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MS Halloween Linux report author surfaces at onebox.com

Not a Linux outfit at all - Web site runs on Solaris

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The author of Microsoft's 'Halloween' Linux documents has indeed left the company for a start-up, but it's not a Linux one, nor was his departure anything to do with the leaking of his reports a year ago. That, at any rate, is what Vinod Valloppillil said to Dow Jones Newswire, which tracked him down to onebox.com.

Sniffily, having missed the original story, Dow Jones observes that on Sunday "false online rumours surfaced that [Valloppillil] had quit Microsoft to join a 'Linux-based start-up,'" and adds that they were picked up by several sites, including The Register (See earlier false online rumour).

In response would merely direct the reader's attention to Dow Jones' recent grovelling apology to Microsoft: Dow Jones unsustainable MS contract story. But enough of this childishness. Clearly onebox.com isn't a Linux start-up. It's intention is to offer free voice, email and fax services over the Web as a kind of one-stop shop, so it's positioning itself as a kind of Application Services Provider for the masses, and it's obviously a happening kind of company.

Eric Raymond, who came up with the original Linux-based claim, says as he understands it onebox.com's uses Linux heavily in its infrastructure, and that's what he meant. Whatever, we note from Netcraft that onebox.com runs Apache on Solaris for its Web site, but that would seem the logical choice, considering the amount of traffic the company must anticipate having.

Valloppillil tells Dow Jones he left for the opportunity, not because of any bad feelings about Microsoft. Nevertheless, he's obviously a bright boy, and it also seems pretty obvious that Microsoft has decided to go for Linux with a sledgehammer rather than trying to employ some of the more positive (not that they were all positive) suggestions he came up with in Halloween. Whatever he feels, it still looks like another case of Microsoft letting talent go because it doesn't know how to use it properly. ®

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