Xandros signs deal with Microsoft - the FUD campaign continues


Advance warning - I do have strong opinions on this subject, so (as the title of the post suggests), this is as much an opinion article as it is news.

TechCrunch is reporting that Microsoft have signed a deal similar to their deal with Novell with Linux distributor Xandros.

The deal includes:

Systems management interoperability: “value-added heterogeneous management capabilities” which in English translates to co-operative interoperability development between Xandros and Microsoft.

Server interoperability: Xandros will license a broad set of Microsoft server communications protocols allowing it to interoperate more smoothly with Windows Server

Office document compatibility: Xandros will join Microsoft and other companies in building open source translators fostering interoperability between documents stored in Open XML and Open Document Format.

Microsoft sales and marketing support: Microsoft will now endorse Xandros Server and Desktop as a preferred Linux distribution

Intellectual property assurance: Microsoft will make available patent covenants for Xandros customers that will provide customers with confidence that the Xandros technologies they use and deploy in their environments “are compliant with Microsoft’s intellectual property”.

This move is going to continue to anger those involved in free software (myself included) as it seems apparent Microsoft are keen to sign up as many distributors as they can in their intellectual property extortion scheme.

It is clear from this move that Microsoft are finding themselves in severe trouble with regards to competition with Linux-based operating systems and other free software in the enterprise space.

Expect more deals like this with distributors who choose to give in to Microsoft's demands. The GPLv3 is nearing completion and its new terms will likely cause major problems for future and existing deals of this nature. Thus, Microsoft are probably trying to sign up as many distributors as possible while they still can.

That said, part of the effectiveness of the GPLv3 on these deals will depend on how quickly developers sign up to the new licence. All of the GNU tools will obviously immediately go to version 3, but some software may take longer or not move over at all. Nevertheless, version 3 will be a thorn in the side of all companies involved with this deal.

This whole issue will certainly be interesting to watch and the response to this latest deal with Xandros will undoubtedly spark some reaction and debate from all sorts of members of the free software and open source community.

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold - http://peter.upfold.org.uk/

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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Discussion: Xandros signs deal with Microsoft - the FUD campaign continues

  1. fedoraphile (guest)

    # Posted on 06 June 2007 at 10:33 AM

    The pattern I have seen with Microsoft is amoeba-like. When confronted by a significant competitor, Microsoft often absorbs that competitor, or that competitor's product, in some way. Why, for example, should a Linux distribution be endorsed by Microsoft as "a preferred Linux distribution"? True interoperability between Windows and Linux would be wonderful, but I sincerely hope the deals struck by Novell and Xandros do not eventually lead to a loss of independence for Linux distributions and an increasingly tangled web of legal obligations.

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