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Linspire Fuels Microsoft’s IP FUD by Signing Deal (Updated)

Posted in Deals, FUD, Linspire, Microsoft, Patents at 10:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Oh, well. We saw that coming. Not much to be said. Same rubbish, different day.

Linspire Inc. on June 14 will announce an agreement to license VoIP, Windows Media, and TrueType font technology from Microsoft for use in its Linux distribution. Additionally, the deal includes protection for Linspire customers against possible violations of Microsoft patents by Linux, and other cooperative measures.

So, Linspire folks, how much did Microsoft pay you to join the ‘protection racket’ club? A Linspire tag has been added to the site and Shane might register an aptly-named domain. Lindows has just joined hands with Windows.

Addendum (20/06/2007):

It is worth adding Groklaw’s find from last night.

Linspire Admits No Patents Licensed to MS

“This is the same conceptual structure of a patent covenant for end users as found in the Novell and Xandros deals, and the design principle is respect for all of the licenses that are at play, including the GPL [GNU General Public License],” Kaefer said. “These patent covenants are foundational elements that allow us all to move forward.”.

However, Linspire did not provide any of its patent rights to Microsoft under the deal, given that it held very few such rights, he said, noting that Microsoft would happily talk to the company about such a license if that situation changes.
[PJ: Of course the GPL remark is poppycock. Respect for the GPL is certainly not a noticeable component of any of these deals, except perhaps by its absence.] – Peter Galli, Devsource

It’s all right here.

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  1. gpl1 said,

    June 13, 2007 at 10:49 pm


    Interesting considering Kevin Carmony’s stance on GPLv3, where he said it “limited choice”.

    But yeah, not exactly a shocker ;)

  2. shane said,

    June 13, 2007 at 11:25 pm


    Yup, my ruthless attempt to corner the entire Boycott market on the World Wide Web continues.

    Let’s start a pool of which wounded member of the herd will be taken down next…

  3. Shane Coyle said,

    June 14, 2007 at 10:11 am


    I recall now there was an offhand remark towards the end of the lobby4linux account of when the Xandros deal was announced

    I can however, give you something to think about.

    If esr suddenly announces his resignation from a particular board or organization…

    You will then know the next zebra to fall.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 14, 2007 at 10:37 am


    Red Hat and Ubuntu will never bend Microsoft’s way (because they said so). Speaking of other vendors, my hard drive is having physical errors (started a couple of hours ago), so I will need to buy a new one tomorrow and reinstall Linux (haven’t decided which distro I’ll go for yet, but there are 3 I will definitely avoid). Either way, I probably won’t be active in this site for a few days. Need to rebuild… :-(

  5. anonymous said,

    June 14, 2007 at 6:31 pm


    I recommend Gentoo if you have enough Linux experience, it has a great community and a lot of experts to help you.

  6. Jack Loftus said,

    June 15, 2007 at 8:12 am


    I agree, Roy (and others).

    I talked with Illuminata’s Gordon Haff about this yesterday for our site, and he said pretty much the same thing. I realize that there’s a few posts out there today saying that MS is snatching up all these little guys as some kind of maneuver meant to outflank Red Hat, but from my own reporting and research that’s sounding like a huge stretch right now. Like an astronomical unit kind of stretch. Times ten.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 15, 2007 at 9:28 am



    I am flattered to see you commenting here, having followed your excellent writings for a long, long time. In almost a thousand posts which the site has accumulated, I hope it has been shown that Microsoft has much greater (and broader) plans, which extend beyond pressuring Red Hat. The EU’s wrath, document formats, IP scare, and even search engines (yes, it turns out that Linspire will also assist MSN, all at Google’s expense) are just some among the many benefits to Microsoft.

    On a side note (as before), I have completed my setup of Ubuntu Linux. I use 7.04 now, having used 5.10 and 4.10 in the past. I installed them on two other PCs of mine, which later had SuSE (the pre-Novell era) and Mandriva. Ubuntu Feisty Fawn has been a pleasure that I cannot begin to describe. Writing a review at this stage would be pointless because it has been done thousands of times before. With a 4000-pixel-wide dual-head display, I am prepared to work more efficiently than ever before. In retrospect, the hard drive crash was a blessing. The new one hardware is better.

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