliberate) ruining our core business. Sorry, open-source advocates, but that's what it comes down to: business versus play.

A neighbour in this block is trying to get the standard BT ADSL modem to work with Linux. He's wasted a day, and still says he can't connect. We put the CD-ROM in the drive and were working again in about two minutes. Business versus play

Reality Check... (1)

CokoBWare (584686) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046804)

If this is a lie, and they really did back SCO, then can you blame them? This kind of stuff happens in all other sorts of business all the time. This doesn't mean it's right, but I get the feeling that people expect Microsoft not to play the dirty business game. Well they are playing dirty pool, but from my limited legal background, I don't see it being illegal.

Let's all get a reality check and wake up to one simple fact... Microsoft needs to preserve its business. Linux is a threat. It will fund companies who may have a legal claim to sue Linux backers through ligitimate channels.

What would you all think of SCO's claim if it WERE true? Would you blame Microsoft? Probably, but the guy who broke the law would end up paying for it.

Cringely covered this (2, Informative)

Nutrimentia (467408) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046811)

Cringely's current article [pbs.org] has his take on SCO. He mentioned that he wouldn't be surprised to find Microsoft bankrolling the legal,even though he wasn't predicting it either.

In the end though, he concedes he doesn't know what is going on, and neither do other people in the field. Me? I'm guessing it will end up being a totally ill-informed upper managemnet decision that is going to roll heads.

Yeah right... (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046818)

Microsoft claims it's not underwriting SCO's Legal Fees.

Microsoft claimed in its anti-trust case that divulging its source code could undermine national security. Then it proceeded to give the source code to India, China, and to former Soviet nations.

Also in the anti-trust case, Microsoft claimed again and again that Windows could not run without Internet Explorer. Until the government showed how simple it was.

Microsoft claimed that there was no DOS in Windows 95, I clearly remember the "DOS is dead" signs from the launch. But yet, Windows 95 simply ran on DOS.

Microsoft claimed, like Apple, that it too found a person who had switched, only in this instance from the Mac to the Wintel platform. Unfortunately, that person never existed and was made up by marketing.

Microsoft claimed in an advertisement in South Africa that Windows XP was so secure that it would eliminate hackers. However, the governmental agency in charge of truth in advertising there forced Microsoft to pull the ad.

I could go on and on. Why would ANYONE ever believe Microsoft?!

In Other News (2, Funny)

Markus Registrada (642224) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046823)

This just in...

The Iraq invasion wasn't really about oil, or even about euros.

The Supreme Court didn't really prevent Florida from counting its votes for fear that the candidate it had chosen to appoint wouldn't get in.

That big tax cut really is meant, and expected, to stimulate the economy.

That face on Mars really was carved by space monkeys.

How to sue sco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6046843)

Everyone go down to the courthouse and spend the few bucks necessary to file a small claims suit for lost revenue (if you install or support linux systems) or defamation of character if you use it at work or just write software for it. In my state the max value is 5000 dollars, sounds like a good deal for a no show quick buck.

But (1)

KoolDude (614134) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046870)


This CNET article [com.com] hints that Microsoft bought them at SCO's request. From the article:

A Microsoft representative said that the deal was simply in response to SCO's request. "Microsoft respects legitimate licenses, and Microsoft took that license (from SCO). That's it," the representative said.

What is a licence from SCO? (1)

Lussarn (105276) | more than 11 years ago | (#6046932)

Don't know if this has been asked before but what is this licence from SCO they are buying? What do they get?
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