Microsoft landed a new interop deal, this time with Linspire (the Lindows people 🙂 ) :
… Broad agreement will facilitate interoperability between Windows and Linux, provide intellectual property assurance.
Today Microsoft Corp. and Linux desktop provider Linspire Inc. announced a broad interoperability, technical collaboration that also includes intellectual property assurances. The agreement promotes customer choice and strengthens the bridge between the Microsoft® Windows® and Linux operating systems.
Through this agreement, the companies will work to advance office document compatibility, enhance instant messaging interoperability and reinforce existing collaboration on digital media. In addition, Linspire will be providing its customers with the option of acquiring a patent covenant from Microsoft for customers operating the Linspire desktop. …
Joe Wilcox (Mr Microsoft Watch) gives a nice perspective on this agreement and the trend in general :
… Today’s Microsoft-Linspire licensing deal is part of an ongoing trend, with Microsoft making patent agreements that in some way touch open source. Why?
Other recent deals include Fuji Xerox, JBoss, Samsung, Xandros, XenSource and Zend, and they all share some aspect of open source in common.
As I’ve expressed in previous posts, Microsoft is a very legalistic company. Chairman Bill Gates is the son of a lawyer, and the company’s entire business is built around intellectual property licensing. Intellectual property is very important to Microsoft, as is the proper licensing of it. …
Read on : Microsoft Watch