Microsoft In New Linux Deal with Linspire

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

Microsoft has announced an agreement with Linux desktop provider Linspire designed to let documents, instant messaging, and digital media more easily flow between Windows and Linux operating systems, and provide both companies "intellectual property assurance"—meaning, some guarantee their legal teams won’t suddenly set sights on each other.

"Delivering interoperable solutions for our customers is an important priority," said Bill Hilf, Microsoft’s general manager of Platform Strategy, in a statement. "Covering features from document formats to instant messaging and digital media, our announcement today with Linspire is an important step for our mutual customers."

The agreement calls for the companies to work together on broad areas of interoperability between the operating systems, with specific efforts targeting document sharing between OpenOffice and Microsoft Office, as well as Linspire offering support for Windows Media 10 audio and video codecs. Linspire will also license Microsoft’s RT Audio Codec to enable voice chat between Linspire’s PIgdin IM client and Microsoft’s various voice-enabled communications technologies. Linspire will also get a license to widely used Microsoft TrueType fonts, and Linspire will set Microsoft’s Live Search as the default Internet search engine in Linspire 5.0.

Linspire also gets a patent covenant agreement from Microsoft, with the idea that Linspire users will be granted rights to any technologies in Linspire which may utilize Microsoft patents. Microsoft recently claimed that Linux violates more than 200 Microsoft patents; the Linux community as summarily rejected Microsoft’s claims and the company has yet to pursue any infringement claims. However, the mere threat of patent litigation against Linux by Microsoft has cast a shadow over the use of LInux in some enterprises and organizations.

"Linspire has always been about choice, and this announcement continues our tradition of offering options for improved interoperability, enhanced functionality, and confidence," said Linspire CEO Kevin Carmony. "Over the years, in an effort to expand choice, we have entered into dozens of agreements with commercial software vendors. It certainly made sense to collaborate with Microsoft, one of the most important partners in the PC ecosystem."

Microsoft and Linspire don’t have the most pleasant of histories: Linspire got its start under the name Lindows in 2001, but took $20 million from Microsoft to change its name to Linspire and walk away from a trademark infringement suit.

The Linspire agreement is the most recent in a series of deals Microsoft has made with Linux distributors, including Novell and Xandros—those deals also offer patent infringement protection to those companies’ customers.

Computing

AMD’s Ryzen one-two punch will end with a 64-core Threadripper in 2019

AMD's Threadripper may be set to deliver the killing blow to Intel in Q4 2019, with a rumor suggesting a new Zen 2-based Threadripper line is coming down the pipe with a top chip that has as many as 64 cores.
Deals

Amazon cuts prices on Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and Surface Go

The Microsoft Surface series is an excellent alternative to other tablets if you're a dedicated Windows user, and the superb Surface Pro 6 (our favorite 2-in-1) and its cheaper sibling, the Surface Go, are both on sale right now.
Deals

Amazon sale drops deals on Microsoft Surface laptops

Despite an increasingly crowded market, the sleek Microsoft Surface laptops have left their mark. Both the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Book 2 are discounted on Amazon right now, too, with deals that can save you up to $300.
Computing

If you need your laptop to be large, these ones are most in charge

Whether you're in the market for a mobile workstation or a gaming behemoth, there's probably something in the 15-inch form factor that can fit the bill. Here, we've rounded up the best 15-inch laptops available.
Computing

Need more pixels? These 4K laptops have the eye-popping visuals you crave

If you're looking for the best 4K laptops, you need to find one that has powerful internal hardware, and doesn't scrimp on weight and battery life. All of these 4K notebooks are great options, but which one is the right one for you?
Photography

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.
Computing

Russian hackers behind ‘world’s most murderous malware’ probing U.S. power grid

A hacking group linked to the Russian government has attempted to breach the U.S. power grid. Security experts tracked the hackers, and warn that they were probing the grid for weaknesses.
Computing

HP's Spectre x360 is a better 2-in-1 than Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 is a clamshell

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is a refresh of Microsoft's clamshell option, an oddity given Microsoft's creation of the modern 2-in-1. The HP Spectre x360 13 is, therefore, an interesting comparison.
Deals

Amazon deal drops prices on Asus VivoBook laptops and 2-in-1s

Asus is one of the premier PC brands cranking out Windows ultrabooks today with its sleek VivoBook series, and these Amazon deals let you score one for $700 or less. Read on to find out what we love about these laptops and how you can save.
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Leaked date and what you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a month away, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Computing

Air, Pro, or just a MacBook? Here's our guide to finding the right Apple laptop

Apple's lineup of MacBooks has started to swell, leaving fans a bit confused about which laptop they should buy. Depending on what you're looking for, we'll point you in the right direction.
Computing

15-inch laptops come with extra power, but which of these wields it better?

HP's latest "gem-cut" Spectre x360 15 adds powerful components to make it the fastest 2-in-1 we've ever tested. Can it take on the equally fast and incredibly svelte Dell XPS 15?
Emerging Tech

Facebook builds virtual homes to train A.I. agents in realistic environments

Researchers at Facebook have created Habitat, which is a platform that enables rapid training for A.I. agents. They will receive thousands of hours of training in just a few minutes in the virtual homes.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!