Bonum Certa Men Certa

New Version of 'Microsoft's Linux-based Mail Server' Brings Questions to Mind

All roads lead to Microsoft

"Scalix has just released a new Linux-based product, but remind yourselves that this product brings revenue to Microsoft."SueMe Nicrovell LinuxWhat does a monopolist do when it finds a competitor which beats it on price and/or quality? It has several attractive options: it buys it, has its partners buy it (essentially avoiding antitrust scrutiny through proxies), or identifies new ways to extract revenue from that competitor. XenSource might be a fine example because it was 'hijacked' using the Citrix partner, but another one is Scalix, which was 'hijacked' using the Xandros partner. In both cases, Microsoft was able to use cashflow to change industry dynamics.

To avoid repeating this story, follow the hyperlinks and consider what is aptly named a sockpuppet strategy. Scalix now pays ‘communication tax' to Microsoft, having just been acquired. There are similar examples, some of which involve the relationships between VMWare, Citrix, Xen, Novell, and Microsoft. Also consider those that are punished, such as Red Hat. This is punishment by design. It's intended to start a domino effect that pressures Linux vendors.

Scalix has just released a new Linux-based product, but remind yourselves that this product brings revenue to Microsoft.

Linux calendaring and messaging company Scalix announced Oct. 4 the release of a new version of its flagship e-mail and calendaring program, Scalix 11.2.

While Xandros, Scalix's parent company, has gotten buddy-buddy with Microsoft and even licensed the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol and the Outlook Exchange Transport Protocol, the company is still targeting Microsoft Exchange's customers.

Be aware and understand of what Microsoft strives to achieve here. It wants to make revenue no matter whose product you buy. It wishes to have revenue streams that are akin to what telecoms and the rail system had enjoyed before things were changed through breaking apart, in order to revive competition.

Microsoft's goal is to overwhelm and posses the rivals. Microsoft has already achieved this type of goal with Linspire and Novell and it is a classic monopoly abuse case that goes unnoticed. The FTC either looks away or prefers to permit this complex relationship to evolve, so an investigation is required here. While we're at it, have a look at this new paper about Microsoft's abuses. It comes from the American Antitrust Institute.

Harry First, NYU School of Law professor and AAI Advisory Board member, discusses the CFI's decision in Microsoft in "Strong Spine, Weak Underbelly: The CFI Microsoft Decision."

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