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Xandros? Patents? What is Going On? (Updated)

Moments ago I spotted a shocking item in my feeds reader. It suggests that Xandros and Microsoft got together to establish a 'protection racket' deal. The link, however, is broken, indicating that the article was probably retracted. A quick search reveals another such observation. What is going on? GPLv3 is already resolving these problems. Are Microsoft on a last-minute shopping spree? We are relieved that Linspire didn't cave, but what is the truth about Xandros? It seems too early to tell, but a Novell-type deal seems like a possibility, unless the article was retracted due to inaccuracy (or fabrication) of information.

Article headline: Microsoft Gives Xandros Linux Users Patent Protection

Excerpt: Redmond has signed a set of broad collaboration agreements with Linux provider Xandros that include an intellectual property assurance.

Update: whether this is true or not, I was finally able to find one site that had grabbed a portion of the text before it was removed.

Redmond has signed a set of broad collaboration agreements with Linux provider Xandros that include an intellectual property assurance.

Microsoft, shrugging off licensing moves to prevent it from repeating its controversial patent deal with Novell, has signed a set of broad collaboration agreements with Linux provider Xandros that include an intellectual property assurance under which Microsoft will provide patent covenants for Xandros customers.

These covenants, which are almost identical to the patent agreement and covenant not to sue that Microsoft signed with Novell last November, will ensure that the Xandros Linux technologies customers use are compliant with Microsoft's IP, David Kaefer, Microsoft's General Manager for IP and Licensing, told eWeek

The collaboration agreements between Microsoft and Xandros, which are valid for five-years and will be announced June 4, also cover a set of technical, business and marketing commitments designed to give customers enhanced interoperability and more effective systems management solutions, he said.

Under the agreement, Microsoft and Xandros will focus on five primary areas over the next five years: systems management interoperability, server interoperability, office document compatibility, sales and marketing support, and IP assurance.


This looks eerily similar to Novell's deal, sans the exchange of money and patents. Also worth mentioning is the following educated guess:

Based on eWEEK’s now-disappeared headline, it sure looks like Xandros may have gone the Novell route and signed a patent-protection deal with Microsoft. (The other possibility is eWEEK believed Xandros was ready to sign on the dotted line, but didn’t. My educated guess is there is a deal and eWEEK jumped the gun in publishing the “exclusive” story. Guess we’ll find out for sure in a few more hours.)

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