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OSDL Definitively Says No to MS
Sunday, August 28 2005 @ 11:43 PM EDT

ZDNET's Joe Brockmeier has the story, a confirmed no from OSDL's Stuart Cohen to Microsoft's Martin Taylor's invitation to do joint research. Joe tells us this:
On Friday, I had a chance to have a short talk with Cohen, and got a definitive answer. Cohen said that "there is no way we would do a joint research project with Microsoft." If OSDL were to participate in such a project, Cohen said that when the report came out, no matter what the broad outcome of the report was, anything negative about Linux would be exploited for marketing purposes by Microsoft.

Setting aside the marketing implications, Cohen also stressed that "no one is clamoring for" OSDL to do a market research paper with Microsoft. (Other than, I suppose, Microsoft…) OSDL does commission white papers and studies from time to time, when it makes sense to do so for their member organizations — but "nobody's been asking" for OSDL to produce a research project like what Taylor proposed.

It's also worth noting that Cohen's conversation with Taylor was supposed to be off the record, and that he was surprised to see it turn up in the press a short while later.

Surprised? That Microsoft didn't behave itself? Welcome to "partnering" with Microsoft. The article goes on to explain that OSDL would be willing to to do what it takes "to make it easier to manage environments with Linux and Microsoft products," and the article links to Groklaw's "Microsoft's Problem: It's Not Easy Being Mean," and says that one reason Microsoft might have asked to partner is that Microsoft is interested in improving its image by at least looking like it is interested in working with OSDL. That's one possibility.

In researching on another Microsoft issue tonight, I came across this explanation of how discovery generally goes in Federal court, and I thought it would help you understand the process we've been watching in SCO v. IBM:

The initial round of document requests and interrogatories merely define the scope of the negotiations to follow. Justice Department lawyers ably exploit the convenience of word processing, boiler plate document requests and interrogatories. They are frequently overbroad and burdensome both in scope and number. Both the department and the recipient expect that the recipient will respond with a written objection, which is necessary to preserve the right to object later in court, and a telephone call. The negotiations that eventually lead to an agreement about what will actually be produced, and the timing of that production may last days, even weeks. During the course of negotiations, the department narrows and refines its requests while the recipient gradually is forced to concede the department's right to see certain, more specifically defined categories of documents. Frequently, the recipient agrees to produce a limited number of some category of documents, with the hope that once the department sees a sample of the material, it will lose interest in the remainder.

As you can see, all that we saw is entirely typical. Now, think about SCO's discovery whining and merge it with this article. What do you get? Me, too.


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