Microsoft, one of the world’s largest Software Corporation. So what is Linux . This is what every Business people would ask you if you try to explain about Linux to them. When I say Business people , these aren’t any Computer tech savvy, rather someone who is seeking IT in their company.
Ofcourse, all the top Linux Companies are targeting the above team of People and thus you see they are signing deals. I am not sure whether these deals have come out of the recent FUD about Patents with Microsoft or its just they are signing deals at this time.
One must have a look at Novell, Xandros and Linspire deal. If you look into each, you can see Linspire deal is slightly different from those of the rest two (now anyone have different views, please not here , this is entirely my view). This I came to know when we were discussing about all these Patent Protection, IP Infringement etc.,.
What exactly Linspire deal is for Linspire Customers.From Linspire Letter,
In what ways will this agreement offer a “better” Linux experience?
Our collaboration with Microsoft will enable Linspire to bring strong, interoperable solutions to the market, as well as advance office document compatibility, instant messaging, and existing digital media programs. This agreement will offer several advantages to Linspire Linux users not found anywhere else, such as Windows Media 10 support, genuine Microsoft TrueType fonts, Microsoft patent coverage, improved interoperability with Microsoft Windows computers, and so on. (See the press release for more specifics.) My hope is that this is just the beginning, and in the future we’ll see even more collaboration and interoperability between Linux and Microsoft.
And from their Press Release,
Intellectual Property Assurance
Through the agreement, Microsoft and Linspire have developed a framework to provide patent covenants for Linspire customers. The patent covenants provide customers with confidence that the Linspire technologies they use come with rights to relevant Microsoft patents. As well, Linspire now joins a growing group of open source software (OSS) distributors collaborating with Microsoft on efforts to establish rich interoperability, deliver IP assurance to customers and build the bridge between open source and proprietary software.
How much more will I have to pay for this “better” Linux?
Nothing actually. Linspire has decided to cover the cost of these enhancements without raising the retail price of Linspire. Freespire will remain free, and the retail version of Linspire will remain at $59.95.
So now, all Linspire Customers are not going into the hands of Microsoft and thus one way , the Linux is kept open and I see more of Interoperability here than a *Deal* due to the recent FUD.
The Whole deal seems to be providing Microsoft Products to Linspire and targeting the Enterprise Customers who may already have Microsoft Products being deployed and want to use Linux and thus get the support equally.
Ofcourse, when you are using Microsoft Products, you are into Microsoft Control and EULA etc., etc., and thus this deal has come out with the Intellectual Property Assurance which says that Microsoft Patents are carried over to you even if you use them in Linspire. And this is what is with when one purchase and use Microsoft Products.
Well, I also realised that this deal does not need to be a substitute of all those Linux alternatives available, but making these Linux alternatives work with Microsoft Products, which I think is a good thing.
Why such a thing ? Let me quote an example, I have Linspire and my mom has Windows XP and she uses Windows Live Messenger. Its a known fact that If i go about using Pidgin, I dont have the option of doing voice chat with my mom. Now, If Linspire provides me with the Microsoft’s RT Codec, and enable the voice interoperability, I would be able to chat right away
Taking how helpful the above example for me to speak with my Mom is, its more important/helpful for in a Business to deal with Clients and Customers
So, I apologize to the Community for being *rude* to Linspire on this topic and it certainly is my fault of not analysing the possibilities and need for this deal
And yes, I see this as a good deal for *Windows Customers* from Linspire to their Customers
Linspire should really have opted for a different Title for this Linspire Letter