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Xandros Expands Collaboration With Scalix Buy

Xandros may be a relatively small Linux vendor, but it's sure trying to make some noise. Almost two months ago it became the third Linux vendor to buy into Microsoft's patent protection covenant, and now it's expanding its scope by acquiring collaboration vendor Scalix.

Financial terms of the agreement are not being disclosed, though Xandros expects that most Scalix staff will be retained. Scalix CEO Glenn Winokur will not be joining the Xandros management team, though he is expected to work on the Xandros advisory board. The Scalix brand will also be retained as a separate entity.

"Scalix is best positioned and best perceived as an award-winning enterprise-grade scalable e-mail solution based on its strong R&D history," Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos told internetnews.com. "It's also best positioned in connection for Outlook support, web-client access, and co-existence in a mixed-platform/Windows-dominant world. In other words, it's best positioned for the enterprise."

Xandros and Scalix are hardly strangers, as there is already a version of Scalix bundled with Xandros Server. Typaldos noted that Xandros will continue to improve and deepen this integration as a result of the integration.

That said, Xandros isn't going to exclude other collaboration systems from running on its Linux server. Xandros Server will continue to support other messaging platforms such as Zimbra and Open Exchange. On the flip side, Scalix will continue to be supported on other Linux platforms such as Red Hat and Novell/SUSE.

In June, Xandros officially partnered with Microsoft in a deal that provides patent covenants to Xandros customers in the event that Linux and open source components distributed by Xandros infringe on Microsoft's intellectual property. Microsoft has alleged that open source infringes on at least 235 of its patents.

Xandros' deal with Microsoft may well help to improve the Scalix offering in some respects, though intellectual property issues aren't on the table.

"As an application rather than as an OS type of product, the patent covenants don't apply," Typaldos said. "On the other hand, interoperability does apply, and our relationship with Microsoft helps in that regard."

Scalix claims to have more than 200,000 downloads of its freely available Scalix Community Edition. The company plans to launch a new open source community site at ScalixForge as a base for its open source development initiatives.