Conspiracy theorists convinced that Microsoft Corp is behind the SCO Group Inc’s legal campaign against Linux were rewarded yesterday by a leaked e-mail that seemed to back up their theories.
The e-mail was sent to SCO’s vice president and general manager of SCOsource, Chris Sontag, by Mike Anderer, CEO of SCO consultant S2 Partners LLC. It discusses the potential for SCO to raise money from Microsoft Corp via neutral third parties.
S2’s message, CC’d to SCO chief financial officer Bob Bench, also implies BayStar Capital, which last year ploughed $50m into SCO, is connected to Microsoft.
The e-mail is dated October 12, four days before SCO announced Bay Star’s investment. Rumors, denied by all concerned at the time, had circulated that Microsoft backed the funding.
The e-mail was leaked to and posted on open source web site OpenSource.com. OpenSource said the message was released by a whistle blowing SCO employee.
A SCO spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the e-mail, but called it speculation that Microsoft participated in the BayStar transaction.
SCO has been closely linked to Microsoft, by virtue of the fact Microsoft is battling Linux and SCO is waging an IP battle against vendors and customers using Linux.
Microsoft fuelled rumors of a relationship last year, when it became one of the few companies to purchase UnixWare System V Linux license from SCO. Microsoft said the license would benefit customers and products such as Services for Unix.
The license, though, only served to pique people’s interests, leading to claims SCO was being supported in its case against Linux by the Windows giant.
BayStar’s $50m investment raised further questions. A BayStar spokesperson yesterday repeated earlier denials, saying Microsoft had no hand in that particular funding, but would not comment on whether BayStar has other connections to Microsoft.
Anderer’s e-mail indicates Bay Star was actually endorsed by Microsoft before funding. Bay Star is easy as they were just a Microsoft referral, the e-mail said.
The message continues: I realize the last negotiations are not as much fun, but Microsoft will have brought in $86m for us including BayStar.
Suggesting SCO would seek additional Redmond funding, the e-mail reads: Microsoft has also indicated there was a lot more money out there and they would clearly rather use BayStar ‘like’ entities to help us get significantly more money if we want to grow further or do acquisitions.
It continues: The Microsoft deal is the ante to the power game… we should get this done and go after several $2-3m deals from the expense side of their company.
In a statement, Microsoft denied any direct or indirect financial relationship with BayStar. The allegations in the posting are not accurate, Microsoft said.
S2, meanwhile, appeared to also be investigating other possible avenues of IP attack for SCO. This included examining whether SCO had a claim on Novell Inc’s IPX network sack.
This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire