Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The latest developments in the MS-Baystar saga
- MS has responded to the story, denying the allegations.
Microsoft has no financial relationship with BayStar and never agreed to guarantee any of BayStar's $50 million investment in SCO. The BayStar declaration confirms that no guarantee was ever provided. Microsoft does have a deal with SCO that has been widely reported. We paid SCO for licensing rights to ensure IT interoperability for UNIX migration technology, currently in use in Microsoft Utilities for UNIX-based Applications.
Yeah, right. A.) The Baystar declaration confirms no such damn thing. B.) Nobody believes the money was really for SCO's super-schweet, ultramodern Unix SVR4 utilities, even if that's what the contract says on paper. We're not idiots. We know a wink-wink, nudge-nudge deal when we see one. MS could've gotten much better, non-obsolescent code for free by using BSD code. Doing that is perfectly legal, the BSD folks even encourage it, it's free as in beer, and MS has done it before. So the suggestion that they suddenly needed $25M worth of SVR4 code, right at the precise moment where SCO's Linux litigation was ramping up, well, I'm sorry, but that just defies all logic and credibility.
- Other stories about the MS denial at Computerworld (which also covers the Baystar declaration here); TechWorld, and CIO Magazine.
- A story at InternetNews quotes Rob Enderle, who rushes to Microsoft's defense, of course:
But at this point, it's just one man's word of a conversation with one former Microsoft executive and no paper trail, points out Rob Enderle, principle analyst with The Enderle Group.
"Bay very well may have wanted Microsoft's business, but whatever that belief was, nothing ever resulted. So you don't know what was wishful thinking or not. We're hinging off one person's conversation. You'd think for a $50 million commitment there would be something on paper," he said.
Enderle doesn't think Goldfarb is lying, just that any conversation between him and Emerson probably never went beyond that.
"There may have been a conversation between the two and Emerson went to management, who decided they didn't want to do it. There is no evidence of commitment from Microsoft in any way," he said.
The story neglects to mention that Enderle is paid by MS for his opinions on a regular basis, and he's been paid by SCO at least once, for his SCOForum screed a couple of years ago. This is not conjecture, it's not a conspiracy theory. It's Enderle's business, and he's pretty open about how he works. The trade press doesn't seem to mind -- they don't care whether he's biased, so long as he's quotable -- and so you almost never see any disclosure of the financial angle. He's their crutch, and he knows it, and milks it for all its worth. This is one of many reasons I don't have a lot of respect for the trade press. They're pretty much the hardliest-working folks in all of journalism.
- At least the UK trade press can manage a lively editorial now and then.
- Back in August, Darl attended a tech CEO forum with Utah's governor. Photos of the event are here. Darl appears in at least 3 of them. He's easy to identify because he's the one guy in the room wearing jeans and not wearing a tie. Oops! This pic is pretty priceless. He really isn't a very tall man, is he? There's also a glimpse of his ugly mug here, and a shot of his, uh, business end here.
- Dana Blankenhorn has a piece remembering Ray Noorda.
- And here's the SL Trib's obit, in which Yarro sheds a few crocodile tears. In reality, he's only sad that he didn't end up with all of Noorda's money.
- Remember the bit I posted last week about the blogger who used to work at an Anderer company? Apparently SNR has kind of a mini-Slashdot effect, and he's not thrilled about all the attention. So be nice to the guy, ok? I don't do this out of a desire to hassle ordinary people who just happened to have a tenuous link to one of the SCO case's many circus sideshows.