Linux distributor Xandros has confirmed that it will continue to make the Scalix messaging software it has just acquired available for rival Linux distributions, and will look to repeat the integration it has achieved with the likes of Red Hat and Novell SUSE.
New York-based Xandros acquired email and collaboration software vendor Scalix earlier this month for an undisclosed fee, expanding its footprint beyond the Linux operating system and Linux management software.
Despite the company outlining plans to increase the integration of Scalix and Xandros software into an appliance style product, Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos insisted that Linux rivals will not be locked out of Scalix.
The Scalix product will continue to be developed on all platform families supported by Scalix today, said Typaldos, adding that the company intends to replicate the previous development of Scalix Xandros Edition with the likes of Red Hat and Novell. We will of course continue to promote the Xandros-Scalix bundled Server application that we developed with Scalix a year ago, but we will also immediately apply those enhanced Xandros deployment and management technologies, tools, and benefits to all of Scalix’s non-Xandros platforms as well.
As previously reported, Scalix will run independently as a subsidiary of Xandros and is part of the company’s expanding commitment to cross-distribution and cross-platform technologies.
Xandros is already committed to having its powerful cross-platform BridgeWays management tools support all key non-Xandros Linux distributions and platforms, and the Scalix e-mail and calendaring product is a perfect fit for the Xandros BridgeWays strategy, added Typaldos.
The acquisition of the email and messaging software certainly marks an expansion of Xandros’s product line and strategy. Combined with the BridgeWays software, which will manage Xandros, Red Hat, Solaris, Debian, Novell, and Oracle Linux servers and desktop it suggests that Xandros’s future lies beyond the Linux operating system.
The company originally came into being in August 2001 when it acquired Corel’s Linux business via $10m in private equity financing from Linux Global Partners, but it has struggled to establish itself in a market dominated by Red Hat.
Originally a desktop-only vendor, the company abandoned its niche in May 2006 with the release of Xandros Server. The company has continues to attempt to differentiate itself via a focus on ease of use and compatibility with Microsoft management techniques and technologies.
It was little surprise, therefore that the company signed up to Microsoft’s offer of an interoperability and patent agreement in June this year: it made sense from both a technological and economic perspective.
Curiously, while Microsoft has vowed that its patent covenants with Novell and Linspire do not extend to code licensed under the recently released GPLv3, the covenant to Xandros customers makes no mention of the new license.
Assuming that is an oversight, the agreement with Microsoft is going to put Xandros in a difficult position as more open source code is released under GPLv3. Does Scalix, which is licensed under a derivative of the Mozilla license, and the in-house-developed BridgeWays software, represent the future for Xandros?