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Caldera Microsoft The Almighty Buck

Microsoft Behind SCO Cash Investment? 395

Posted by michael
from the conspiracy-theory dept.
An anonymous reader writes "eWEEK has got a story up suggesting Microsoft may be behind yesterday's $50mil cash investment in SCO. 'As an investment firm, BayStar leads, creates and participates in a number of PIPEs (Private Investments in Public Equity). Many of these deals involve investment money from other companies, including Microsoft.'"
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Microsoft Behind SCO Cash Investment?

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  • All it was is the other day Bill was cleaning out his loose pocket change and these VC bums happened to walk by at the right time.
    • This article is completely pointless. All it says is that the people investing in SCO have dealings with other companies, "including Microsoft." And then the guy from BayStar disputes the claim anyway.

      People already postulated this in the last article. It's pure conjecture and is denied by them anyway. Was Slashdot just clamoring for more Microsoft flamebait?
      • Was Slashdot just clamoring for more Microsoft flamebait?

        You must be new 'round these here parts.

      • This article is completely pointless. All it says is that the people investing in SCO have dealings with other companies, "including Microsoft." And then the guy from BayStar disputes the claim anyway.

        But you'll note he was "unable to say" whether Paul Allen's (yes, the Paul Allen associated with Microsoft) Vulcan Capital, was part of the deal. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that (Microsoft-related) Vulcan is behind it, it could mean the guy from BayStar has a speech impediment that prevents him from
      • by Penguinshit (591885) on Saturday October 18, 2003 @02:26AM (#7247003) Homepage Journal

        But BayStar's McGrath again stressed that Microsoft was not an investor in this deal. But he did point out that the fact that Microsoft had done business with SCO was seen as a positive when BayStar was looking at SCO as a potential good business and good investment.

        Let's see... zero sales revenue/growth/planning, an entire profit projection based SOLELY on a rather speculative lawsuit based itself on evidence the plaintiff refuses to divulge, but oh yeah, Microsoft immediately bought one of their licenses (and to date is one of only two or three who have) so it must be a good business investment. Never mind that Microsoft is one of the larger players in Baystar's portfolios.

        You may be Overly Critical Guy, but you are frequently more like Underly Logical Guy.

        Drug dealers and terrorists aren't the only people who "launder" money.. This certainly continues to smell like a Microsoft circus act.

      • by RoLi (141856) on Saturday October 18, 2003 @03:56AM (#7247177)
        Isn't it funny that the Microsoft bootlick- sorry advocates have that extreme double standard going on?

        They have no trouble pretending to believe that SCO's claims are true, even though every single bit of "evidence" turned out to be just hot air. But on the other hand they demand evidence of everything Microsoft does but refuses to admit.

        Microsoft has already given SCO money publicly (for their "Unix"-license), then "an anonymous company" gave SCO money for their "Linux-antidote" license, wonder what company that was... - and now again an anonymous company pays SCO money through a fund in which Microsoft and Microsoft-related Vulcan are big players.

        Why all this secrecy? Why doesn't SCO show their evidence? Why does every investor in SCO want to remain anonymous?

        Questions "Overly Critical Guy" surely can't answer.

        • Isn't it funny that the Microsoft bootlick- sorry advocates have that extreme double standard going on?

          How am I a Microsoft bootlicker? Because I correctly point out that people already speculated this in the last article, and the link in the summary is also more speculation? It's a completely pointless article.

          They have no trouble pretending to believe that SCO's claims are true, even though every single bit of "evidence" turned out to be just hot air.

          Who is "they?" I think SCO is full of shit. Y
    • Not often can you talk about someone literally using Monopoly money.
  • by KillerHamster (645942) on Friday October 17, 2003 @11:24PM (#7246354) Homepage

    But Bob McGrath, a spokesman for BayStar, disputed that claim...

    You mean Bob [bobmcgrath.com], of all people, is involved in this? Shameful! What kind of message does this send to children?

    • This is clearly a hoax. Redmond OSs don't do pipes, named or otherwise. How would you pipe one icon into another one?
      • Heh, took me a moment to get that. Nice one.
      • Bah. There's only one operating system that does pipes properly. [slackware.com]

        There's no prob with Bob! (And no, we're not talking about Bob McGrath.)
      • Actually you can do it with the call CreateNamedPipe [microsoft.com]; these are like unix fifos but live in a different namespace from the file system.

        Also they are network visible by default (useful) and usually unsecured by default(bad).

  • So... who *DIDN'T* see this coming 50 miles away?
  • It was suggested on Slashdot yesterday by an insightful poster that MS would be behind this and whaddayaknow!

    Makes sense... $50m is chickenfeed to MS... heck, I bet they'd pay 20 times that out if they could neutralise the Linux threat.

    They've neutralised just about every other threat so far...

    • I bet they'd pay 20 times that out if they could neutralise the Linux threat.

      They can't afford to neutralize that threat until learning if the next President will be Democrat or Republican.

      If there's a pro-consumer DOJ, then the apparent threat of a viable Linux industry will actually help protect them against the threat of anti-trust punishment.
      • If there's a pro-consumer DOJ, then the apparent threat of a viable Linux industry will actually help protect them against the threat of anti-trust punishment.

        by funding sco, they aren't eliminating the threat, they're focusing the threat into a company that's guaranteed to be a minor player.

        linux won't disappear if sco wins, it will still exist at some level. and the current developers are thrown on to square one. still competition, just drastically reduced.
      • Uh, yeah. Cuz we all know how much MS worries about anti-trust punishments. Last time they had to "pay" their fines by giving free MS products to schools.

        Maybe next time the judge will make bill go to his room without dinner.
        • Re:Surprise? Hardly (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Minna Kirai (624281)
          Last time they had to "pay" their fines by giving free MS products to schools.

          As I said, it depends on which party controls the White House (and thus the Department of Justice).

          The Democrats would be happy to split a megacorp into heavily-regulated fragments. The Republicans wouldn't think of it.

          The school-donation incident you are referring to happened in 2002, and is an example of the easy treatment Microsoft can expect to recieve IF Bush is re-elected.
    • 20 times ... that would be a billion dollars. Linux has probably already "cost" Microsoft well over a billion dollars in revenue, and that is bound to only exponentiate.

      I bet anything that MS would pay $20 billion if it would get rid of Open Source for good.
  • I wouldn't be surprised if the investment came from Microsoft. SCO potentially has a concrete detriment to Linux, as opposed to the FUD that Microsoft was limited to.

    It's just more fuel for the fire. SCO is probably doing better at making Linux look bad than Microsoft ever could.
    • Except that SCO's also making itself look bad (look, Linux has something similar to the code we blatantly stole from BSD and put our copywrite notice on).

      Linux also doesn't depend on the market for anything particularly vital. Sure, a number of people who work on Linux have jobs that depend on the market, but a lot of people who work on Linux also have unrelated jobs. This is at most a temporary setback, and doesn't affect the possibility of Linux coming back later.

      Furthermore, SCO doesn't seem to actuall

  • Does that make $100mil to SCO from Microsoft?
  • It probably is. Other than an extreme gambler who in their right mind would invest $50 million in a company that is in the mist of a massive legal wrangle with IBM? This is n't the dot com era and $50 million is still a significant amount of money unless you're someone like erm, Microsoft maybe? Unfortunately like the article states the likelyhood of finding out who is behind the investment is practically non existant.
  • Microsoft has nothing to do with this. It's the Royal Bank of Canada. Come on, that information was widely published today.
    • by A nonymous Coward (7548) * on Friday October 17, 2003 @11:53PM (#7246500)
      There are two investors; BayStar Capital is the other one, and they are an investment house. Even if you could get a list of BayStar's investors, no doubt those are also investment houses, and trying to track down any M$ investment would take a lot of poking. Especially if they are private, not public, companies ...

      Look at it this way. Anyone with a brain knows that this $50M is not an investment, because an investment expects a return on investment. You may be able to find a few nutso small time investors who believe every press release they see and buy stock just in case, but those people generally don't have $50M.

      The only other reason to spend $50M is to get product in return. All SCO has to offer is its lawsuits against Linux. Now think, who would have use for such a product? So far, two license buyers have shown up, Sun and Microsoft. Sun has already been certified as being immune to the SCO infringement claims. Microsoft just dumped another $8M into SCO for an enhanced license, which is just as useless to them as the previous license purchase.

      There may be no proof that Microsoft is behind the $50M, but it looks like a pretty good first approximation.
      • Even if you could get a list of BayStar's investors, no doubt those are also investment houses, and trying to track down any M$ investment would take a lot of poking.

        Yes, and another note for the conspiracy theorists: BayStar does not need Microsoft directing its investments. Believe it or not, there are some companies out there that can make stupid decisions without Microsoft.

    • Keep watching. Sometime soon, and purely coincidentally, Microsoft will do something which benefits the Royal Bank of Canada.

      Now where *did* I put that tinfoil hat.
  • by incom (570967) on Friday October 17, 2003 @11:30PM (#7246390)
    "SCO spokesman Blake Stowell echoed those sentiments, telling eWeek on Friday that Microsoft was not an investor in SCO through this deal. "There are only two investors in this deal: BayStar Capital and the Royal Bank of Canada."

    Thanks for the info eweek, I was about to open a bank account there.
  • by niko9 (315647)
    It was the billionaire on the grassy knoll!

    --
  • by fv (95460) * <fyodor@insecure.org> on Friday October 17, 2003 @11:32PM (#7246404) Homepage

    I wouldn't put anything past Microsoft, but this article doesn't provide any strong evidence that MS is really behind this particular cash infusion. And who needs a conspiracy theory about MS sneaking indirect funding to SCO when MS has been blatantly shoveling money to SCO all year? MS gave SCO 8 million in the first quarter, then 5 million in the second. The just-released SCO 8K [yahoo.com] states that Microsoft just paid them Another 8 million dollars! That is a grand total of $21 million MS has paid this year for vague "expanded licensing rights with respect to SCO's UNIX source code."

    Whether this alleged BayStar/Microsoft link is true or not, it is already crystal clear that Microsoft has been directly paying SCO to conduct this underhanded attack on Linux! Sun certainly appears to be doing the same thing.

    -Fyodor
    Concerned about your network security? Try the free Nmap Security Scanner [insecure.org]

    • "There are only two investors in this deal: BayStar Capital and the Royal Bank of Canada.

      "I think people will try and come to the conclusion that Microsoft is somehow involved in this deal, but I can tell you with great certainty that Microsoft was not involved with this investment,"


      Let us assume he is telling the truth (because we know nobody would lie to a reporter just because MS suggests it and gives them money. Where's a link to the Switch campaign?)

      So MS controls the Royal Bank of Canada?
      Maybe no
  • Microsoft, supporting a company that is targeting their #1 enemy? Possibly damaging the reputation of the major force capable of deposing them from their perch as the #1 OS providor?

    No, I just can't believe it, Microsoft wouldn't do anything like that, would they?

  • Something fishy is going on here. Who in their right mind would invest in SCO?
  • McGrath, a spokesman for BayStar stated, "I think people will try and come to the conclusion that Microsoft is somehow involved in this deal, but I can tell you with great certainty that Microsoft was not involved with this investment,"

    McGrath also added, "It is also a certainty that penis size does not matter to women, the 1969 moon landing was faked, Jimmy Hoffa is currently employed as a sushi chef in Boca Raton, Ben and J-Lo's marriage will last forever, and George W. Bush is a member of MENSA."
  • BALMER! Toss them what ever change you find behind the couch.
  • Not likely MS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Friday October 17, 2003 @11:49PM (#7246481) Journal
    MS has been very open about what they are doing to Linux. The fund "reasearch" that is a total joke. But it always has MS's name attached. Likewise, when MS first funded SCO, they did it out in the open. They made a big deal about it. It is almost certain that MS did not fund this.
    Instead, it has to be some group that is trying hide their involvement. There is no way that Baystar simply invested into SCO. Instead, it is a group that is trying to pump/dump or needs to hide its' involvment due to probable repercussions.
    My guess is that it is either Canopy or Sun.
    • Maybe SGI funnelled it around; SCO did drop chasing after them suddenly. I mean, while all the theories are flying around, might as well throw this one in the pot.
  • by agwis (690872) on Friday October 17, 2003 @11:50PM (#7246485)
    "There are only two investors in this deal: BayStar Capital and the Royal Bank of Canada."

    That's my bank :-(

    Does that mean I don't have to pay the full $699 now?

    Oh, and can anyone recommend another good Canadian bank now? I suddenly don't have as much confidence in my current one's future with business decisions like this!

    -Pat

    • That's my bank :-(

      This was my bank until 2 hours ago when I read this on Groklaw. [groklaw.net]

      I will not support any company that help those sleazeballs so I send transfered ALL my cash to another e-bank

      Please do likewise and email them why. Yes I know it's a different arm of RBC but that is their problem no mine.

    • Oh, and can anyone recommend another good Canadian bank now?

      I left TD Bank to open my account with Canada Trust. Now TD bought Canada Trust (to non-Canadians, they're now called 'TD Canada Trust'). D'oh!

      They're pretty good. I use them because their site, EasyWeb, is intuitive and works with Mozilla. I do all my banking on EasyWeb. The best part, is that if you *do* have to visit a branch, they're open until 8pm during the week. As far as I know, none of the other major banks do that.

      Their credit card
    • No kidding. I'm moving my assets elsewhere. I can't BELIEVE that they'd do this!
    • If you live in Quebec, you can still jump to "Desjardins". They're not as obsessed with profits as the others banks are, being a cooperative. And their "AccesD" website fulfills all my online transaction needs.
    • I don't know if it uses SCO shit or not, but I use Scotia, and it's got pretty good online stuff too. I haven't had any problems with them so far...
  • Well, this should be an interesting bit of commenting from the /. crowd, good for a laugh I suppose, but still, it would be nice to actually see some REASONABLE evidence that MS had ANYTHING to do with this. I know, I know, too much to ask.

  • I was about halfway through the article, reached the paragraph that read, "But people in the open-source community are far from convinced. They cite the myriad of investment holding and other companies that firms like Microsoft can hide behind when making investments", and I realized I wasn't wearing my AFDB [zapatopi.net] (aka "foil hat" by the masses).

    I donned my AFDB and finished the article but now I'm worried. I've seen movies like "Antitrust" and "The Falcon and the Snowman" (the prequel to "The Cathedral and the
  • I hate to say I told you so but... [slashdot.org]
  • Somebodys got his lil tin foil hat stapped down a little to tightly.

    Next thing you know, MS will be to blame for the Slashdot crowds ongoing virginity.

    • YNNW Reports has investigated the repeated claims that Microsoft is, in some way, responsible for the continuing virginity of Slashdot readers. That claim is clearly false: the posters alone are responsible for that. The msot that can be said is that Microsoft facilitated their continued celibacy.

      This facilitation takes the form of psychotronic suggestions embedded in the XP icons. These icons are designed so that individuals who frequently encounter them exhibit a strong sexual preference for other in
  • Wow! talk about the ultimate conspiracy theory! Mind you, I think this one has some teeth to it! It wouldn't surprise me at least.
  • MS simply have the GNU license declared illegal? It's GOT to be the cheaper route to go...

    I know Billy's got a hard-on about this, but WTF?!??!
  • ...they will be able to release "MS Linux - Caldera".
    • ...they will be able to release "MS Linux - Caldera".

      Up to now it's called Longhorn and we have not decided yet under what name we'll release it to the world. We had to push back the release date, because the kernel resisted the torture surprisingly well. But it's beginning to merge. A ruined and terrible form of operating system. And by 2006, perfected. My fighting Linu-XP..."

      Bill.
  • I mean, MS isn't going to take on IBM. That would be suicide.

    Oh, wait...
  • Read the excerpt from the Teleconference over at Groklaw [groklaw.net].

    Darl said they will get additional $8M from Microsoft this quarter as well.

    Good news is that IBM claim Rise of Linux totally Unstoppable. [theinquirer.net]

  • Wouldn't "financing" SCO run afoul of certain agreements MS has done (not that another slap on the hand will make a difference, right?)

  • by swordgeek (112599) on Saturday October 18, 2003 @12:46AM (#7246711) Journal
    OK, this is about as stupid as anything /. has EVER posted. It's pure conspiracy theory, and has been flatly refuted by everyone involved. Hell, the eWeek article only gets by at all by saying, "some in the open source community suspect..."

    It's not happening. Get over it.
    • Conspiracy theories flourish when information is scant. (Well, also when they are proven to exist...)

      This is an instance where a seemingly stupid move is made by people who would be expected to know better. And it's important for us to understand what's going on. And the information is scant, but the hints are disturbing. So of *course* conspiracy theories are going to flourish. In similar cases it has often turned out to be true that one of the theories was correct. You use theories to direct your s
  • other than conspiracy theory is that MS would love to see Linux dragged through the mud until 2006 when their new OS is released.

    Someone also should tell CNN money that MS delayed the sucessor to XP till 2006 not 2004.
  • SCO Buys MS License (Score:3, Informative)

    by isn't my name (514234) <slash@three n o r t h .com> on Saturday October 18, 2003 @01:30AM (#7246831)
    Yep, you read that right. From a Yahoo SCOX post [yahoo.com]:

    SCOX buys MSFT license -- WTF?
    by: jqtechworker 10/18/03 12:40 am
    Msg: 53640 of 53642

    [quote]
    Microsoft said in the joint report that it has "taken a number of significant steps to revise substantially" the Microsoft Communications Protocol Program, or MCPP, in response to feedback by the plaintiffs and potential licensees. ...

    The company said that as a result of its efforts, four additional companies have executed MCPP licenses since the July 24 status conference: Cisco Systems Inc. (NasdaqNM:CSCO - News) , Tandberg Television Ltd., Laplink Software Inc. and SCO Group Inc. (NasdaqSC:SCOX - News; SCOX).
    [/quote]

    http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/031017/1856000958_3.html [yahoo.com]
  • by Progman3K (515744) on Saturday October 18, 2003 @02:40AM (#7247032)
    and when other investors, who are only after a bottom line see SCO's stock going up like a rocket, they'll dive in and it'll create a run on SCO stock, pumping it so high that it will start a rally.

    In the end MS will have "bought" mainstream acceptance of SCO's slander on Linux by artificially creating a return for the market investors.

    Microsoft effectively OWNING Linux simply by progressively changing their name to SCO.

    What's the last step? Simple:
    Microsoft shelves Linux by making it illegal for anyone to run Linux.

    That way MS can keep selling yearly Windows licenses.

    Eventually the licenses will be by month.

    After that, they'll be like cellular phone minutes.

    If they succeed in taking control of the intellectual property that Linux represents, it'll be our worst nightmare: the average man will no longer be allowed to see how technology works, and it will cast us into a dark age.
    • If they succeed in taking control of the intellectual property that Linux represents, it'll be our worst nightmare: the average man will no longer be allowed to see how technology works, and it will cast us into a dark age.

      Your right. With MS controlling the Linux IP, the "common man" would lose access to Free/Open/NetBSD, ReactOS, OpenBe, GNU/HURD, FreeDos, and all the other countless free OSes out there that aren't Linux. It's all make sense to me now...

      This comment could also have read:

      Your right. M
  • that after so many companies when under when the internet bubble burst other companies would have learned not to invest in questionable IT companies. Looks like I was wrong.
  • I put "Santa Cruz Operations" into an anagram generator and got back a four word "PIRATE ZAN, ASS CROUTON" among others, minus the comma. The only two word match was "TANZANIA PROSECUTORS".
    • How could I have missed this little gem:

      "SATAN NAZI PROSECUTOR"

      Relating to the article, currently there's really no good evidence that Microsoft is behind this. If they were, you know they could spare a lot more than $50 million if it they thought it could hurt Linux.
  • No!!!!! Surely not!!!!!!!! Microsoft, investing in anti-Linux FUD???? I can't believe it, no, I WON'T believe it. La-la-la-la-I'm not listening.
  • by GrimReality (634168) on Saturday October 18, 2003 @11:07AM (#7248255) Homepage Journal

    I found interesting was a quote from the aritcle [http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,4149,1356730,00.a sp] by an un-named source:

    SCO is not a good growth company and is in fact on life-support. A solid company that's been in business as long as SCO has should be making it's money from product/services and not donations and lawsuits.

    Why wouldn't anyone see something as obvious as this?

    At my school everyone (even the well informed) are saying 'Linux is in great trouble.' and 'Linux has an invalid license.'.

    Thank you
    GrimReality
    2003-10-18 15:06:03 UTC (2003-10-18 11:06:03 EDT)

  • Occam's Razor (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RiffRafff (234408) on Saturday October 18, 2003 @11:18AM (#7248295) Homepage
    Who stands to gain the most from this?

    There's your answer.

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