Microsoft Mum on Unix Licensing Move

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.