Microsoft To Acquire Group Chat Platform

Microsoft late last week announced that it would buy Parlano, a Chicago-based developer of a group chat platform. Parlano's product, called MindAlign, delivers group chat technology that enables people to carry on topic-specific, multiparty instant messaging discussions that continue over time.

Microsoft is expected to add the MindAlign group chat functionality as a new feature of Microsoft Office Communications Server and Microsoft Office Communicator, Microsoft's server and client software for presence, instant messaging, virtual conferencing and VoIP. The companies expect the deal to close in October.

Microsoft has been buying a lot of companies lately. What do you think its strategy is? Write me at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

SCO To File Appeal of Unix Copyright Ruling
In a move that was fully expected after its devastating loss in federal court last month, SCO has asked the court to finalize the ruling that Novell actually owns the copyright to Unix.

A judge ruled in August that Novell never sold SCO (which is actually the successor company to the original Santa Cruz Operation) the copyright to Unix System V, and furthermore that SCO owes Novell royalties on its use. Groklaw editor Pamela Jones believes that SCO is hurrying to obtain a final ruling so it can immediately appeal that ruling.

Will it never end? Give me your thoughts at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

DOJ To End Microsoft Oversight?
In preparation for a possible end to the government oversight of Microsoft, District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly asked the software maker, the Justice Department and a group of states to submit reports on the effectiveness of the consent decree. This oversight was initiated as a result of Microsoft being found guilty of antitrust behavior in court, and agreeing to oversight as a part of the penalty in 2002.

In response to the court request, a group of states said in a filing that ending court oversight of Microsoft's business practices in November would not allow enough time to consider the antitrust implications of the new Windows Vista operating system. The group believes that Vista changes the nature of competition, and should be studied as it makes gains in the market.

However, in the DOJ report released Friday, the agency said that Microsoft's antitrust compliance is moving forward smoothly, particularly in regard to Vista.
http://redmondmag.com/news/article.asp?EditorialsID=8999

Has federal oversight of Microsoft's business practices made any difference in the company's behavior? Let me know what you think at pvarhol@redmondmag.com, and I'll file a friend of the court brief.

About the Author

Peter Varhol is the executive editor, reviews of Redmond magazine and has more than 20 years of experience as a software developer, software product manager and technology writer. He has graduate degrees in computer science and mathematics, and has taught both subjects at the university level.

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