Microsoft has come as close at it may ever get to supporting Unix and Linux by taking a minority stake in Vintela.
The integration vendor has been cranking out software over the past few months to extend Windows-based authentication, management and monitoring capabilities to Unix, Linux and Macintosh operating systems.
Vintela is currently the only vendor producing such integration technology that links Windows and competing platforms. Experts, however, claim another handful of vendors are in stealth mode and will hit the market shortly.
Neither Microsoft nor Vintela would reveal the size of the investment, although sources said it was less than $US10 million. Privately held Vintela plans to seek another round of funding early next year with an eye toward expanding research and development, sales and support services.
In addition to the infusion of capital, the pair also agreed to a set of commercial agreements that will have Microsoft providing tier-one support for corporate customers. The agreements also include licensing for a series of undisclosed Windows protocols that will tie Vintela's products more tightly to Microsoft's infrastructure software.
The irony is that Vintela's product set grew out of intellectual property the founders acquired from Caldera, which sued Microsoft for anti-trust violations related to the desktop operating system DR-DOS.
Microsoft and Caldera settled in 2000.