After signing Linux interoperability/patent deals with Novell, Xandros and LG, Microsoft is at it again. This time it's signed a deal with an old enemy, Linux distributor Linspire, the company formerly known as Lindows. Lindows was forced to change its name after a long legal battle with Microsoft that mainly served to elevate the company's profile (although it's not clear that that's translated into much commercial success). The deal looks pretty similar to Microsoft's previous deals, which means that while it's technically structured as Linspire licensing patents from Microsoft, it's probably Linspire that will come out ahead either through some sort of payment or a boost in business that Microsoft sends its way. Basically, ever since Microsoft started talking again about Linux infringing on its patents, it's been trying its hardest to rack up patent licensees in order to give the appearance that companies are rolling over for it. Then, when it actually gets into a real legal battle, it will be able to point to these deals as evidence that companies are taking its claims seriously.
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