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Microsoft Grants Xandros Intellectual Property Assurance

| by James Vastbinder on Jun 04, 2007. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

Today Microsoft and Xandros announced an agreement similar in terms to the one announced last fall with Novell. This brings the number of Linux distributions with IP assurance to two and while JBoss is mentioned in the press release, noticeably still missing is Red Hat.

The agreement appears to be driven by the addition of support for the next generation of Microsoft System Center for Linux and Xandros BridgeWays management suite. In the deal, Xandros will license a “broad set of Microsoft server communication protocols”.

The terms of the agreement provide a five year duration and five main areas of focus:
  • Xandros will partner with Microsoft to deliver value-added heterogeneous management capabilities that will work with the next generation of Microsoft® System Center and Xandros Systems Management products, which provide end-to-end service management. Xandros will also join Microsoft and other management vendors in implementing the WS-Management set of protocols in Xandros BridgeWays cross-platform management products and in various systems management standardization efforts.
  • Xandros will license a broad set of Microsoft server communications protocols. Xandros will develop enhancements to Xandros Server, allowing it to interoperate more smoothly with Windows Server® in a network setting.
  • Xandros will join Microsoft and other companies that are building open source translators fostering interoperability between documents stored in Open XML and Open Document Format. Xandros will ship the translators in upcoming releases of its Xandros Desktop offering.
  • Through the agreement, Microsoft will make available patent covenants for Xandros customers. These covenants will provide customers with confidence that the Xandros technologies they use and deploy in their environments are compliant with Microsoft's intellectual property.
  • As part of this effort, Microsoft will now endorse Xandros Server and Desktop as a preferred Linux distribution due to Xandros' efforts to establish rich interoperability and deliver IP assurance to its customers. In addition, a specialized team of Microsoft staff will be trained on the value propositions of this collaboration to customers and channel partners. Xandros will also become a member of the Microsoft Interop Vendor Alliance.
 

The last commitment by Microsoft is striking, as it will now endorse Xandros as the preferred Linux distribution. The agreement brings up more questions than answers.

How does this play out in regards to the Novell agreement made this last fall? 

What are the Intellectual Property implications if two of the major Linux distributions, which contain GPL code, are now provided Intellectual Property assurance?

 

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