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Fact and fiction in the Microsoft-SCO relationship

The SCO Group's legal actions against Linux have shed light on the inner workings of the open-source programming project and on the operations of a company desperate to survive. They've also created a cottage industry for conspiracy theorists over Microsoft's role in the affair.

SCO's attack, based on the company's disputed claim of Unix copyright ownership, and with IBM as the main target, has been bold and expensive. Lindon, Utah-based SCO hired the pricey but high-profile attorney David Boies (of Microsoft antitrust and Napster fame) to launch the attack at a time when product revenue was shrinking and cash was dwindling.

But it was Microsoft that helped ensure that SCO could mount the fight, by providing major financial help at least twice in 2003. (SCO's finances are currently being tallied for the quarter ended Oct. 31, with the results to be reported in late December.) Though it doesn't appear that Microsoft was in the driver's seat when it came to SCO's legal attack on Linux, Microsoft's financial assistance was unusual and crucial.

News source: C|Net News.com

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