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Microsoft To License SCO's Unix Code

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the the-world-just-keeps-getting-wierder dept.

Unix 817

The big news of this morning is that Microsoft will evidently be licensing the Unix code that SCO carries the rights to. Yahoo! is also carrying a brief WSJ report as well. Additionally, give a read to the OSI position paper on the issue. One thing that is worth noting is that Microsoft does do *some* work with Unix - like the interoperability package - but the other side is that Microsoft deals with intellectual property a lot, and licensing is standard way of dealing with IP claims.

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Is Linux a Machination of Satan? (-1, Offtopic)

Michael's a Jerk! (668185) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990414)

Hello,

Recently I've been introduced to an operating system known as Linux.
Lured by its low cost, I replaced Windows 98 on my computer with
Linux. Unfortunately the more I use it the more I fear that this
"Linux" may be an insidious way for the Dark One to gain a stronger
foothold here on Earth. I know this may be a shocking claim, but I
have evidence to back it up!

To begin with, Linux runs numerous background processes. These
processes are usettlingly termed "demons." Furthermore in order to
start or stop these "demons" a user must execute a command called
"finger". By "fingering" a "demon" one excercises an unholy power,
much the same way that the Lord of Flies controls his black minions.

Also consider some of these other Linux commands: "sleep", "mount",
"unzip", "strip" and "touch". All highly suggestive in a sexual
nature. I know that our Lord cannot approve of these, and I urge them
to be renamed to something appropriate to the Christian community.

Third, Linux uses a flavor of DOS known as Bash. Bash is an acronym
for "Bourne Again Shell". On the surface this would appear to be
supportive of the Lord. However, remember that even Satan can quote
the bible for his own purposes! While I believe Linux may be
born-again, its obvious by the misspelling of "born" that its not
born-again in an Christian church. Will the lies ever cease?

Additionally, one of the main people involved with the GNU Free
Software Foundation supports contraception and abortion. His web site
even advocates government support of contraception. He also wears fake
halos, and has quips about his made-up church that relates to his free
software. I find such blasphemy to be extremely unsettling.

One must also remember that the creator of Linux, a college student
named Linux Torvaldis, comes from Finland. I'm sure all the followers
of Christ are aware of the heritical nature of the Finnish: from
necrophilia to human sacrifice, Finnish culture is awash in sin. I
find little reason to believe anything good and holy could arise from
this evil land.

Finally, let us remember that there is an alternative to using the
Satan-powered Linux. I think history has shown us that Microsoft is
quite holy. I'm told that its founder, William Gates is a strong
supporter of our Lord and I encourage my fellow Christians to buy only
his products to help keep the Devil at bay.

I wish I had more time to expound upon my findings. Unfortunately a
family of Jews has moved in across the street and I must go speak to
them of Jesus Christ before they are condemned to eternal hellfire.
Please investigate this as you see fit and I'm sure you'll reach the
same conclusions that I have.

Pu Tang (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990415)

You greasy pimply acne infested Linux geeks can talk about "Microsoft To License SCO's Unix Code" all you want.

I'm going out to get some!

Later, dorks!

Wow... I dont care. (-1, Offtopic)

vb.warrior (242890) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990418)

# Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads.
# Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said.
# Use a clear subject that describes what yo

frst? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990419)

frst?

First Post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990420)

nt

so, they screamed loud enough? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990423)

i hadn't expected that SCO's "buy me"-whining would actually work, but then again it's MS and they prolly have some evil plan with this all...

Re:so, they screamed loud enough? (4, Interesting)

Motherfucking Shit (636021) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990444)

then again it's MS and they prolly have some evil plan with this all...
My guess is that this is a strategic move by MS to try and seriously impact Linux.

We're always talking here at Slashdot about patent abuse, and how patent houses go after "infringing" small fish first to set precedent for the bigger fish. By agreeing to pay off SCO, Microsoft may have just saved SCO the trouble of going after the small fish. The argument for smalltime Linux distros against paying royalties for the supposedly infringing code gets a bit tougher when SCO comes to you and says "look, even Microsoft ponied up and were too afraid to risk a legal battle."

Re:so, they screamed loud enough? (1)

tbone1 (309237) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990480)

My guess is that this is a strategic move by MS to try and seriously impact Linux.

What, there's no "Obvious" moderation option? Hm.

Yes, this is exactly what they are doing, if "killing with extreme prejudice" falls under the "serious impact" category.

Re:so, they screamed loud enough? (5, Interesting)

Catiline (186878) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990487)

The argument for smalltime Linux distros against paying royalties for the supposedly infringing code gets a bit tougher

Except that anyone, even the IANALs around here (of which I am one) should know that a never went to court ``settlement'' like this carries absolutely zero legal precedent.

Instead, the way that I see this is simple: if Microsoft was -- as some have claimed -- funding this lawsuit, there had to be a monetary transaction somewhere. Until now, there wasn't any such transaction; while this is not in any manner a proof that Microsoft is the power behind the curtain, it does, coupled with their past statements on Linux as being harmful to IP, make this appear more like one of their publicity stunts.

I have no doubt that IBM will ride this out to its' logical conclusion, and we shall have another AT&T vs. BSD case.

The Reason is Simple (4, Insightful)

Michael's a Jerk! (668185) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990466)

The enemy of my enemy is my friend

Re:so, they screamed loud enough? (2, Insightful)

Znonymous Coward (615009) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990498)

...but then again it's MS and they prolly have some evil plan with this all...

Ponder this...

~s/License/Buy/

Re:so, they screamed loud enough? (4, Interesting)

amorsen (7485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990527)

Buying SCO's Unix IP and going after Linux with that would most likely result in more antitrust attention at Microsoft. It is much more convenient for them that someone else is doing the suing.

A news site? (-1, Offtopic)

m00nun1t (588082) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990424)

Isn't /. supposed to be a news site? I submitted this *6 hours ago* and it's only just shown up. The editors complain about not having enough time, the site is buggy and rarely updated, important news takes 6 hours... so what do the editors do?

Re:A news site? (-1, Offtopic)

Kumkwat (312490) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990434)


Yea well I submitted it as well, but u don't see me complaining.....I think in the blurb about rejected stories it says something about "complaints will fall on deaf ears so don't bother". Guess hemos just wanted all the glory.

Re:A news site? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990446)

Me too. I submitted it 5 hours ago when it showed up in Google News [google.com] .

A Better Reason (5, Interesting)

1stflight (48795) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990425)

It's more likely there's some "borrowed" code in Windows. Anyone else remember the bzip bug that for some odd reason also affected Windows systems. Yeah go figure.

Re:A Better Reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990431)

I don't remember it. Got a link?

Re:A Better Reason (5, Informative)

Idaho (12907) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990464)

It was not a bug in bzip, but in zlib IIRC. Apparently zlib is used by MS as well (statically linked in some apps), because the security flaw affected some MS products...

You should be able to find it yourself, there haven't been that many zlib bugs, so the latest one is probably the one you're looking for :P

Re:A Better Reason (4, Informative)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990510)

Even if they did, it's legal as long as the zlib license is valid (i.e. zlib wasn't part of the so-called stolen code). zlib is under a BSD-ish license.

Re:A Better Reason (5, Interesting)

nano2nd (205661) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990495)

It's very likely given that they owned the code in the 80's. The (very) abridged history goes something like this.. Micro$oft licensed Unix from AT&T and produced Xenix - a Unix-based OS for a variety of platforms including x86.

Over time, this ended up in the hands of SCO. When you log onto a SCO Openserver box, the following is displayed:

SCO OpenServer(TM) Release 5
(C) 1976-1998 The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc.
(C) 1980-1994 Microsoft Corporation
All Rights reserved

So one school of thought could definitely suggest that M$ are covering their own backs by licensing "borrowed code" they've been using for the last 20 years.

However, what they have to fear from SCO I can't imagine.

Re:A Better Reason (4, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990549)

As of 5.0.7, the Microsoft copyright has been removed.

Microsoft getting to Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990534)

I suggest Microsoft are using this as a catch all to combat several growing problems to their market share. Linux is a big one in the server market, but now that MS have sold their half of Apple, and are no longer under contract to develop office for OSX, they can also use their UNIX copyrights to get to Apple. knocking over two birds with one hand here?

This one's played right into Microsofts hands I'm afraid. The damage they could do are frightening

No big deal (5, Interesting)

bwalling (195998) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990426)

SCO released whatever the technology was under the GPL in their Linux release (most likely), which means Linux is likely safe. That is of no use to Microsoft, they need a closed source license. So, they would have to license it from SCO.

A choice buy (2, Funny)

Sir Runcible Spoon (143210) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990427)

Microsoft buys the right to sue everyone that pushes Linux.


Why would they do that?

Re:A choice buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990452)

To try to get a positive cashflow again?

Re:A choice buy (4, Informative)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990474)

Microsoft buys the right to sue everyone that pushes Linux.

No. In order to do that, they would have to buy it, not license it.

Re:A choice buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990475)

RTFA: they're not buying the IP, they're licensing it.

RTFA (4, Informative)

Simon (815) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990479)

MS has licensed the UNIX source and related IP. They have not bought it from SCO, and they certainly haven't bought the right to "sue everyone that pushes Linux". sheeesh...

--
Simon

Re:RTFA (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990513)

If I were you, I'd just stop reading this entire article now. Because lets face it, both you and I know that this entire article will be full of nothing but reactionary posts from people who havn't read the article and think that Microsoft has bought SCO, and they'll all be proclaiming the end of Linux.

Then we'll have the anti-Linux trolls out, and then the anti-Microsoft flamers will get their thing on, and then the BSD and Mac users will wade on in and spark of their own flamewars.

You and I will get nothing out of it but raised blood pressure and a vow never to read Slashdot stories like this again. So why bother?

Re:RTFA (2, Funny)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990521)

Microsoft probably wants to grep the source code and diff it to Linux, to see what if any's been lifted. Inquiring minds want to know.

Re:A choice buy (2, Insightful)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990538)

Probably closer to "Microsoft helps SCO through the back door, to sue everyone that pushes Linux." Maybe M$ is trying to make SCO look as if they have legitimate claims.

Linux suggests DiBona for SCO panel (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990428)

So goes the heading.... Quote Linux Journal [linuxjournal.com] : DiBona said in an e-mail interview that he is willing to look at SCO's evidence, and he does not have any legal "taint" from previous development work that would make him unable to do so. As an experienced programmer with a background in regression testing and security software, DiBona says he would have to consider the possibility that similar code could be evidence of convergence, not infringement.

ok but will this help me get Anal? (-1)

troll314 (603961) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990429)

I mean where can a guy find good ass with this sort of thing going on.

Why Microsoft is doing this (4, Insightful)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990430)

One simple reason: Licensing Unix from SCO strengthen's SCO's claim to Linux. Microsoft has pretty much publicly declared war on Linux (in as much as that is possible) and I don't think it's coincidence that this announcement comes days after SCO announced their plans to sue Linux out of existence. By licensing the offending code, Microsoft is essentially backing SCO up here by saying "They have a legitimate claim on this code and should be paid licensing fees." The fees are inconsequential to Microsoft, it's the implications of paying them that they want.

Re:Why Microsoft is doing this (1)

Ninja Master (674328) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990440)

That's what I'm thinking as well. A pretty shrewed, if not evil, business move on M$'s part.

Re:Why Microsoft is doing this (1)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990471)

That's exactly what they're doing. Does anyone really think Microsoft is licensing the code because they want to be nice to SCO? Does anyone really think that SCO was ever gonna sue Microsoft over it's use of *nix code?

The question I have is: can SCO *really* sue Linux out of existence? Doesn't the GPL make that essentially impossible?

Re:Why Microsoft is doing this (5, Interesting)

eXtro (258933) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990546)

No, the GPL does not make that impossible at least in a legal sense. I can stick as many license agreements and copywrite notices around a piece of code as I want, if I don't actually have the rights to do so it isn't binding. So if there actually is tainted code in Linux then it does cause jeapordy regardless of the GPL since the GPL doesn't apply.


Unless I've missed it SCO hasn't said exactly what part of the kernel they're claiming rights on. At some point that will have to be revealed and the kernel developers can examine their alternatives.


I still think that companies shouldn't be allowed to sit in stealth mode while they wait for the proper time (such as imminent bankruptcy in SCO's case) to perform their legal jack-in-the-box stunt.

Re:Why Microsoft is doing this (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990493)

Absolutly. Its little more than a snide effort to point and snear at that "Linux" thing, that steals the Intellectual Property of companies such as SCO. Its not like you have to look far to find evidence of this attitude, either. Right there in the article (This one from CNet [com.com] )

Late Sunday, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said acquiring the license from SCO "is representative of Microsoft's ongoing commitment to respecting intellectual property and the IT community's healthy exchange of IP through licensing. This helps to ensure IP compliance across Microsoft solutions and supports our efforts around existing products like services for Unix that further Unix interoperability."

Well gee Brad, why don't you just come right out , call us all theives and demand that Linus be given the electric chair?

Re:Why Microsoft is doing this (3, Insightful)

AxelTorvalds (544851) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990543)

Or MS could just be contributing to the SCO v. IBM legal defense fund through a veiled cloak.

I'm not sure what their fiskle health is but it isn't great. This may be MS's way of making sure that the lawsuit happens.

Re:Why Microsoft is doing this (4, Insightful)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990563)

One simple reason: Licensing Unix from SCO strengthen's SCO's claim to Linux. Microsoft has pretty much publicly declared war on Linux (in as much as that is possible) and I don't think it's coincidence that this announcement comes days after SCO announced their plans to sue Linux out of existence. By licensing the offending code, Microsoft is essentially backing SCO up here by saying "They have a legitimate claim on this code and should be paid licensing fees." The fees are inconsequential to Microsoft, it's the implications of paying them that they want.

In my mind, it also lends weight to the theory that Microsoft has been quietly orchestrating this thing from the start. There are just too many signature signs.

Is anybody surprised by this move??? (3, Interesting)

psykocrime (61037) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990432)

If anything, this lends even more credibility to the theory that M$ was behind this all along.

IBM, just go ahead and buy SCO, GPL everything they own, and let's put this silliness behind us.

Re:Is anybody surprised by this move??? (5, Interesting)

gol64738 (225528) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990492)

IBM, just go ahead and buy SCO, GPL everything they own, and let's put this silliness behind us.

as easy as that sounds, it literally makes me sick to think that SCO will be receive one single penny from this.

SCO, in all of their selfishness, deserves nothing. it is not the fault of the community if SCO's business model did not put more focus into the linux market by establishing a distro and services very much like Redhat has done.

Before even hearing that Microsoft is now involved, I had a hunch that this would be a perfect thing for MS to push. From the surface, it makes the GPL look shaky and raises doubts for IT departments allow linux onto production systems; what a perfect attack.

however, having been involved with the linux and open source community for almost 10 years, i know how strong of a voice we have. you can bet the community won't sit idle and let this foolishness actually happen.

good luck brothers! i fear this battle will be the biggest linux has ever faced, and i know we will stand together and not let corporate greed foil our plans for an open world of computing.

Re:Is anybody surprised by this move??? (3, Insightful)

arvindn (542080) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990502)

If anything, this lends even more credibility to the theory that M$ was behind this all along.

Actually there could never have been much doubt. SCO by itself doesn't have either much reason or power to play with IBM without covert backing from Redmond. Was there any other reason for their going directly after IBM and ignoring RH/SuSE?

IBM, just go ahead and buy SCO, GPL everything they own, and let's put this silliness behind us.

That's where we hit a snag. If IBM wants to buy SCO, M$ will offer to do so as well, and who do you think SCO will sell out to?

Re:Is anybody surprised by this move??? (2, Interesting)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990545)

Actually there could never have been much doubt. SCO by itself doesn't have either much reason or power to play with IBM without covert backing from Redmond. Was there any other reason for their going directly after IBM and ignoring RH/SuSE?

Hey, it's the UNIX Cold War. On one side you have an evil superpower secretly supporting small rogue states (the USSR, Microsoft) fighting against the good guys of freedom (IBM, Vietnam, South Korea, etc.). My personal conspiracy theory is that SCO (aka Caldera) leaked the code into the general Linux base at the request of Microsoft so that they could bring about this case. It's not like there's a big central CVS repository that comprises "Linux".

They could've sneaked the code in through some little lame package, then someone came along and borrowed the routines from that to build a bigger program, and then someone used those library routines to go build Gimp or even glibc. Pretty soon your whole distribution is infected by the GPL's viral license. Ingenious.

'GPL everything they own' (0)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990505)

That'd really fuck up Microsoft, they would have GPL code in there OS and have to GPL the whole thing!!!.

Re:'GPL everything they own' (3, Informative)

pe1rxq (141710) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990561)

Ever heard of dual licensing????
If microsoft got the code from sco under a non-gpl license they would have nothing to do with a gpl version of the same code.

Jeroen

Deweasler output (3, Funny)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990435)

Brad Hill, Microsoft Attorney: "[This licensing] is representative of Microsoft's ongoing commitment to respecting intellectual property and the IT community's healthy exchange of IP through licensing. This helps to ensure IP compliance across Microsoft solutions and supports our efforts around existing products like services for Unix that further Unix interoperability."

Deweasler output:

"See? Those Linux guys don't care about IP and we do! The Linux guys are nothing but a bunch of pirates! That's why you shouldn't use Linux!"

Damn (5, Funny)

BigBir3d (454486) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990437)

Looks at watch... checks date... not April 1st.

I hate Monday's.

Re:Damn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990516)

You hate Monday's what?

hmpf.. unix (-1, Offtopic)

tewmten (608383) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990438)

UNIX is not for M$! They should use the beloved MS-DOS! bah!

FreeDOS ruuu!!!1 ;-P

MS Buys SCO... (1, Funny)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990439)

OK, so SCO owns Unix. Linux apparently contains copyrighted Unix code. Therefore if MS buys SCO, MS owns Linux ;)

Re:MS Buys SCO... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990454)

Didn't it occur to anyone that maybe they want the UNIX name? Microsoft Unix, Windows UX now with 95% more UNIX Technology, and so on? MS UNIX Command Line Server, maybe?

Re:MS Buys SCO... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990486)

Trouble is, SCO doesn't own the UNIX trademark at all--the Open Group does.

Re:MS Buys SCO... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990494)

PEANUS.

uh-oh! (3, Interesting)

estes_grover (466087) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990441)

Late Sunday, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said acquiring the license from SCO "is representative of Microsoft's ongoing commitment to respecting intellectual property and the IT community's healthy exchange of IP through licensing. This helps to ensure IP compliance across Microsoft solutions and supports our efforts around existing products like services for Unix that further Unix interoperability."

read: "We will, we will crush you."

Holy Shit (-1, Offtopic)

ThoreauHD (213527) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990442)

This is so surreal I'm going back to sleep. No fucking way. Ugh.

Is this scripted? (1)

diakka (2281) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990443)

There's something about the timing of this that just smells fishy. Maybe Microsoft wants the prove that there is still value in this source code, or maybe it's someting more sinister? Whatever it is, I suspect that this move was planned from the beginning.

One other thing worth noting (1, Flamebait)

toddhunter (659837) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990447)

is that SCO and microsoft *should* both go and get stuffed

Let's keep calm (5, Interesting)

chthonicdaemon (670385) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990448)

I have been following the whole SCO issue with some interest. This is exactly what closed source strategies cause: a lot of he-said-she-said finger pointing about use of 'our code' and not a lot of progress for mankind.

On the bright side, even if the whole of Linux gets rejected, someone will come up with 'clean' code (like Atheos). There will always be free (as in speech) software. Unless DRM gets global support.

Microsoft helping SCO with legal costs? (1)

Steven Reddie (237450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990449)

That should help them continue the fight against Linux.

T'is evil (5, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990450)

Late Sunday, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said acquiring the license from SCO "is representative of Microsoft's ongoing commitment to respecting intellectual property and the IT community's healthy exchange of IP through licensing

Only the minions of Satan work on Sunday

Re:T'is evil (1)

Bill_Mische (253534) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990519)

Only the minions of Satan work on Sunday ...and parents... ...mutter...bloody unpaid taxi service...mutter...build your own bloody trampoline...mutter DIY - why don't you do it yourself?...mutter...(sub-vocal rant continues for several hours)

No, no!!! Stop repeating in Unison! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990560)

... and stop saying "Where would you like to go today" right after that.

MS Investment in SCO (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990451)

Does MS still own part of SCO? Several years ago, they
owned 10-15% of the old SCO (not Caldera).


Microsoft and SCO go WAY back. In the early 1980's,
Microsoft developed XENIX which ran on computers like
the Tandy Model 6 and 6000 (68000 at 8MHz). SCO licensed
XENIX, developed drivers and sold it initially into the 80286
market (later 386). If I recall, the cost was $400 or so
for an unlimited number of users (plus another $400 or so
for the development suite).


This is most likely a bid by Microsoft to do the following:

  1. Get "legal" on their UNIX tools
  2. Show good will (yes, we are good).
  3. Take a jab at IBM.

History (4, Interesting)

norwoodites (226775) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990453)

Do people already forgot that an UNIX from M$ had happened called XENIX which became SCO OpenServer?

[OT]Arthur C Clarke (-1, Offtopic)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990458)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - SciFi writer Sir Arthur C Clarke was found dead in his Sri Lanka home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an British icon.

Total Hoax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990462)

This is just a major hoax perpetrated by The Käuze [cjb.net] . I hope those sick secretive freaks laugh themselves into a heart attack. This crap isn't funny.

One way to fund this effort (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990465)

Call me synical, but to me this looks like Microsoft has found a way to help fund the supposed distruction of Linux, or at least that's what they think.

What would be funny however, is if IBM we're to buy SCO, and then license everything under GPL everything, revoke all previous licenses, then Microsoft would have problems because it uses GPL, and everyone would know it. However this is unlikely to happen because UNIX code is everywhere, which would likely mean that IBM would have to GPL portions of AIX.

Re:One way to fund this effort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990525)

Ummm, you understand that even if IBM were to buy out SCO and relicense everything under the GPL, this would have no impact on the licenses that Microsoft bought?

Simmer down now (5, Interesting)

BrianUofR (143023) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990467)

This isn't so crazy, so let's calm down. Windows NT is a POSIX-compliant operating system, so I'm not surprised if there's a non-trival amount of Unix-like development going on in Redmond.

In case you didn't know... (5, Interesting)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990468)

Microsoft once had a Unix OS product of their own, Xenix. It ran on the old PC/AT processor (Linux needs at least a 386 for the hardware MMU). Way back in the day, Microsoft licensed Unix from AT&T, ported it to a variety of platforms (many of which no longer exist, this was in the 1970s), then sold Xenix to SCO, who ported it to the 386 and sold it as their own product for a while. Back then, while you could license source code from AT&T, the Unix name wasn't included, hence the name Xenix for what was essentially indistinguishable from "official" Unix. I believe a term of the sale was that Microsoft would not compete directly in the Unix space. I guess that condition must have expired. How amusing that Microsoft are now trying to license their own product back!

Re:In case you didn't know... (2, Interesting)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990540)

Microsoft also owned a stake in SCO. I beleive the maximum that they ever owned at one time was about 10% or so. Whether they still do I am not sure, but up until the previous version of SCO OpenServer 5.0.6, you would get a Copyright Microsoft message at every reboot.

your kidding right? (1)

toddhunter (659837) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990469)

'One thing that is worth noting is that Microsoft does do *some* work with Unix'
It's all well and good to have both points of view in an article, but come on?!? That would be one bloody big coincidence if Microsoft's intentions were anything but anti-linux on this one.

Never trust anyone named "Ransom" (5, Interesting)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990476)

Does anyone else find it ironic that one of the founders of SCO is named "Ransom Love"? I'm not sure exactly why, but in the context of the current lawsuit and now this possible merger, I find that extremely funny :P

To put a good spin on this... (4, Funny)

Sherloqq (577391) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990477)

At least all of us Linux zealots can now say:

"See, Linux is so good, even Microsoft has seen the light and decided to license it!"

Microsoft is effectively bankrolling SCO's lawsuit (5, Informative)

NZheretic (23872) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990481)

IBM should get an injunction against the Microsoft-SCO Deal.

There is no real effective Unix IP for SCO to license [opensource.org] .

Microsoft's SFU and Interix products are in no way depended upon the IP that SCO holds, quite the opposite in fact - Interix/SFU actually owes more to the GNU-project [slashdot.org] .

Microsoft is just effectively bankrolling SCO's lawsuit. The EU Commerce Commission,the USA Federal Trade Commission and DOJ Antitrust should also look into this given Microsoft's recently disclosed anticompetitive predatory practices [iht.com] .

OMG!! (-1, Troll)

borgdows (599861) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990482)

Linux is dying!! SCO confirms!

Why MS has not shown the code... (5, Insightful)

Mr Europe (657225) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990484)

The reason M$ has not been willing to show the windows code is that they have borrowed unix-code to the NT. Especially the network and memory handling routines come to mind first.
Now they licence it and get off the hook.
If(when) MS buys SCO, how can they harm Linux. Definately MS will try it best to kill Linux. And money is no issue.

Hopefully this will expose what is really happenin (1)

Mathetes (132911) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990489)

I think this may open the eyes of some who may have been taking the SCO threats seriously. I would not be suprised if Microsoft hasn't been behind this whole thing from the beginning. FUD on a massive level.

Lending weight (1)

thesurfaces.net (196820) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990496)

They're doing this to lend their weight to the claims and therefore provide SCO with some credibility; it's in Microsoft's interests to do so, after all.

moron to eXPose payper liesense execrable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990497)

talk about last gasper softwar gangster dinosaurs? yuk.

i DOWt IT will go the weigh of the SourceForgerIE(tm), although va lairIE/robbIE's whored themselves into a postion of suckass no matter how black their souls become.

lookout bullow. for additional insight, consult with yOUR creator.

Why are people surprised? (5, Interesting)

Kefaa (76147) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990499)

Microsoft has a history of buying out competition and FUD. They have been watching as Linux constantly forged ahead regardless of the attacks they placed. Linux was not responding as a company would and MS could not deal with 100,000 developers, they needed a company.

They just got one.

My prediction: Every MS sales manager will be out in force over the next fews weeks. At every MS supported site they will be sending the same message:
"I see you have Linux here. Just a word of advice, we are going to be pursuing litigation over some of "our" intellectual rights that have been stolen, and we really want to keep our customers protected. You may want to move to MS products before you get caught up in something ugly.

For your own protection."


While we don't like it, we should not be surprised by it. They have a $30 billion check book to keep this tied up in court for years. They won't want a resolution, they want litigation or the threat of it.

read the OSI position paper (4, Informative)

g4dget (579145) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990501)

The OSI position paper is excellent and answers a lot of questions.

SCO's case is so ludicrous (they don't even own the "UNIX" trademark) that one really does have to wonder what the motives of Microsoft are in paying them anything.

from the "services for unix" link (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990504)

anyone else noticed?

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/sfu/default.asp

i think they'd be more than glad to make that stfu :)

What lies beneath.. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990506)

We all know why M$ licensed SCO. Now let's think about the future.

2003: SCO wins the court with M$ support.

2004: Linux is banned from the U.S. In Europe and other continents that don't have DMCA, Linux still flourishes.

2005: Microsoft sues the nations that use linux. The U.S supreme court supports M$ claims. The U.S offers military support to remove Linux from the nations in Axis of Evil, which by then, means rest of the world.

2006: Rest of the world gives a shit about the US claims. The plan backfires and to avoid the shame, the US has to nullify DMCA.

2007: Americans are once again free from the DMCA. Lets celebrate!

How much $? (1)

JayateMo (607023) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990509)

Ok, M$ is giving (will give?) SCO a sum of money for something. Right? Well I would like to know how much! The thing is I was expecting some kind of moneyflow from M$ to SCO, though I didn't expect it to happen like this. But does it matter what the official "trade" is? It depends of the size of the transfer. I belived M$ was behind the hole SCO-suing-IBM-and-everybuddy, from the start. It was *so* M$-ish, and they always thinks they are so clever(sometimes they are), hiding the payment in "licens" fees. ?? Bah. Maybe time will tell...

Strategic Victory for M$ (4, Funny)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990511)

1) Get frustrated with the FUD Campaign against Linux
2) License SCO IP and/or buy out beleaguered company
3) Patent "Description of Linux-like O/S here" (We all know this would probably get by the patent office, greased with lots of greenbacks)
4) Sue the pants off of anybody who runs linux as "infringers of M$ IP"
5) Profit...

See? no "..." step in this one... :)

MS goals (3, Insightful)

christophe (36267) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990515)

I think the goal of MS are :
1) to make the current doubt on Linux future in PHB's heads stronger, and during much more time.
- Why would MS pay some money to SCO if there was nothing important to license ?
- It gives substance to the claim.
- SCO has some fundings (and the trial could last years...)

2) Have a valid license if IBM buys SCO to suppress the problem, reduce legal costs, and shorten the doubt on Linux's future (some people claim that SCO's goal is to be bought by IBM).

FreeBSD was sued years ago, now its clean. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990522)

Remember when FreeBSD got sued by AT&T and lost market/mindshare to Linux during that mess?

Now the situation has reversed.

I wonder if FreeBSD will regain some of the lost marketshare as a result of this.

After all, it was rewritten to get rid of intellectual property issues so people who migrated to avoid this particular risk might find it attractive.

moron ransoming love (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990523)

those fauxking softwar gangster payper liesense hostage ranson stock markup FraUD's phonIE bullshipping industrIE is going pottIE, so they're bulleaving that there must be noescape for the hobbyist dogooders.

consult with yOUR creator about this stuff.

Who to sue. (0)

Cackmobile (182667) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990529)

The general thought seems to be that M$ will buy SCO and sue linux. But who are they going to sue. Isn't that the point with linux, no one owns it. They could sue the distributers such as red hat but that won't stop it. Am I wrong in this thinking. If not sue away and see who ends up with egg on there face.

This doesn't kill free software (4, Insightful)

tomgarcher (604260) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990531)

Microsoft has a long way to go on this before it can kill free software. If it does nip the Linux "threat" in the bud then we move to FreeBSD instead. Repeat until that $30Bn or so has been wasted on Lawyers fees and finally in 2030 we will have a MS free world! In fact I'd advise you all to go to Law School right now as there is going to be plenty of work for you when you finish up!

Its simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990536)

This is diplomacy at its best: You're enemy's enemy is your best friend.

Of course, by legitimizing the lawsuit M$ is in fact causing smaller linux companies to have to purchase SCO licenses. This makes linux distributions less profitable - hence slower uptake of linux, and (unfortunately) better uptake of windows in the back room.

However, M$ has to have apple in its targets - I'm still at a loss as to how this helps wreck apple, since they make the most money on Unix at the moment.

-Brett

How about OSX? (1, Interesting)

questamor (653018) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990539)

What hold would this give MS over Apple's OSX? I can't see MS going for the jugular with respect to Linux but leaving Apple all alive and well.

Apple use UNIX on their site, they're selling a FreeBSD based UNIX derivative. Do MS now control the fate of the name UNIX, the style of OS that is UNIX, or just a few choice bits of code that nobody will give a shit about?

Maybe linux will go away (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990550)

Predition of future: Microsoft determines linux stole source from its Unix OS, sues and linux becomes illegal.

Controlled by M$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5990555)


I think the whole activities of SCO are initiated by Microsoft to damage Linux in some way. The licensing thing is just a way to pay SCO for their work so far.

Just my two cents...

lobbying (1)

tommten (212387) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990556)

and I thought lobbying just was for buying politicians..
and now they publicly cover up the lobbying by paying a (quoting dr. evil) "license fee" and looking like the nice guys

The reason for MS's move is publicity... (4, Interesting)

ctid (449118) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990558)

Microsoft is trying to create publicity for the court case. At this stage, all that SCO has achieved is to raise a few doubts about Linux, specifically in the area of "intellectual property". By licensing SCO's IP, they are drawing attention to the issue, and putting it onto Internet news sites' front pages. It's easy to then segue from there to the discussion of how Linux raises IP questions for those business that use it. From MS's point of view, this is just an extremely cheap negative advertising campaign, without the risk that MS will get criticized for negative advertising.

What about the other big guys (1)

floydman (179924) | more than 11 years ago | (#5990559)

IBM is pushing Linux all the way, so as Oracle. They put massive investments in it. But if Microsoft really does take this step, what would the other OS's do.

Will Microsoft have the power to stop them (and it will be the world of the colored butterfly), or will not they be effected... in short, besides Linux, who will be hurt?.

And will IBM let them do that,(cause this will affect their AIX system too...) IBM has been relatively silent about this, Sun, IRIX...

I think if they can really do that, then Microsoft wont think twice before paying that billion $'s (as i recall). Its worth it(at least from their point of view)

/*Why is there a penguin on my desktop?!*/
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