07.18.07

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Is Scalix Now ‘Infected’ with Microsoft Tax by Association? (Updated)

Posted in Deals, Europe, GNU/Linux, Novell, Scalix, Servers, UNIX, Windows, Wine, Xandros at 3:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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.

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5 Comments

  1. SubSónica said,

    July 18, 2007 at 4:10 am

    Gravatar

    Microsoft wants to acquire every company that can compete with their offerings (this is an old trend deep rooted in M$ behaviour and corporate culture): They cannot acquire Linux directly, but are trying hard to “zombify” every Linux company they can: Novell competes with Active Directory and has alternatives, which, in combination with Linux could provide a viable infrastructure alternative to the whole M$ IT offering: There are a number of other technologies that could enter in conflict with M$ interests and grand scheme of corporate IT world domination: for example Mono, Evolution and the plugins to connect to exchange (remember this one). That is why M$ badly wanted and had to get the pact and boy out the Novell. Xandros and Linspire are wannabee windows clones with a linux base: moreover they were easy targets, and fell rapidly inside M$ orbit.
    Now: I mentioned exchange: In many cases exchange is the biggest lock-in element in many enterprises that avoids a full migration process to FOSS, so now they are going to try and control any possible alternatives to exchange: Scalix is one, expect Zimbra getting under assault anytime soon.

  2. gpl1 said,

    July 18, 2007 at 4:49 am

    Gravatar

    Much of these companies are also under unfavorable licenses. Zimbra is under a modified MPL license (incompatible with the GPLv2 and Debian Free Software Guidelines). Of course, this also ties in with MS being interested in Novell with their systems management software Zenworks and eDirectory.

    But anyways, antitrust laws are supposed to take care of this sort of thing if it were Microsoft doing it…but instead it’s the puppet Xandros doing it.

    Also, remember that OpenXchange is excluded from the MS patent agreements with Novell (along with “Clone Products”, OO.org, etc). It’s under the GPL and a CC license. Something about this type of software must scare MS. The European Commission must have hit very close to home when it wanted interoperability with eg., Active Directory.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 18, 2007 at 5:00 am

    Gravatar

    > But anyways, antitrust laws are supposed to
    > take care of this sort of thing if it were Microsoft
    > doing it…but instead it’s the puppet Xandros doing it.

    Remember XenSource and Novell?

    http://boycottnovell.com/2007/01/04/novell-could-buy-a-virtualisation-company/

    Mind the comment from David.

    > Also, remember that OpenXchange is excluded from the MS patent
    > agreements with Novell (along with “Clone Products”, OO.org, etc).

    Just moments ago, stimulated by the breaking news from NoMachine and inspired by SubSónica, I posted an update that discusses “Clone Products”. Hopefully the links will help. Your comment, which I read after I had issued the update, seems to reaffirm that very same view.

    The use of proxies to make ‘hostile’ takeovers was discussed here several times in the past.

  4. gpl1 said,

    July 18, 2007 at 5:28 am

    Gravatar

    Just a Spelling Correction: “antirust videos” –> “antitrust videos”

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 18, 2007 at 6:00 am

    Gravatar

    Thanks, I’m feeling rusty now. :-)

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