"The announcement of this license is representative of Microsoft's ongoing commitment to respecting intellectual property and the IT community's healthy exchange of intellectual property through licensing," said Brad Smith, general counsel and senior vice president at Microsoft, in a statement. "This helps to ensure intellectual property compliance across Microsoft solutions and supports our efforts around existing products like Services for Unix that further Unix interoperability."Does that sound a tad disingenuous to you? This is a complicated issue, so let's have some background.
SCO has been at the center of controversy since launching a Unix source code licensing program last fall to allegedly protect and monetize the Unix patents and technology -- originally developed by AT&T -- that it acquired from Novell in 1995.Obviously, this strengthens SCO's intellectual property claims while helping Microsoft take aim at Linux (indirectly.) Stay tuned for more on this story.
Lindon, Utah-based SCO in March filed a $1 billion lawsuit against IBM, alleging that Big Blue violated its existing licensing agreements with SCO by turning over its Unix intellectual property assets to the open-source community for use in developing Linux. IBM has vigorously denied those allegations.