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Leaked Memo Says Microsoft Raised $86 million for SCO

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the stalking-horse dept.

Caldera 1279

badzilla and numerous others wrote in with this: "Eric S. Raymond's Open Source site has a new Halloween memo. The Halloween X memo, which ESR says he received by email from an anonymous whistleblower inside SCO, appears to confirm Microsoft's alleged funding of SCO's anti-Linux initiative. And the actual dollar amounts are much larger than previously rumored!" The consultant is discussing his fee for bringing in this business, in the first few lines of the email.

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Wow (4, Insightful)

vrioux (723563) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462616)

Another good reason not to buy Microsoft products... They give your money to try and prevent you from using anything else than Windows.

Re:Wow (0, Insightful)

Fishbu (708721) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462661)

Why wouldn't they?

It makes sense in a capitalist economy that any business would want to own the greatest market share.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

the_consumer (547060) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462710)

Sure it makes sense. It also makes sense that if you have a car I like, I should just take it, right?

If they want they want to maintain the greatest market share, maybe they should compete in the market, not in the courts. I suppose you like getting screwed, though, Fishbu.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

nial-in-a-box (588883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462725)

Yea, but this is blatant dishonesty and essentially cheating. I just read an article that says that ethical corporations do better in the long run, and this isn't a simple karma question. Be good to people and they'll be good to you. They're not just "customers" or "consumers," but people. This stuff is real, it's not a game. There aren't just rules, there are laws and morals and values. If you're an asshole now, as a person or a corporation, it will come back to get you one way or another. Microsoft and SCO may be getting what they want now, but they'll be hurting for this later.

Re:Wow (3, Insightful)

boobsea (728173) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462718)

And you don't think that Ford wants to use your money to try to keep you and others from buying GM?

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

Guy Innagorillasuit (249136) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462790)

Yeah, but they're not funneling money to Yugo to sue GM and it's consumers.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8462767)

that's kinda like here in quebec... most of our leaders are anti-american racists so our cash goes to funding organisations that keep us from those "evil american bastards"

Time to short sell ! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8462619)

Short sell SCO and Microsoft !

What the fuck? (-1)

Can it run Linux (664464) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462622)

What does this have anything to do with Linux?

Re:What the fuck? (-1, Troll)

gnutechguy (700980) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462688)

You are an idiot troll, BEGONE!

My God (1)

netfool (623800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462626)

This should be FUUUUN to watch! Let 'er rip!

Re:My God (4, Interesting)

akadruid (606405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462727)

It's got to be consipiracy theory BS. Patenting IPX? give me a break. Also it says that SCOs main earner will be MS... seems unlikely given their track to date... So far MS seem to be getting very poor value for money, no evidence that the SCO campaign is in any way helping MS or even that it will.

I call BS on the whole article.

Microsoft is clearly feeling the Linux heat (3, Insightful)

Swift03 (758549) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462755)

Think Linux inroads has got Msoft shitting in its pants so this comes as no surprise. If you can't beat it technologically, create FUD around it--In Malaysia and Thailand, our redmond fiend has launched a so-called Windows XP "Lite" for cheap...Y? Cos the govts "threaten" to launch desktops with Linux! [cnet.com]

HAH! (0)

Mick Ohrberg (744441) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462629)

I _knew_ it!

Re:HAH! (5, Insightful)

dubious9 (580994) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462802)

Yes, and if, in fact, this e-mail is real, then it will be real interesting to see what happens to SCO's revenue stream. I'm sure that MS doesn't like to be played the fool, and that about what these guys are saying here. I mean, christ...

but there are other ways to get money from them, their partners,investment bank referrals, etc..

and

This Microsoft deal is the Ante to the poker game...We should get this done and go after several $2-3 Million deals from the expense side of their company.

...sure makes it seems like they think MS is an easy, endless source of money. Well, let's just wait and see what'll happen.

Also, ~$100 mil isn't chump change, shouldn't there be some sort of public record of MS explaining this transaction, or can you "creatively account" for it?

The best part of waking up.... (1, Funny)

existential goo (622017) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462633)

Now THIS is a great way to start off my morning; I hop on slashdot, and this is what I see? And a clean slate to boot! Life is good today, the two companies I hate implicated and I see no postings yet...

I am a gud speller (4, Funny)

Liselle (684663) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462635)

It's funny how the typos and bad grammar in the email lends credence to it. Looks like something I'd get from an exec at work! Well, minus the shady dealing with Microsoft, anyway. :P

Re:I am a gud speller (5, Interesting)

EFGearman (245715) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462668)

Hmmm... I have to agree. I can't recall (or find) an email that I have received from an exec, save for the tech exec I used to work for, that did not have spelling errors.

The tech exec knew where the spell checker was and he used it.

This is a forgery. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8462729)

From: Mike Anderer
Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2003
To: csontag@sco.com
CC: Bob Bench
Subject: Conversation Friday


I work inside SCO. Mike Anderer hasn't had anything to do with the company since June 2003. This is a clear and simple forgery. I lend it no credence. I'd suggest ignoring it.

Re:This is a forgery. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8462787)

So we're supposed to trust one anonymous source (you) over another anonymous source?

He's as good as fired. (4, Interesting)

OECD (639690) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462735)

The document below was emailed to me by an anonymous whistleblower inside SCO. He tells me the typos and syntax bobbles were in the original.

Wave bye-bye to the nice whistleblower. I bet the 'typos and syntax bobbles' are part of a document tracking system. SCO will know who released this.

I was just reading this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8462641)

... someone linked it from the last SCO story. Bizarre to finish, come back to /. and find it top of the front page :-)

Can't... type... reply... (5, Funny)

The I Shing (700142) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462643)

Can't... type... reply... too... much... outrage... head... exploding...

Re:Can't... type... reply... (2, Funny)

HeridFel (740968) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462731)

TETSUOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Re:Can't... type... reply... (1)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462761)

Lemme guess, a Mr. Furious [imdb.com] impersonation? :)

Just like they bailed out Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8462646)

Hmmm. Both Apple and SCO are strong for the same reason: Microsoft gave them a bunch of $$$$.

sco = teh sux0r (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8462647)

OMG SECOND POST!!!!!
SCO IS EVIL!!

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

How can they get away with this? (4, Insightful)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462649)

Assuming this is an accurate and actual letter, how is it that a company can continue to do business in this manner? This company is not in the softwrae business anymore - it's in the lawsuit business. After all the happenings with Enron and WorldCom, how is it that this company, which has no real business plan (that's evident even outside the letter) attract customers or money?

We should attach a motor to Adam Smith's grave. I'm guessing we're at about 100K RPM and climbing.

Re:How can they get away with this? (-1, Flamebait)

GMontag (42283) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462719)

Certainly litigation as a business model is not truly sustainable for most, but that was the cash engine that fueled Microsoft to begin with. Not sure if Mr. Gates got a discuout from his lawyer father, but I digress.

One thing that we can expect from the current administration, if there is any fire behind this smoke, is treatment of Microsoft just like they treated Enron and WorldCom.

You (other readers) do know that it is the *current* administration that actually lifted a finger to prosicute and jail the folks at Enron and WorldCom, yes?

Paging the DoJ... (5, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462652)

If this turns out to be genuine (and I'm sure ESR would have gone to great lengths to validate the document before going public), I can't think of better grounds for another anti-trust case. It's already on the Register [theregister.co.uk] too, and Groklaw can't be far behind. Let's draw attention to this smoking gun, shall we?

Re:Paging the DoJ... (5, Insightful)

base3 (539820) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462675)

Don't hold your breath. Remember that the current DoJ is the one that administered the slap on the wrist for the convicted monopolist's most recent infractions. Even if Kerry wins, I'm sure his administration can be bought, as well.

Re:Paging the DoJ... (1)

fatboy (6851) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462776)

Remember that the current DoJ is the one that administered the slap on the wrist for the convicted monopolist's most recent infractions. Even if Kerry wins, I'm sure his administration can be bought, as well.

Well, since Bill Gates is a Democrat, I think a Kerry administration would do *ANYTHING* about it.

Re:Paging the DoJ... (1)

Jungle guy (567570) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462772)

I don't think an anonymous e-mail is a reason for a new anti-trust case, but enough for new investigations by the DoJ. What does John Kerry thinks of anti-trust investigations against american corporations on times of economic downturns?

When George W Bush came on to stage, Microsoft, which had been already found guilty, got a pretty good setlement. If he wins the re-election, any other anti-trust case will be against competition and in favor of business consolidation.

Re:Paging the DoJ... (4, Insightful)

nuffle (540687) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462792)

I'm sure ESR would have gone to great lengths to validate the document before going public


Don't be so sure. According to ESR's statement: I cannot certify its authenticity, but I presume that IBM's, Red Hat's, Novell's, AutoZone's, and Daimler-Chryler's lawyers can subpoena the original.

So take it with a grain of salt. I'm sure ESR thinks it's authentic, but until someone can confirm its authenticity, don't believe it. In the end, it's better to be skeptical of surprising evidence than to instantly accept false claims.

Re:Paging the DoJ... (3, Funny)

IWorkForMorons (679120) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462804)

Let's draw attention to this smoking gun, shall we?

Great idea! I can't wait until the The Smoking Gun [thesmokinggun.com] gets a hold of Darl's mugshots. They did such a great job with the Enron [thesmokinggun.com] guy...

It makes good sense for Microsoft (5, Interesting)

HMA2000 (728266) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462653)

For $86 million Microsoft has created an enourmous amount of chaos. There is little doubt they will make their $86M back on additional because of the FUD the SCO crap has caused.

That doesn't make it any less sneaky, underhanded and evil though.

Re:It makes good sense for Microsoft (5, Insightful)

The One KEA (707661) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462678)

I will concede that there has been some upheaval and surprise in the business world due to this lawsuit, but I don't call it "enormous chaos." Despite the FUD and the lawsuits and the dupe of the media, Linux is still being enhanced and improved. And most importantly, it's still being adopted.

Now, if SCO were to win, THAT would be chaos indeed.

It may not... (4, Insightful)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462799)

...now that the cat's out of the bag. The FTC should be informed, IBM and Novell should demand memos, etc. Microsoft may end up wishing they'd never done this.

I wonder if anything will be done based on this leaked memo - I mean legally can anything be done?

Re:It makes good sense for Microsoft (1)

qcomp (694740) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462803)

For $86 million Microsoft has created an enourmous amount of chaos.

granted the chaos, but they also generated a huge amount of publicity -- much more than RHAT, NOVL, OSDL etc. could have generated on their own. And since the quality of argumentation has been so onesided, this whole thing may have helped Linux more than it hurt.

Welcome to the real world folks. (4, Insightful)

GMontag (42283) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462654)

Although this does smack of "unfair" business practices it is a look at how *some* business alliances are formed.

Now, if you are going to condemn it in this case you also need to condemn it when one of "the big guys" comes to the rescue of something that *you* like.

Also, if you assume that IBM, etc. had no idea that this was going on then that would be a bad assumption. They might not of known the details, but they *probably* knew something was up.

Re:Welcome to the real world folks. (4, Interesting)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462759)

Is it really 'unfair'? One company says they have a valid and legal way to take out the competition... why not fork over some cash to help them out?

Honestly, if Red Hat says they have proof that MS was using copyright code from one of its properitary dlls, and IBM gave them a boatload of cash to help out, would it be 'unfair'?

Always reverse the situation before you guys go foaming at the mouth!

Re:Welcome to the real world folks. (4, Interesting)

curtisk (191737) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462771)

Although this does smack of "unfair" business practices it is a look at how *some* business alliances are formed.

Now, if you are going to condemn it in this case you also need to condemn it when one of "the big guys" comes to the rescue of something that *you* like.

Well said!

This is business for good or bad, it all depends on what side of the line you are on in the situation at at hand

Re:Welcome to the real world folks. (4, Interesting)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462808)

I'd say spending the best part of $100m on what is basically a smear campagin, by a company already convicted of, and facing additional convictions for, anti-competetive business practices goes above and beyond "unfair". Just because this is the way that things are done in some sectors of the business world does not mean it should be excused at all. Give them an inch and all that...

But you do have a valid point about the "them and us" aspect. If someone condemns Microsoft for this, then by rights they should also condemn IBM if they were to, say invest $100m in an anti-MS smear campaign. Not that that would ever happen - IBM still has a policy of never smearing a competitor as far as I am aware... ;)

Re:Welcome to the real world folks. (1)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462810)

Um, you're missing a major point here. This was not Microsoft coming to the rescue. If they wanted to do that, they would have backed SCO openly, or bought them outright. This was under the table. They obviously don't want to be associated with SCO's tactics, but approve of the mess SCO is making. If it isn't illegal, it still smells really, really bad. And it's something any Average Joe can understand: Microsoft secretly paid a company to file ridiculous lawsuits against competitors, and make false accusations in an attempt to discredit competitors' products.

Right... (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462655)

The same person that has kept quiet as to why SCO will be winning?

Wow, this could be a very easy forgery and it looks to be.

Re:Right... (5, Insightful)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462816)

It's also convienent that the whole letter just keeps reiterating how much money they have gotten from MS. I think after the second time it would be understood.

I realize most people are going to disagree, but of all the memos leaked before this does not look real. I could care less about the spelling, but the point of the e-mail is just sad ESPECIALLY if we are considering someone leaked the memo must have been a recipient. That's not exactly a business wide e-mail. No one that high up would go try to shoot themselves in the foot at this point.

Does this really matter? (5, Insightful)

dartmouth05 (540493) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462656)

While this might have an effect in the court of public opinion, and I certainly think that it should (big bad Microsoft, trying to kill off its competitors using SCO as a weapon), I don't see its bearing in the legal arena. Regardless of whether or not Microsoft is bankrolling this lawsuit to stiffle competition from Linux, SCO either owns or doesn't own the code that they are trying to claim as theirs. If they own it, they'll win their lawsuits, regardless of who is paying for them.

Smoking gun? Well, maybe, if you're looking at a Microsoft violation of their anti-trust agreement, but it really has not bearing on the court cases.

Stop Using SCO as a weapon.... (1, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462673)

(big bad Microsoft, trying to kill off its competitors using SCO as a weapon)

Now I have that Pat Benetar song in my head all day. Thanks a lot. "Stop using SCO as a weapon. Stop using...."

Re:Does this really matter? (1)

Nurseman (161297) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462752)

....SCO either owns or doesn't own the code that they are trying to claim as theirs. If they own it, they'll win their lawsuits, regardless of who is paying for them.
Hows does this affect SCOrap's SEC filing ? Didn't they just have a conferance call to speak to investors ? Isn't this something that they should have revealed ?

Antitrust . . . Reloaded? (2, Funny)

$calar (590356) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462657)

Do I smell another visit to the DoJ?

Re:Antitrust . . . Reloaded? (1, Funny)

csnydermvpsoft (596111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462690)

Do I smell another visit to the DoJ?

That depends on the [s]election in November.

"Rich" (5, Informative)

mordicus (677405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462658)

...is probably Richard Emerson [microsoft.com] .

Sort of makes sense.... (2, Interesting)

warlockgs (593818) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462659)

I mean how better to fight an anti-competitive war against Linux than to use a non-monopoly-wielding company to do it?

Who will this hurt more? (1)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462660)

SCO's reputation couldn't be in any worse shape, but if Microsoft really did do this, they lose all kinds of credibility.... again.

Accounting error (4, Funny)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462662)

They have so much money that no one noticed the cheque for $8.6m was actually for $86m due to a missing decimal place.

The person responsible has been promoted to strategy and vision director.

Everything old is new again. (3, Insightful)

musingmelpomene (703985) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462664)

It's not like this is the first time one corporation has funded blatantly false muckraking efforts against another. It's just Robber Barons, Part II. They'll all have their little squabbles and the money will pass from hand to hand, and in the end the only people who win aren't the consumers, or even the corporate bigwigs - it's the lawyers. Same as it ever was.

I wonder... (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462667)

I wonder if this violates any of the antitrust laws??? Can this bring them back to court??? They are paying another company to try and take down tke competition.

Newsflash! (2, Funny)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462669)


BREAKING NEWS!

Republicans raise money for George W. Bush!

EXCLUSIVE!!

Christians give lots of money to their church!

UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

People who have an interest in helping you give you money!!!! OMG I CANT BELIEVE IT WTF!11!!11!!1

To head off the inevitable /.ing (0, Informative)

wonky73 (720005) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462670)

--- From the mailbox of chris sontag

From: Mike Anderer
Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2003
To: csontag@sco.com
CC: Bob Bench
Subject: Conversation Friday

Chris Sontag, the recipient of this mail, is Vice-President and general manager of the SCOsource, responsible for (as his company page puts it) overseeing the development and licensing of SCO's immense intellectual property holdings..

Chris:

I know you were going totalk to Bob later Friday, but I figured I would
outline the issues.

Bob Bench is is the Chief Financial Officer of the SCO group. He is in the Cc line.

Mike Anderer is a consultant with an outfit called S2 that bills itself as a Strategic Consulting firm, in their M&A group. His name is in SCO's SEC filings.

1) Baystar is easy as they were just a Microsoft referral and would be 2%

Baystar Capital is a venture-capital firm. In 2003 SCO got about fifty million dollars from them in a deal that was rumored to have Microsoft's hand behind it. This confirms the rumor.

2) Any licensing deal would be at 5%

3) Much of the other work would go from 2% to 3% as I have engaged in
direct, but this would require according to Bob either Darl or you
signing off on the fact that this ane was not a referral.

4) On the patent side for IPX, where foes that fit it. I am working
with the lawyers to get these moved from provisional to more complete in
the next week. I think it will spawn at least 3 patents. Ed and I are
the inventors on these. What do we fo here

This is mysterious. IPX is a network stack developed by Novell. The implication is that Mike Anderer thinks SCO might be able to get a patent lock on it, so they were looking for IP leverage against Novell.

5) The RedHat, Acrylis examiniation, there is no upside here is this
billable seperatly. I bought a PC and loaded up RedHat and will take
that over and work through it with the Lawfirm. What do we do here?

Acrylis is a company that Caldera (which became SCO) partnered with in 2001. The ongoing lawsuit between Red Hat and SCO is documented here.

I realize the last negotiations are not as much fun, but Microsoft will
have brough in $86 million for us including Baystar. The next deal we
should be able to get from $16-20, but it will be brutial as it is for
go to makerket work and some licences. I know we can do this , if
everyone stays on board and still wants to do a deal. I just want to
get this deal and move away from corp dev and out into the marketing
andfield dollars....In this market we can get $3-5 million in
incremental deals and not have to go through the gauntlet which will get
tougher next week with the SR VP's.

This is the smoking gun. We now know that Microsoft raised at least $86 million for SCO, but according to the SCO conference call this morning (03 Mar 2004) their cash reserves were $68.5 million. If not for Microsoft, SCO would be at least $15 million in debt today.

The "$16 to $20" is almost certainly $16 to $20 million, and since this memo is five months old that deal is almost certainly completed by now. This means it's possible SCO has burned through as much as $30 million in just a year of barratry.

The part that starts I just want is interesting, too. It looks as though Anderer is talking about shopping for a wealthier patron group within Microsoft's corporate hierarchy; SCO has been taking money from Microsoft corp dev (probably corporate development) but the gauntlet of Microsoft's senior vice-presidents is about to make that more difficult. He thinks they can get more money from marketing and field dollars, whatever that is (later paragraphs suggest it's a different group within Microsoft).

We should line up some small acquisitions here to jump start this if we
do it. We shoudl also do this ASAP. Microsoft also indicated there was
a lot more money out there and they would clearly rather use Baystar
"like" entities to help us get signifigantly more money if we want to
grow further or do acquisitions

In other words, Microsoft wanted to funnel its anti-Linux payoff through third parties. Maybe in case the antitrust guys at the Department of Justice happen not to be asleep at the switch?

The bit about acquisitions seems more ominous when you remember that Caldera/SCO has a long history of lawsuits over obsolete technologies stripped out of dead companies -- starting with DR-DOS from Digital Research and continuing through USL's System V into the present with the IBM lawsuit.

This Microsoft deal is the Ante to the poker game...We should get this
done and go after several $2-3 Million deals from the expense side of
their company.

So their revenue plan for the future is to hit Microsoft up for money, then hit them up for more money.

The will help us a lot and if we execute we could exit and Unix
componients we have build potentially back to Microsoft or MCS.

I think they are on track and may not be able to push much more this
round, but there are other ways to get money from them, their partners,
investment bank referrals, etc..

Do kepp in mind that they have brough us between $82 million and $86
million if this deal is between $4million per quarter where Rich is at,
or it turns into %5 million wjich is the lowest number Chris had
interest in.

Rich, in context, must be whoever at Microsoft Corporate Development was responsible for haggling with Chris (Sontag) over the magnitude of SCO's payoffs.

The "Ante to the poker game" is the $16-$20 million deal that was current at the time the memo was written. The $82-86 million had already been delivered. Together, they're counting on between $98,000,000 and $106,000,000 from Microsoft's corporate development division alone...

There will be more, lons, partnerships, etc..but we need to just get
this one done. It is too high profile, it is also critical, but they
are not the people to pitch. We should get what we can from them ad
then work the other and larger areas of the company and groups where
they have real budget and need for our help. ...and $100 million is before they hit up the rest of Microsoft.

Let me know your thoughts.

-Mike

There you have it. A hundred million funnelled from Microsoft to SCO, of which they have $68.5 million left. Their 10Qs reveal that every other line of cash inflow is statistical noise by comparison. The brave new SCOsource business model is now clear: sue your customers, shill for Microsoft, kite your stock, and pray you stay out of jail.

Typos (3, Funny)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462672)

Looks like the MSWord spell checker was turned on when composing the mail ;)

An order of magnitude? (1)

saforrest (184929) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462676)

Turns out we were off by an order of magnitude -- it was much, much more than that.

86000000/11000000 = 7.818...

Sorry to be picky, but how is this 'an order of magnitude'? In base seven, maybe.

Re:An order of magnitude? (1)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462740)

A factor of 10 is very close to a factor of 7.8. "Order of magnitude" is a very imprecise thing.

Re:An order of magnitude? (1)

corporatemutantninja (533295) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462764)

Um, round 11x10^6 to the nearest whole integer power of 10: 6. Now do the same for 86x10^6: 7. One order of magnitude.

Re:An order of magnitude? (1)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462779)

If you read further, there is mention of an additional $16-20 million that is assumed to have been accquired.

Re:An order of magnitude? (4, Funny)

BerntB (584621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462813)

Round 7.8 to 8.

It's an order of magnitude since humanity's natural number base is octal.

No, it's not 10. Look at your hand -- the thumb is there for carry-bits when adding.

(Old PDP10 joke from before my time.)

Makes Sense (3, Interesting)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462679)

For 86 Million USD, I'd act like a total jackass, too. Not many people wouldn't. I don't know SCO's legal history before this whole thing started. It might be because they never did anything this assinine. 86 million USD would more than justify why they are doing it, esp. if they were on the verge of dying.

Anyone got another 86 Million USD to make them shut up?

Anybody really surprized? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8462680)

Microsoft financial support spreads as far, as donation to the supposedly "independent" policy think-tank, the Cato Institute.
What wouldn't they do that money can't buy?

Money management... (1)

ArmenTanzarian (210418) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462681)

They're obviously not spending it too wisely [infoworld.com] .

How much would it cost? (0, Redundant)

root:DavidOgg (133514) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462682)

That begs the question... how much would it cost to bury linux?

Re:How much would it cost? (2, Informative)

ArmenTanzarian (210418) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462707)

Is there a unit for self respect? If so, SCO has spent 86 million dollars and about three times that in Respectrons and is failing miserably.

Not an open source (5, Insightful)

Knetzar (698216) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462693)

I find it amusing that the people one /., the same people who believe that one should be able to go to the source and verify the code on voting machines, seem to believe what ESR is telling them about MS and SCO w/o having access to his source.
Does anyone else see the irony in this?

Re:Not an open source (2, Funny)

dylan_- (1661) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462812)

Only people who don't understand the concept of the same word having two completely different meanings...

This could have been big! (1, Redundant)

LibrePensador (668335) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462697)

If the discovery process yields the original email, Microsoft is fucked.

ESR wasn't very smart. He shouldn't have publish this YET. Give them to IBM lawyers so they know what to look for and what they are fairly certain that they have it among their discovery material, THEN publish it.

SCO's going to be shredding and I hear their email server *just* crashed and its hard drives are going to have to be replaced. All of the archive tapes have suddenly gone bad.

This *could* have been the bomb but ESR probably blew it.

This could have been big! -Final version (4, Interesting)

LibrePensador (668335) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462736)

If the discovery process yields the original email, Microsoft is fucked.

ESR wasn't very smart. He shouldn't have published this YET.

Give IT to IBM lawyers so they know what to look for and when they are fairly certain that they have it among their discovery material, THEN publish it.

SCO's going to be shredding and I hear their email server *just* crashed and its hard drives are going to have to be replaced. All of the archive tapes have suddenly gone bad too.

This *could* have been the bomb but ESR probably blew it by speaking a little too soon.

Mods: Please mod the previous comment down and let this one replace it.

Re:This could have been big! (1)

The One KEA (707661) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462742)

It's possible - but if it ever appeared on the Internet, a Googlebot has probably already vacuumed it up.

If this turns out to be true, Microsoft is indeed fucked. If it isn't, then it's probably another attempt to discredit the OSS community.

Re:This could have been big! (2, Funny)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462768)

" If the discovery process yields the original email, Microsoft is fucked."

Talk about an alibi for loosing an email. They use M$ for the mail server.

Too good to be true (4, Insightful)

nonmaskable (452595) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462699)

I don't think these guys are _quite_ dumb enough to admit to this stuff in email. Much less on company email that is all under subpoena in the IBM litigation.

I smell a setup.

Quel Surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8462704)

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

What does "fo" refer to? (1, Interesting)

PieEye (667629) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462705)

When they talk about "fo"ing the IPX code, I'm assuming that it's an acronym for some sort of patent process? What's the deal?

Re:What does "fo" refer to? (2, Informative)

REBloomfield (550182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462785)

he means, "what do we *do* here" Look at the posision of the D & F keys on the keyboard.... any fat fingered exec could make the same mistake :)

So what happens now? (4, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462708)

OK, so it seems to a non-lawyer that they've been caught red handed.

My question then, is what happens now? Is it possible to use this as evidence in a lawsuit? Is it possible to get it confirmed by subpoenia-ing (?) the original, and if so how quick?

What exact crime has been committed here, if any, and what are the possible punishments, again if Microsoft are actually doing anything illegal.

Re:So what happens now? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462784)

As long as the attorneys arguing the case played no part in the theft of proprietary and/or trade secret documents, nor encouraged anyone else to do the same, they are admissible as evidence in court (in most states). Then again, IANAL and may just be talking out of my ass...

There is no crime here - only the violation of a non-disclosure agreement on the part of a SCO employee... as far as I can tell anyway...

Leak...Leak (1)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462714)

M$ must be getting sick of all the leaking. Source code, memos. Whats next? Longhorn coming out in 2007 newsflash?!

I guess it really is pronounced Vulva? (0, Offtopic)

Lester67 (218549) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462715)

I thought that was just a joke.

What's wrong - not a troll (1, Insightful)

aacool (700143) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462720)

Pray tell - what precisely is wrong with Microsoft, or any other company funding another company? Companies do this all the time. Providing funds through a holding company or joint partnership is a very common model.

The unethicality of SCO's actions are obvious. What is not valid is that Microsoft did something wrong by funding SCO. I am open to correction on this front.

But hey... (2, Funny)

OwlWhacker (758974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462721)

We all know that Microsoft really welcomes competition from Linux... Unless Microsoft is lying...

Microsoft's strategy could backfire (5, Insightful)

RoLi (141856) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462730)

It's pretty logic that Microsoft is behind all that. Otherwise the anti-Linux FUD spread by SCO just doesn't make any sense.

However, Microsoft's efforts could backfire badly:

If people actually start to think (I said "if" okay?) and realize that it's proprietary software that got people into legal trouble:

  • IBM was sued because of their agreements around project Monterey and their licensing of proprietary SCO IP.
  • Autozone was sued because they used the proprietary SCO Unix and SCO claims that they continued to use it after their contract expired.
  • The suit against DaimlerChrysler is similar, they dumped SCO and SCO claims they continue using it

If any of those firms would have used 100% open source software from the start neither would have been sued.

Isn't the whole SCO-mess the biggest pro-OSS argument imaginable?

If you look at SCO: First you buy software from a seemingly honest Unix-vendor, a couple of years later their management changes and you get sued for it! SCO proves how dangerous proprietary sofware can become.

Jeeez! (2, Funny)

Ratface (21117) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462734)

I thought *I* was having a terrible day! The SCO shill who wrote this must be crapping his pants!

Damn - I just remembered - I *AM* having a bad day. Back to being corporate whipping boy again :-(

Wrong math (3, Interesting)

Chuck_McDevitt (665265) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462744)

There are several things wrong here. First, it was already known that Baystar invested in SCO to the tune of around $55m. The memo says Microsoft brought in $86m INCLUDING baystar, so other monies from Microsoft or Microsoft related referrals would only be $31m. And we know microsoft bought a SCO license, which was a good bit of that.

The Wizard of SCOz (4, Funny)

Maverick Hunter Zero (713335) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462746)

Darl McBride: What do you want, peon?
Linus Torvalds: Show me the disputed code!
McBride: You must pay me $699 if you want to see the code!
Torvalds: Yeah, right. Wait a second....

*He spots Bill Gates off to the side behind a curtain, controlling the giant flaming head of McBride*

Torvalds: Isn't that... I knew it!
McBride: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!!!
Torvalds: The game's up, Billy Boy!

Who does this? (5, Funny)

Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462750)

"Well I've thoroughly enjoyed this clandestined discussion. I feel so devious and evil. But for my own records, could you write down everything we've just said (especially all the bad stuff we're doing) and distribute it to all the company employees? Make sure all the new guys get it too, especially the one in cubicle 4-B that doesn't like his job. Oh, and if this gets out it could ruin our public image, so try to keep it a secret, thank you." Microsoft VIP

The memo looks bogus (5, Interesting)

Theovon (109752) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462753)

I can believe that Microsoft gave $100 million to SCO. I think both Microsoft and SCO should burn in hell.

But I don't buy the memo. There are just too many "carefully placed" typos. It looks like someone engineered typos to make it LOOK authentic, but something about it's just a bit too intentional and obvious looking.

The document is a troll? (4, Insightful)

Jerk City Troll (661616) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462756)

Either the author of the leaked document in question was in extreme haste, or he has lackluster grammar skills. The document is full of errors like: "The will help us a lot", "componients", "shoudl", "wjich", and so on. That isn't exactly the kind of document you send out when you are trying to convince people to do something shady. You'd think the author would at least had the initiative to spell check the thing before sending it out. Perhaps it should be taken with a grain of salt, and by that, I mean deer salt licks [saltlicks.co.uk] .

So Bill Gates is the Mole? (2, Funny)

Perl-Pusher (555592) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462774)

This is getting about as stupid as nightly television.

This is *Big* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8462778)



If this proves to be true, this is an enormous blow for SCO.

Even a junior lawyer could give this wings in court.

Sorry Darl - Game Over.

SCO Roundup (3, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462795)

There's been a whole host of developments in the ongoing SCO [thescogroup.com] saga over the past couple of days. SCO have now filed law suits against Autozone [autozone.com] and DaimlerChrysler [daimlerchrysler.com] on the same day as announcing growing operating losses [santacruzsentinel.com] . Despite securing a deal to license their IP with ev1servers [ev1servers.net] , SCOsource only generated an income of $20,000 for the quarter. Today it has been revealed [infoworld.com] that Computer Associates [ca.com] , Questar Corp. [questar.com] and manufacturer Leggett & Platt [leggett.com] Inc have all joined the ranks of SCO source licensees. Over at the Nasdaq the publicity stunts are beginning to wane thin with investors who sent SCO shares plummeting [yahoo.com] by almost 14% yesterday. In the courtroom [groklaw.net] , SCO was yesterday given 45 days to identify all specific lines of code they allege IBM put into Linux from AIX or Dynix; identify and provide with specificity all lines of code in Linux that it claims rights to.

I'll hold my horses (5, Insightful)

Underholdning (758194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462797)

There's nothing indicating that this is real. "An anonymous whistleblower"? What does that mean? He got it from whistleblower392@hotmail.com from a public library IP?
I'd like to see the headers of the email. If the email originates from SCO then I believe it's authentic (judging from Received: lines rather than the From: field). If it's from a dial-up or public IP, I'm pretty sure it's fake. Of course, there's another posibility. OSI know who the whistleblower is, but they claim they don't so they can't be forced to reveal his identity in court. After all, they're the good guys.

Legit? (1)

Blind Monk (739316) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462809)

Come on my friends, this letter is a little too convenient and a little too untraceable. Although I am unsure if Microsoft has given money to SCO (makes good business sense) I doubt this letter is legit.

License Fees (1)

ee_moss (635165) | more than 10 years ago | (#8462811)

$86E6/$699 = 123032.9041487839771101573676681 Copies of Legally Licensed Linux Distributions.
This makes perfect sense!
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