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08.16.07

Microsoft’s Linux Hijack Continues. Latest Victims: Scalix, Xen (Updatedx2)

Posted in Deals, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Red Hat, Scalix, Servers, Virtualisation, Xandros, Xen at 4:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The mainstream press neglects to mention the following aspect/angle of the stories. The XenSource acquisition by Citrix already shows signs of Linux neglect and this will not only affect Novell. It will affect Red Hat and others as well. Based on the announcement, it appears likely that Microsoft has something to do with this move, which gets Xen under tighter control.

The second extended deal — the one that involves Xandros/Scalix — was mentioned earlier on and has been updated twice since. It seems clear that Microsoft will use its proxies and partners to acquire other companies that it competes against (Scalix in this case). It’s a shield against antitrust complaints and it enables Microsoft to eliminate rivals or impose ‘innovation tax’ that crushes their competitive advantage.

In other news, KVM is apparently better than Xen in the sense that it is implemented more elegantly. Later today we will hear about a secret deal between Sun Microsystems and IBM.

Update: to say more about IBM, there is rising speculation that revolves around OpenSolaris. Bear in mind that IBM is also close to Sun because of OpenDocument format.

Longtime rivals IBM Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. have signed an agreement related to operating systems technologies, the two companies said Wednesday.

[...]

In fact, IBM has listed Solaris as one OS option for System X and BladeCenter systems on its Web site since May, according to the Internet Archive Web site.

It’s a big step for IBM, since the company has historically been a major proponent of Linux.

There is another word on the street which suggests that IBM might acquire a Linux company.

Wind River, a leader in real-time and embedded Linux is up for sale. Sources close to the deal say IBM is the buyer.

Busy August.

Update #2: Somebody else is thinking along the same lines and even reveals similarities to the Novell deal.

Citrix Buys VMware Rival XenSource; Will Someone Now Buy Citrix?

[...]

They note that Citrix built its core application delivery infrastructure business “on the back of its access to Microsoft source code.” XenSource, they note, in 2006 cut an exclusive deal for access to Microsoft’s fothcoming Viridian “hypervisor.”

[...]

“For Citrix, Viridian becomes the base operating system component for its next business,” the 451 analysts write. “This intentionally looks and feels like the genesis of Citrix Systems’ $1 billion current business – built on access to Microsoft source code and building tools to do what Microsoft doesn’t. Citrix, we believe, will save a couple of years development time by buying XenSource to get into the virtualization market.”

The 451 analysts also ask whether the deal could be prelude to Microsoft buying Citrix. “That way, Microsoft distances itself from the awkward GPL aspects of what XenSource does, fuses it own server consolidation story into a credible ‘virtualization desktop utility’ stack, and – not least – gets its hands on the lucrative $1 billion enterprise Windows revenue now generated by Presentation Server [which is Citrix’s lead product.]”

Finally, the 451 analysts offer this juicy tidbit: “Citrix executives are said to have considered an acquisition of VMware four years ago, but were frightened off by fears that such a move would antagonize Microsoft materially.”

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5 Comments

  1. John Drinkwater said,

    August 16, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    Gravatar

    “secret deal between Sun Microsystems and IBM”

    Er, I thought this was Boycott Novell :P
    Seriously though, there is little evidence for a *secret* deal. IBM has been certifing OpenSolaris for a few of it’s platforms! (see Sun’s CEO blog post today), and both companies share similar interests when it comes to ODF. There are places they disagree too – IBM wasn’t impressed when Sun release Java as GPL. That is all.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 16, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    Gravatar

    > Er, I thought this was Boycott Novell

    Yes, I know, but I couldn’t help mentioning it because it sounded like a big thing. Details here: http://www.johnmwillis.com/?p=178

    I meant to say “‘secret’ deal” because a word leaked before the actual announcement. It was reminiscent of the Novell/Microsoft deal. The Citrix-XenSource acquisition also came to The Register’s attention a day before the announcement (amid rumours).

  3. Florian von Kurnatowski said,

    November 16, 2007 at 10:02 am

    Gravatar

    Roy,

    can you explain a bit further why you believe that the Scalix acquisition by Xandros has eliminated us from the list of Microsoft’s competitors?

    I – in the role of Director of Product Management for Scalix – have supported the move all along, and after the first 100+ days under new ownership, I can certainly say that we’ve gained competitive strength, see more customer interest than ever and are better positioned to compete with Exchange … and there’s more to come! :-)

    Cheers,
    Florian.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 16, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Gravatar

    Hi Florian,

    At the time, the developments in Europe served as an open door to free use of protocols, which ought to have been standard in the first place.. The idea of licensing protocols is also a route to crippling Free software. The same goes for Samba.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 16, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    Gravatar

    Florian, I’ve gathered some articles which I recommend that you read. I hope these will be helpful and I fear that many companies approach the Microsoft offers without sufficient information.

    What the Microsoft/Xandros deal means for Linux

    Warming up to his theme, Woodford continued, “So far Microsoft hasn’t revealed any legitimate claims of intellectual property infringement. Their strategy appears to be to coerce weak players in the Open Source space to fold. This is reminiscent of the play made by SCO a few years ago, which some say was financed by Microsoft. Maybe that was just their trial run.”

    Then, he launches his main assault on the partnership, “I’m reminded of Neville Chamberlain waiving his agreement with Hitler in the air and declaring peace in his time. Linux vendors should be reminded that, if you give your lunch money to a bully, the bully does not go away. Who will have the cohones to just say no? The Linux community may not like the answer, but the only name that comes to mind is — Larry Ellison.”

    Xandros Linux signs up for Microsoft patent protection

    Microsoft will provide Xandros users with a patent covenant that protect users of the software from intellectual property claims. Microsoft will provide the patent license directly to the end user, which allows it to circumvent patent licensing requirements in the General Public Licence (GPL) that governs Linux.

    [...]

    Co-author of the GPLv3 Eben Moglen has denounced exclusive patent deals with Microsoft as a “divide and conquer” tactic that is designed to break up the open source community.

    Microsoft and Xandros declined to comment on the implications of GPLv3 on the deal, pointing out that licence is currently in a draft stage and might still change.

    Doing the Microsoft patent dance

    And please, Novell and Xandros, don’t whine that Microsoft pulled a fast one on you, and reiterate that open source is clean. No one needed you to tell them that. Innocent until proven guilty in this country. And especially in light of all the evidence that points against such claims.

    Memo to Xandros CEO: you’re better off selling potatoes

    It’s amusing to note that a man becomes a recognisable public figure only after he’s signed a deal that could well mean the demise of his company. Strange indeed are the ways of mega-corporations.

    [...]

    Incredibly, a patent cross-licensing deal was signed without once discussing patents. Now how could anyone imagine that people would talk about patents when they were signing such a deal? Silly me!

    Xandros layoffs? Just staffing ‘adjustments’

    “About three weeks ago I started to see strange faces pop up in the conference room, and they turned out to be investors. Then one weekend, someone had cleaned out a [seldom-used] room and given it to an investor as an office. A week later we were canned.”

    Mind you, I used to actually advocate Xandros and the same goes for Linspire and others. Even Scalix! I probably wrote about a dozen posts praising solutions from Scalix (culminating in the Specsaver deal which Mark Taylor manage to strike), but that was before the deal.

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