First off, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Thomas Simmons and I've been a friend of Cam's for a year or so now. I have helped [a little] behind the scenes in the past and continually been around doing a little this and that though not much has come of it. Now, with the weekly column and some upcoming articles I am writing, I will be contributing on a regular basis in a very public way. So here goes...
As many of you have heard back in the Spring of this year a company many of you knew nothing of before, SCO, sued IBM for various IP infringements and breach of contract. At first, SCO was making accusations that IBM contributed source code to the Linux kernel that came directly from SCO's UNIX codebase. It is as of now still unknown to the level of truthfulness of their accusations, but SCO has continually pushed this belief in a very discreet and shady manner.
The accusations mentioned previously sent many in the open source community into an uproar. They are upset because the said accusations of SCO are seemingly far-fetched. SCO has gone through much trouble to keep secret said code from the common user and the Linux kernel developers so that the code at hand could be removed if it is even code owned by SCO. Many believe it is not, myself included, and SCO continually exaggerates claims and is hypocritical of opponents in this matter.
With such widespread Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD), Linux faces its biggest challenges in getting major breakthroughs in the enterprise environment. There is no doubt there were quite a few companies that were lining up to become the next Linux converts before SCO brought about this incredible lawsuit. Companies that had their doubts because of the possibility of IP concerns (if there were any), now are wasting more money on proprietary software from companies like SCO and Microsoft. There are [supposedly] companies that have even paid SCO for Linux without even waiting to find out whether or not SCO's claims are truthful or are a marketing ploy to boost their stock 5-6 times what they were worth at the time the lawsuit was filed against IBM so that the board members can buy a new luxury automobile or a new home in sunny California.
One might wonder how a company that was headed for its inevitable doom just a few months ago could afford to take on such a lawsuit. Well, due to some high-priced licensing of UNIX from Microsoft, SCO gained millions there. And, the latest shocker, an investment firm recently put $50 million US dollars in SCO's pockets. Many wonder why the hell someone would invest in a company that is looking to go out of business in the next few years or be bought out almost surely. According to eWEEK, Microsoft could be behind the recent investment. Honestly, that makes a lot sense from a Microsoft standpoint. At all costs, destroy the competition. Microsoft is doing just that and doing just that pretty well if it is true. They are seemingly forcing companies around the world to consider the incredulous FUD pressed on by SCO all the while making themselves look innocent by licensing the UNIX copyrights and code legally and funneling money into the fire. Thank you for being such a great company Microsoft, I'll always use your software!*
*If Hell freezes over**
**If somebody besides Apple claims it has ;)