Email Linking Microsoft to SCO Confirmed

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SCO spokesman Blake Stowell has confirmed that a memo indicating Microsoft is funding SCO’s attacks on Linux is legitimate. The memo was leaked last week to Eric Raymond by “an anonymous whistleblower.”

This is just the latest chapter in what’s been described as the “SCO soap opera.”

The memo, which was sent by strategic consultant Mike Anderer to SCOsource Vice-President Chris Sontag and SCO CFO Bob Bench, reveals that Microsoft raised $86 million for SCO.

It all began with SCO taking legal action against IBM over the allegations that Linux code was derived from Unix without permission. This resulted in a fire that is still burning today, although now the group is saying anything similar to the way Unix operates is an unauthorized Unix derivative.

Open source advocates such as Bruce Perens have criticized SCO, claiming the lawsuits are a desperate attempt at distracting the public from SCO’s dim financial outlook.

Raymond, who has been called an “Open Source evangelist,” believes the leaked email shows that Microsoft went under the table to arrange financing for SCO through BayStar Capital, a venture capital investment firm.

California-based BayStar recently invested $50 million in SCO. Rumors have been circulating for months about Microsoft’s possible role in the investment.

“I realize the last negotiations are not as much fun, but Microsoft will have brough in $86 million for us including Baystar. The next deal we should be able to get from $16-20,” Anderer states in the memo.

While the SCO confirms the authentication of the memo, Stowell claims the statements were taken out of context. Officials from both Microsoft and BayStar have denied Microsoft’s involvement in the deal.

Critics who believe Microsoft is only using SCO to perpetuate a rumor mill against Linux, a Windows rival, claim this tactic will only make Microsoft look bad in the public eye.

What part (if any) do you believe Microsoft has played in this battle? Is Microsoft’s involvement a rumor that just won’t die?

Where do you stand? Discuss your views at WebProWorld.

Brittany Thompson is an administrator for WebProWorld.com and contributes to the Insider Reports with her regular articles and interviews.

Email Linking Microsoft to SCO Confirmed
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