A Linux company that joined Microsoft and its FUD crusade has just acquired another. Scalix is, as far as I can recall, a proprietary solution built on top of GNU/Linux. It has had some big business contracts recently (notably Specsavers). The bad news is that it has just been acquired by Xandros.
Xandros CEO Andy Typaldos told DesktopLinux.com that his Ottawa-based Linux desktop and server company has acquired privately owned open-source e-mail and calendaring provider Scalix under terms that were undisclosed.
Will this mean that Microsoft can collect ‘tax’ from even more products that they do not own?
Update: Perhaps we posted this news earlier than we should have. Why? Because it gets worse. Xandros seems to have gotten itself another little partnership which involves some very popular GPL-licensed software. It is software that comes ‘in contact’ with Windows.
Recall some old debates about CrossOver Office, virtualisation, and Wine. Microsoft plays the patent game against all of these because such software is sometimes considered a “Windows killer”. It obviates the need for Microsoft and gives access to some very powerful applications that otherwise require Microsoft dependencies, not just compatibility layers, APIs, or a hypervisor.
We could truly learn from UNIX here. Remember Xenix? Microsoft tried to ensure that each competitor which rivaled its own offering had some form of debt. This way, Microsoft extracts from anything bought, no matter who the seller is. Recall the antitrust videos (hint: making profit from a competitor’s revenue).
According to a new article from Reuters, Microsoft will soon face the important decision in Europe. It will happen in September this year. As far as that ruling goes, Novell did a lot of harm and did Microsoft a favour.