Microsoft has once again raised the spectre of being a completely unreformed predatory monopolist, of which the company was convicted in its landmark antitrust trial. IDG.com is reporting that Microsoft is purchasing a company called GeCAD, whose main business is providing virus support at the server level for Linux servers. The company also has a small Windows aspect to its business, but the lionis share of the companyis revenue comes from its Linux offerings.
According to the IDG article, once Microsoft completes its acquisition of GeCAD, it plans to discontinue the Linux aspect of the antivirus product line, call RAV antivirus. This has raised questions in some quarters about whether or not the purpose of the acquisition was to gain technology, or simply remove a major Linux product from the market. In the IDG article, Microsoft denies such a move, though it would be in line with many of Big Redmondis efforts at gaining and securing market share for its products throughout much of the last two decades. From IDG.com:
Users and resellers of RAV AntiVirus, popular especially on Linux platforms, are in limbo after Microsoft Corp. announced plans to buy the RAV technology from Romaniais GeCAD Software Srl.
The RAV product line will be discontinued after Microsoft completes the acquisition of the technology, Microsoft said. GeCAD, which claims its products protect over 10 million users worldwide, will support current customers through the end of their contracts, Microsoft said.
The acquisition has observers questioning Microsoftis ultimate intentions and wondering what the Redmond, Washington, software maker wants with technology that powers leading virus scanning tools for e-mail servers on Linux platforms, rivals to Microsoftis Windows and Exchange products.
"I donit know why Microsoft bought a Linux company, GeCADis Windows business is really small compared to their Linux business," said Andreas Marx, an antivirus software expert at the University of Magdeburg in Magdeburg, Germany. Marx has just completed a test of GeCADis antivirus software for Linux and found that GeCAD "is really the best antivirus solution for Linux."
GeCADis RAV AntiVirus for Mail Servers supports a host of e-mail server products, including the free Sendmail, Qmail and Postfix, and is available for a variety of operating systems, including many flavors of Linux and BSD. Pricing per e-mail domain instead of per mailbox is another major draw for users, experts and users said. GeCAD resellers in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. interviewed by IDG News Service say the bulk of their RAV sales are sales of RAV Antivirus for e-mail servers on a Linux platform.