TECH ED - Xandros joins Novell in licensing Microsoft IP

Linux distributor Xandros has followed Novell in signing a patent-licensing and collaboration deal with Microsoft

Microsoft has signed another Linux distributor to a patent-licensing and collaboration deal similar to the one it struck with Novell last year.

Xandros, which offers desktop and server versions of Linux, has agreed to license Microsoft intellectual property (IP), said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. He dropped the news in the middle of a keynote Monday at the company's TechEd 2007 conference in Orlando.

Muglia shed little light on specific details of the agreement, saying only that it follows the same model as the Linux and Windows interoperability and licensing deal Microsoft struck with Novell last year.

"Xandros has taken a license to our intellectual property," he said. "They've taken the position of helping customers to ensure that when they use open-source software, that the IP the industry has created is a part of that."

A news release the companies made available Monday had more details, confirming that the deal includes "covenants" to protect customers using Xandros software from any potential patent-infringement claims from Microsoft.

Microsoft said recently it would aggressively seek royalties for patents it says it holds in open-source technologies such as Linux. The company acknowledged that instead of going to court it would rather sign back-room patent and cross-licensing deals with open-source distributors.

Muglia acknowledged that in the past year Microsoft has stepped up efforts to ensure its products are interoperable with competitive offerings, and working with the open-source community has been a big part of that.

"Over the last year, you've seen Microsoft take a number of steps that ... demonstrate a change of approach for us," he said. "You've seen partnerships you might not have expected Microsoft to be a part of." Muglia mentioned partnerships with Xensource, Novell and JBoss as examples of the company's new attitude.

In addition to the licensing component, the five-year deal between Xandros and Microsoft also will include collaboration between the companies to make their Microsoft System Center and Xandros Systems Management products more interoperable. Xandros also will join the efforts to standardize and use Web Services (WS)-Management protocols, which Microsoft supports.

As part of the deal, Xandros will license Microsoft server communications protocols so Xandros Server will work better with Windows Server in IT systems. The company also will join the effort to build translators between rival document formats Open Document Format, an international standard favored by open-source companies, and Open XML, Microsoft's default format in Office 2007.

Finally, Microsoft will endorse Xandros desktop and server Linux OSes as the "preferred" distribution for its customers, and company engineers will be trained to support the software to help channel partners offer both Microsoft and Xandros software.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Montalbano

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?