Microsoft faced further allegations of anti-competitive behaviour yesterday, as Caldera claimed the giant had pressurised OEMs not to license its Open Linux Unix based operating system.
Caldera - which sells an implementation of the freeware Unix operating system for Intel platforms, Linux - claimed that Microsoft had put pressure on a "top five" computer maker not to license Open Linux. The accusation comes at a time when Linux, traditionally used mainly by teccies and hobbyists, has emerged into the commercial limelight with endorsements from Netscape and others.
Caldera would not name the computer vendor, and Microsoft denied the charge, claiming it was "another transparent and desperate attempt by our competitors to tarnish our image", according to a representative. The company also said it was considering legal options following the accusations.
Bryan Sparks, president of Caldera, told US journalists: "If you do something to upset [Microsoft], who knows what the repercussions will be?" But he said he was not planning formal legal action over the issue.
Meanwhile, Microsoft pointed out that both Compaq and Hewlett Packard offer SCO Unixware as well as Windows on Intel platforms and it has made no objections to that.
The latest spat comes against a backdrop of legal wrangling between Caldera and its giant rival. The company has ongoing lawsuits against Microsoft alleging it used anticompetitive measures to deter OEMs from licensing DR-Dos, a PC operating system Caldera acquired from Novell two years ago.
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