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Microsoft Leads Linspire to Its Linux Stable

Linspire has joined the likes of Novell, JBoss and Xandros in signing cross-licensing and litigation protection deals with Microsoft.
Microsoft has gone on a virtual spree lately, partnering with Linux vendors across the board. Only a few years ago, the software giant was fuming about Linspire, which back then was known as Lindows.

Linspire has become the latest Linux vendor to sign a deal with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Latest News about Microsoft, the two companies announced Wednesday. The pact promises a closer working relationship between the two software makers. For consumers, it brings greater interoperability and a technical collaboration that also includes intellectual property assurances, Microsoft said.

"Delivering interoperable solutions for our customers is an important priority," said Bill Hilf, general manager of platform strategy at Microsoft. "Through our ongoing collaborative relationships with commercial open source companies, we are demonstrating our commitment to delivering the value and increased interoperability customers want.

"Covering features from document formats to instant messaging and digital media, our announcement today with Linsipire is an important step for our mutual customers," he added.

Share and Share Alike

Microsoft and Linspire will collaborate on a variety of technical projects, the companies said, designed to enhance interoperability and expand the functionality of Linspire.

In conjunction with Microsoft, Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) Latest News about Novell and a host of other companies, Linspire will work to develop and distribute open source licensed translators so that OpenOffice and Microsoft Office users can better share documents. Linspire will also license Microsoft's RT Audio Codec, a move intended to allow voice-enabled interoperability between the Linux vendor's Pidgin instant messaging client and both Microsoft Office Communicator and Windows Live Messenger.

Linspire will now support Microsoft's latest iteration of its Windows Media 10 audio and video codec so that Linspire and Windows users can better share digital media files. Finally, Linspire users will now have their choice of Arial, Georgia, Times New Roman or Verdana fonts for their documents. The deal also includes licensing for Microsoft's TrueType fonts.

In addition to the technological additions, Microsoft's Live Search service will be the default Web search engine in Linspire 5.0. Most importantly, an intellectual property assurance agreement between the two companies will protect Linspire from any legal actions on Microsoft's part relating to possible patent infringements.

One caveat is that only users who purchase Linspire will have access to these technologies. Users of Freespire, the no-charge version, will not support the technologies or receive patent protection.

"This is another set of options to add to the Linux desktop," Laura Didio, a Yankee Group Fellow, told LinuxInsider. "Linux has made incredible inroads in the server Manage remotely with one interface -- the HP ProLiant DL360 G5 server. area and the embedded device area.
But they have not really had the same level of success to date in the desktop arena and its all about the applications."

By Walaika Haskins
Part of the ECT News Network


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