Microsoft Mum on Unix Licensing Move

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-05-19 Print this article Print

Microsoft, which on Monday announced it was licensing the Unix source code and patent from the SCO Group, is remaining tight-lipped about its reasons for the move.

Microsoft Corp., which on Monday announced it was licensing the Unix source code and patent from the SCO Group, is remaining tight-lipped about its reasons for the move. A company spokesman told eWEEK that there was no one available to discuss the matter further at this time, and referred eWEEK to a statement from Brad Smith, the general counsel for Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash. In that statement Smith said, "The announcement of this license is representative of Microsofts ongoing commitment to respecting intellectual property (IP) and the IT communitys 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," he said.
A Microsoft spokesman also told eWEEK last week that while Microsoft had once held a stake in SCO, that was sold several years ago.
The licensing deal with Microsoft should come as no surprise as SCO, which is currently suing IBM for $1 billion, is also aggressively moving to drive revenue from new licensing programs and products for its intellectual property. To that end it created the SCOsource division earlier this year. SCO CEO Darl McBride told eWEEK in February that the first deliverable from SCOsource was the licensing of its Unix shared libraries under a new product license called SCO System V for Linux. That product lets Linux customers run Unix applications, originally written for SCO OpenServer and SCO UnixWare, under Linux in an Intel environment.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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