Linspire prefers Microsoft (and space cam)

Patent, patent on the wall, who's the scaredest of them all? It's Friday at IT Blogwatch where Microsoft taps its baton and Linux distros sign. Not to mention, a space shuttle monitor suburban-style ...

Linspire's press release says:

Today Microsoft Corp. and Linux desktop provider Linspire Inc. announced a broad interoperability, technical collaboration that also includes intellectual property assurances.
...
Through the agreement, Microsoft and Linspire have developed a framework to provide patent covenants for Linspire customers. The patent covenants provide customers with confidence that the Linspire technologies they use come with rights to relevant Microsoft patents.

Groklaw's not kidding around:

Here's what the deal entails:
... Linspire also agreed to set Microsoft's Web search engine as the default on PCs that run its operating system. ...
Say, you antitrust attorneys general might want to know about that search detail. Yoo hoo, Google. And as for the rest of us, it's certainly true -- I swear on the Bible and everything -- that the reason I switched from Microsoft to Linux was so I could use Microsoft-only applications. Kidding.
...
P.S. The GPLv3 draft outlaws deals like this. Nah. Kidding. What it does is spread the patents involved freely to everyone. Just saying. Don't say nobody warned you.

Duncan Riley sees covenant envy:

The deal, like Novell and Xandros before it includes office document compatibility, instant messaging interoperability and collaboration on digital media. Again the big ticket part of the deal inlcudes patent covenants from Microsoft for customers operating the Linspire desktop.

Larry Dignan says it's now or never:

Microsoft inked its third Linux interoperability deal as the third version of General Public License nears the finish line. Will Red Hat fall in line soo?
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A Red Hat pact would be quite a coup for Microsoft and in theory could shelve future interoperability concerns for customers looking to mix and match Linux and Windows. The one major hang-up in talks will be virtualization technology. Don’t hold your breath for a Microsoft-Red Hat partnership, but if it’s going to happen it’ll happen real soon.

Peter Cooper has hope:

This almost sounds like an April Fools’ joke! It’s all the more surprising when you consider the fights Linspire (a.k.a. Lindows) have had with Microsoft in the past few years. I blame the handover to Kevin Carmony.. Michael Robertson had a lot more fight in him. Still.. we’ve got Mark Shuttleworth, and if he folds in to Microsoft’s nonsense, we’re doomed (I’m sure he won’t though).

Linus Watcher Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols thinks that might be wrong:

So, who's next? Well, that same morning, I was thinking about Ubuntu as another possible candidate.

Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical Ltd., the company behind Ubuntu, had never been as hostile towards Microsoft as some Linux leaders. I mean, this is the Linux leader who's recently said "I'd love to work with Microsoft..."

Ubuntu has also recently partnered with Dell to deliver Linux on PCs and laptops from the first top-tier computer vendor to commit to Linux. I'm sure those desktop users would also like the goodies that Microsoft and Linspire will be delivering in Linspire 6 -- namely: access to Microsoft proprietary multimedia codecs; VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) over Microsoft IM (instant messaging) compatible clients; and Microsoft fonts.

Steven Rosenberg would rather fight:

In his Linspire Letter, CEO Kevin Carmony talks about why he decided to make a deal with Microsoft, trading some technological info for an assurance from Microsoft that the Redmond giant won't sue Linspire's Linux customers for "intellectual property" infringement.
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As I've said in just about every editorial I write on this topic -- and since Microsoft is doing one of these deals just about every other week, I repeat it all too often -- let's just go to court and hash this thing out.

Boycott Novell is having flashbacks:

Upon hearing about the Microsoft-Linspire deal ("MicroSpire" to keep our catchy merged-name theme going…) I was immediately reminded of the summation of the account on Helios’ blog when the Xandrosoft deal was announced, since E.S.R. just so happens to sit on Freespire’s board.

Joe Wilcox sees it this way:

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.
...
Unrelated to licensing is another consideration, which Microsoft states but pundits and bloggers often dismiss: interoperability. Microsoft is the new IBM. Company profits come mostly from large businesses that also already have made heavy investments in Microsoft technology. They aren't new customers but ones Microsoft needs to sell to again. Microsoft has to be very tuned to what customers want.

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Computerworld's online projects editor, Joyce Carpenter, compiled IT Blogwatch today. Regular Blogwatcher Richi Jennings will be back for our next edition.

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