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Caldera reveals OpenLinux OEM distribution problems

Another Microsoft deposition corker

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Bryan Sparks, CEO of Caldera, was deposed by Richard Pepperman for Microsoft in July in Salt Lake City. Sparks admitted that Caldera had encountered problems trying to distribute OpenLinux through OEMs, although since his testimony was taken, the situation may well have changed. It seemed from Sparks' testimony that Microsoft had been watching OEMs very carefully for signs of deals with Caldera, especially in view of the Caldera v Microsoft case now scheduled for trial in June. This case is concerned significantly with Microsoft's alleged use of anti-competitive techniques against DR-DOS. Microsoft had a special interest in finding out what Caldera was doing. Pepperman produced some local newspaper cuttings, in an attempt to show that Caldera was biased against Microsoft, because of headlines like "Provo company applauds action against Microsoft". It all just was a case of tribal loyalty, and supporting the local team, of course. An interesting document from August 1996 showed that Sparks considered Caldera to be undercapitalised for its ambitions and that he favoured securing public or venture capital. Caldera had as a corporate focus shaking up traditionalists in the industry by using unusual development methods, such as Internet contractors. ®

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