Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Microsoft 'Communication Tax' and Scalix (Updatedx2)

About a month ago, when Xandors acquired Scalix, we asked ourselves if Scalix will become 'infected' by Microsoft tax.

Well, it didn't take long.

"The expansion of our agreement with Xandros is a strong example of how collaboration through intellectual property licensing can foster innovation that benefits the overall IT ecosystem," said Horacio Gutierrez, Vice President, Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft.


The press release talks about "protocol licensing". In other words, Microsoft tries to tell us that communication with its servers is not free. Standards versus IP tax, remember?

Update: The item above is a press release, but Mary Jo Foley was quick to comment.

Update #2: Microsoft has essentially introduced another per-unit 'Linux tax', courtesy of Xandros.

Microsoft is also likely to take licensing revenues from Xandros. Under the typical five year ActiveSync licensing deal Microsoft charges $100,000 or the first year's royalties - depending on which is higher - with a per unit royalty charged after that.

Interestingly, Xandros' partnership with Microsoft is slated to last five years. Terms of this particular segment in the companies' alliance, though, were not revealed.


Of course, with open protocols, no such nonesense is needed. Xandros, Novell, and Linspire have turned their Linux into a system of proprietary protocols, proprietary formats, binary bridges, and per-unit cost (forget about the "freedom to redistribute"). Bad news. They transform their Linuxes into some of those other operating systems that are closed (even akin to Mac OS X). What's worse is that they pay Microsoft for each sale (of Linux) that they make. Linux buyers are financially and technically enslaved to Microsoft. The implication is a complication and a paradox.

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