Scalix: A Microsoft 'Exchange killer' no more?

Scalix: A Microsoft 'Exchange killer' no more?

Summary: Microsoft and Linux vendor Xandros announced on August 15 an extension of their interoperability partnership. Normally, I'd just write such an announcement off as more of the same -- mostly fluff with little real stuff. But then I remembered the findings of a recent Yankee Group study on Exchange vs. the open-source competition....

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Microsoft and Linux vendor Xandros announced on August 15 an extension of their interoperability partnership.

Normally, I'd just write such an announcement off as more of the same -- mostly fluff with little real stuff. After all, Xandros already signed a patent-protection deal with Microsoft, similar to the ones forged between Redmond and Novell and Linspire. As of today's announcement, Xandros also has licensed Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync protocol and the Outlook Exchange Transport Protocol, allowing Xandros' newly acquired Scalix Mail servers to better sync with Exchange Server.

There's another reason I found the Exchange-Scalix collaboration agreement interesting, however. In March, the Yankee Group issued an interesting study, which found a number of businesses contemplating migrating away from Exchange Server, in favor of a Linux and/or open-source e-mail platform. Hello, Scalix!

A quick recap of Yankee's findings:

"In an ominous portent for Microsoft, 23% of the survey respondents indicated they intend to migrate away from Exchange Server and switch to an alternative Linux or open source Email and messaging distribution platform over the next 12 to 18 months. The users attributed their decision to their belief that Linux Email and messaging packages are cheaper and easier to manage than Exchange."

Scalix -- at least before it was purchased by Xandros in July 2007 -- billed itself as "the Exchange killer."

What do you make of Microsoft's latest interop deal? Is Microsoft simply trying to assimilate its competitors before they can do more damage to Microsoft and its products? Or is Microsoft, as its execs claim, trying to "foster innovation that benefits the overall IT ecosystem" via the deal?

Topics: Linux, Collaboration, Microsoft, Open Source

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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26 comments
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  • Absolutely honest

    [i]Or is Microsoft, as its execs claim, trying to ?foster innovation that benefits the overall IT ecosystem? via the deal?[/i]

    MS has never been all that coy about their long-term vision for the world: everything centers on Redmond.

    In this instance, you just need to understand that "innovation" means progress towards that goal, and "benefits the overall IT ecosystem" means reducing the distractions from the MS Scheme of Things.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • protection fee

    I think M$ is just trying to extract a protection fee from OSS, since everybody is dumping its product in favour of the GPLed software.
    Linux Geek
    • Strategy vs. Tactics

      [i]I think M$ is just trying to extract a protection fee from OSS,[/i]

      The amounts involved are chump change for MS. The main value is strategic: by blocking redistribution, they convert a "community" that they never figured out how to counter into a handful of corporate clients. MS has a very well-developed playbook for dealing with corporate clients, [i]especially[/i] those who "partner" with them.

      [i]since everybody is dumping its product in favour of the GPLed software.[/i]
      Yagotta B. Kidding
      • Follow the money.

        In open source, the money flows to comparatively few companies, and these behave like corporations to maximize profits. Some are listed on stock exchanges.

        Microsoft need only encourage that process, not force it, at the same time the company uses its advantages as a seller of fully proprietary software to produce the expectable result when a good flyweight faces the world champion heavyweight.
        Anton Philidor
    • ID10T Alert!!

      .
      Confused by religion
      • seen yourself in the mirror Milly?

        better cover tthe mirror with some M$ logo...that would increase your self esteem!;)
        Linux Geek
        • Unless i suddenly turned into a pimply faced

          ... teenager in his mother's basement, nope, appears to be you all right.
          Confused by religion
          • Jokers to the left...

            Milly, you're responding to the comments of Mike Cox's twin brother, though admittedly the family resemblance is even less than in The Dunwich Horror.
            Anton Philidor
      • RE: Scalix: A Microsoft 'Exchange killer' no more?

        i envy you very much. <a href="http://www.perfectreplicawatch.co.uk/replica-patek-philippe-c-130.html">patek philippe watches</a>
        biasedfans
    • Shut up, fool. (nt)

      .
      No_Ax_to_Grind
      • Darn.. you beat me to it. <nt>

        nt
        Hallowed are the Ori
    • Get a clue!

      I'm not even going go into why you are so wrong.
      voska
  • exchange too hard to manage?

    I would disagree that it is hard to manage exchange, I can do it with my eyes closed. Of all the products that microsoft has, this is one of their best and works very well and with all the integration with outlook is top notch. Say what ya'll will but Exchange isn't going anywhere for a long time. I reallu can't ask for anymore uptime, cause its always up or maybe I just know how to keep it running all the time?
    OhTheHumanity
    • I havn't used Exchange for a while

      Last time I worked in place with it was back in the late 90s. Exchange on Window NT 4.0 and it sucked big time. I'm assuming it must have gotten a lot better.
      voska
    • Whatta ya use to back it up with? (NT)

      :)
      OButterball
      • why ntbackup of course :)

        http://www.petri.co.il/backup_exchange_2000_2003_with_ntbackup.htm
        john.murray@...
        • Couldn't live with those all-or-nuthin restore ...

          ... capabilities. I need a backup product with a much more granular restore ability, so I am forced to deal with the added management hassles of either CA's ARGHserve or Symantec's (formerly Veritas's) Backup Except. <sigh> Would that it could be so simple that I could use ntbackup.
          OButterball
          • Point in Time and Roll Fwd are supported

            http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=296788
            john.murray@...
  • Scalix who?

    ?23% of the survey respondents indicated they intend to migrate away from Exchange Server and switch to an alternative Linux.."

    guess this explains the huge growth in revenues IBM's been experiencing for Lotus Notes/Domino.... users can;

    (a)dump Exchange for Domino Server, and keep Outlook on the desktop
    (b)dump Exchange & Outlook for Domino and the Notes client
    (c)go the whole-hog and dump Windows too, by running Domino on Linux and the Notes client on either an Apple Mac or Linux pc
    sj_z
  • Every email system says it is an "Exchange Killer"

    Scalix built their marketing campaign almost exclusively around the "Exchange Killer" theme. There is more to Scalix than Linux and low costs and, personally, I had hoped that they would have broadened their "big picture" marketing messaging around their own competencies [b] first [/b] (as if there was no product called Exchange).

    Insofar as the Yankee report ?In an ominous portent for Microsoft, 23% of the survey respondents indicated they intend to migrate away from Exchange Server and switch to an alternative Linux or open source Email and messaging distribution platform over the next 12 to 18 months." I use to be Gartner's lead analyst covering messaging. Every time MSFT issues a major release of Exchange, we hear the same responses. Bottom line is that an increasing number of enterprises do migrate from Exchange to an alternative. However, the increasing number is still too small to impact Exchange's marketshare. Moreso, enterprises are also migrating to Exchange from Groupwise, Notes/Domino, Sun and other messaging systems. In the end, the numbers game "is a wash."

    See http://blogs.zdnet.com/ecommunity/?p=150 for futher comments on the Xandros acquisition of Scalix.
    maurene.grey@...