Though there have been claims to the contrary – especially by staunch Microsoft supporters – the entire SCO drama has smelled of Microsoft involvement from the very beginning. After all, Microsoft has a lot to gain if Linux were to be killed. Microsoft has never faced as big a competitor as Linux is becoming. In the past, Microsoft would’ve simply bought out the competitor then killed their technology. But that’s not possible: by definition, Linux’s open source license specifically means that no one can buy and kill it.
So along comes SCO, a company with a grudge and nothing to lose. A company that just happens to hold (or to think it holds) copyrights on one of the original versions of UNIX. SCO suing IBM for a billion dollars was an outlandish move, but a safe one: SCO is going out of business no matter what, so why not try to take the Linux community down with them?
Microsoft was savvy enough to let SCO do all the dirty work. SCO’s name is on the lawsuits that were filed. SCO is the company that will take the heat from the millions of Linux users and supporters. Microsoft can sit back and either reap the rewards of having SCO kill a major competitor, or wash their hands and watch SCO go bankrupt.
However, there is some evidence that hints that Microsoft is behind SCO’s actions. As Business Week points out a direct financial tie between Microsoft and SCO: “Linux is the primary force standing between Microsoft and domination of the computer world. The software giant is happily fanning customers’ fears with an anti-Linux campaign while pumping money into SCO.” Microsoft is paying SCO “licensing fees” ranging in the millions of dollars. Microsoft says these fees are legitimately owed for their UNIX-interoperability software. But those millions also helped keep SCO alive long enough to continue SCO’s lawsuits and attempts to kill Linux.