by Joseph Weisenthal

Microsoft's Battle With Linspire Comes Full Circle As Companies Sign Interoperability Deal

from the feeling-linspired? dept

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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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jun 2007 @ 10:24am

    With "deals" like these...

    it's no wonder that people are becoming lawyers with a minor in some other discipline.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dennis, 14 Jun 2007 @ 11:17am

    I can't wait..

    until someone finally gives MS a taste of their own crappy medicine. Microsoft is scared, because they know the Desktop software market has a limited future and that products like Ubuntu have the potential to eat their lunch one day. They suck in the server market and they know it. So spread a little FUD and try to turn the tide.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jun 2007 @ 2:53pm

    It Takes Time

    As has been stated by others before, Microsoft uses a simple strategy. They put a whole lot of work into the look and feel of their products, and ease of installation (most things come pre-installed for customers, no install is easier than no install at all).

    Linux and many other OSS are beautiful programs. They are slick, and unencumbersome to use. They aren't as user friendly however. These are programs made by technical people who in many cases just 'dont like' Microsoft's software (not all by any means, but many)and want an alternative. You have to know what you are doing to install them, many features don't come pre-installed, and the UI is no where as 'noob friendly' as most Microsoft programs.

    Luckily, people like those at Ubuntu are changing that. I use Microsoft products most of the time, but I do like many of the alternatives better. I like the ability to choose not to install something. I'm also getting my associates degree of computer science in 11 weeks, hopfully with honors.

    The OSS community is slowly getting what Microsoft has known for quite a while. People don't care how WELL a program or OS works, just as long as it's easy and gets what they need done. Microsoft has relativley subpar products in terms of functionality and how they operate (eg resources being used ect) but they are VASTLY more user friendly.

    And if your a network administrator you know how 'users' can be . . .

    Once the OSS community and others make these products more user friendly and make the cost of switching to them negligable, Microsoft will have to start innovating again. Until then they just need to keep riding the wave they made way back when. Afterall, if you're in business you need Microsoft Office, which means you need Windows.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    shun, 14 Jun 2007 @ 4:56pm

    Maybe monopoly has something to do with it?

    The cost of switching to a new operating system is always non-zero. Unless the OS is installed in the beginning, there will always be resistance to wiping the hard drive (or re-partitioning) and installing an alternate OS. The reason Microsoft is still in business is because it has a monopoly on the desktop and does everything it can to maintain that monopoly.

    The whole idea of Office interoperability is a joke. Office works with Office, period. Perhaps, in the far distant future, someone will create an app which will convert documents of the word 95 era into something more useful, like .odf or LaTeX, but as long as the Microsoft file formats are wrapped in tons of intellectual property barriers, then any such interop function is verboten.

    Until Microsoft's stranglehold on the desktop is broken, Linux doesn't stand a chance of mass adoption, regardless of how "easy" or "so-much-better" it is. Luckily, OSS has a secret ally on its side : Vista.

    Vista is such a hopelessly diseased operating system, that people will switch to just about anything to get away from it. When I look at a Vista machine, I long for the days of my 386 running DOS.

    When Vista frustration goes critical, the Open Source community needs to be there to evangelize Linux. People will either have to live with the hell that is Vista, or go open source. It's that or get a Mac.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Fred Flint, 17 Jun 2007 @ 9:09am

    Please, Stop Promoting Linux!

    I've been using Linux a long time and I don't want to see the morons who run Windows and Macs suddenly switching en masse to Linux.

    As it stands today, when asked for help with the idiot operating systems, I can just say, "Sorry, I use Linux and I've never experienced the problem you're describing and I don't know what the hell you're talking about."

    Now you want millions and millions of people switching to Linux? I don't think so. Please, please, please NO!

    Following this proposed exodus, all of a sudden I'm going to have to start worrying about virii, spyware, worms, rootkits, Microsoft, Apple, etcetera? I hate all that crap and I hate those companies. I don't want to have anything to do with any of it.

    No thanks! Let the Windows dullards use Windows and the Mac cretins use OS/X or whatever it's called and just leave alone those of us who know actually what we're doing - please and thank you!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim Cat, 18 Jun 2007 @ 9:17am

    Operating systems for the public

    I really hope linspire can do the change that is making the news. Computers used to be for specialists, but now they are in the public domain, quicly becoming a neccesary utility, and will wind up being governed like all other utilities... it is neccesary. Few busnesses and many individuals could handle a long term [more than a day]computer outage.
    The computer industry should take a look at the Auto industry... if cars were built the way current os & computers are...well that wouldn't be tolerated around here...
    Standardisation must be accomplished soon, so we all can worry about something else, like actually getting some work done.
    computers were supposed to be time savers, but currently are a bit on the negative balance in that regard...
    What all these co should realise is that the public writes their paychecks...just ask Fomoco about that...
    Jsta Cat

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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