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Is Leaked eMail a SCO-Microsoft Connection?

UPDATE: After a week of telling the story about its latest Linux lawsuits on its own terms, SCO Group is getting some major pushback from the open source community.

In one development, open source guru Eric Raymond posted a leaked e-mail from an outside SCO Group consultant to a SCO Group vice president. The e-mail, which SCO has confirmed is authentic, allegedly indicates Microsoft's involvement in providing indirect financial support to SCO's legal campaign against Linux, according to Raymond's comments posted between the lines of the e-mail.

The development threw cold water on a week in which SCO had garnered technology press and mainstream news coverage for three staight days. On Monday, SCO issued a statement that it had signed ISP company EV1servers.net as its first publicly announced Linux licensee.

On Tuesday, SCO disclosed that it was about to file lawsuits against two commercial Linux users, but it wouldn't name the firms.

On Wednesday, SCO identified the companies: Autozone and DaimlerChrysler, sparking another round of news coverage. The news also obscured a same-day earnings announcement in which SCO reported a net loss of $1.5 million for its first fiscal quarter--about double the loss from the same, year-earlier period.

Separately, Computer Associates is denying reports circulating on the Web that it specifically licensed Linux license from SCO. Rather, CA said its license was an outgrowth of a legal agreement.

In a statement released by CA, Sam Greenblatt, senior vice president and chief architect of the company's Linux technology group, said: "CA disagrees with SCO's tactics, which are intended to intimidate and threaten customers. CA's license for Linux technology is part of a larger settlement with the Canopy Group. It has nothing to do with SCO's strategy of intimidation."

The reports that CA had taken a license surfaced in a copy of a Feb. 4 letter from SCO attorney Mark Heise to IBM that was posted on the