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Linspire + Microsoft = WTF!!!

By on Jun 14, 2007 in Stop The Press, Tech Takes | 7 comments

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I just got an update via the Linspire Letter that Linspire has reached an agreement with Microsoft on collaboration. WTF!!! How did THAT happen! :D

I must state that I’m NOT against this whole collaboration business. In fact, WTF here is well, not in ecstasy, but cautious enthusiasm. You can read the press release here, but basically what it says is that Linspire is going to provide better integration with Windows Instant Messengers, more document interoperability (i.e., and 42 do I hate to use the term ‘i.e.’, better interoperability between Open XML and OpenDocument formats), support for MS fonts, and Windows Media 10 support.

Dancing with joy? You shouldn’t. Because all this are patent-restricted, it’d only come with Linspire 6.0, and not Freespire (although the document support will hold). They need to pay royalty, and they have to.

It’s not like the earlier Novell deal, which was more corporate environment – this one is targeted towards the desktop user segment. The terms do look a bit jumpy, but let’s see.

Here’s a statement, and well-argued one from President and CEO of Linspire Inc, Kevin Carmony. He points out a few things, but it remains to be seen how well Microsoft does it for Linux. Kevin is right when he says Microsoft makes software for Macs, and how Steve Jobs admitted a constructive relationship is better than destructive. But remember, Bill G and Steve J were friends, in fact Bill had advised Steve to sell his OS separately, and when he didn’t Bill opened up the Windows (pun intended). On the other hand, Microsoft hasn’t historically been kind – remember the Halloween documents? And this is the same Kevin who’d been skeptical about the Novell deal.

In case you forget, Microsoft isn’t the only one Linspire is shaking hands with. It has got a long term collaboration agreement with Canonical, the makers of Ubuntu too. Linspire is trying to do a very good thing by trying to take Linux to the masses, but whether Microsoft will help remains to be seen.



7 Comments

  1. Ramit Singal

    June 15, 2007

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    Haha. Talk about a Microsoft invasion of the world of Linux boy eh? ;)

    Anyway, I realised you have stopped using Microsucks :D

    And, no, I do not think MS will ever be generous enough to actually lend a helping hand to these guys without charging BIG. Or, of course, linux could start charging it’s users and open source may not be so open anymore!! Boy, would that be nightmarish.

    Hence, I am not too sure about this report.

  2. Prashanth

    June 15, 2007

    Post a Reply

    Ubuntu already uses True Type Fonts, which I copied from my Fonts directory in Windows to Ubuntu’s.
    I am pretty much happy with Gaim and I hate MSN Messenger (and its new name), end of story period.
    And why the hell do you need WMP in Linux? If Linspire wasnt bad enough, you now add WMP in it to make i worse? Amarok, Totem, Rythmbox are such cool players!

    And then, this is another OSS player who we might be losing in the long run, just as we almost lost Novell…

    Moves like this do hurt the OSS community a lot. This just raises the ultimate fact that Linux to the masses has to be like windows in order to have more people using it. And MS wont give shit to that, it knows no matter how much the Linspire programmers try, they arent getting that Windows wala feel..!!

    Why the hell do you need bloody software from MS to make ur distro better? OpenXML and Open Document compatibility is upto MS, which will effect all OSS office suites, which is a good thing for OSS-ians, but not for MS. I am really skeptical about MS’s help in this…

  3. Prashanth

    June 15, 2007

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    And MS would lose all this just to get MSN Search as the default search on Linspire/Freespire web Browser..?? I doubt!

    Shit man! How low can these guys fall!
    here

  4. GQ

    June 15, 2007

    Post a Reply

    @Ramit: Oops! Forgot to call them Microsucks. Big mistake!

    @Prashanth: You got a few facts wrong. Yes, Ubuntu and even Freespire come with fonts which are exactly like the real thing, however, this would only be the ‘official’ version now. As for MSN Messenger and WMP, again you got it wrong. Maybe you didn’t read the press release carefully. It only talks about support for WMP 10 codecs instead of the WMP 9 series which is generally available for Linux. As for Messenger, they only said they’re going to add support for protocols like voice for Windows Live Messenger etc for the Pidgin client, which is not there currently.

  5. GQ

    June 15, 2007

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    I don’t understand the idealistic shit being peddled at Slashdot. ‘Dump the distros which signup with MS’. That’s BULLSHIT. What’s wrong with having more interoperability!

  6. Prashanth

    June 15, 2007

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    Sorry, my bad. Greater interoperability is a very good thing. And then you are getting all this only at the cost of having MSN on ur default search list. (You can anyday change it to Google!)

    Anyway, MS is trying to extend MSN Messenger and WMP in other platforms as well…
    Now why is it doing so… thats because, this is actually doing good to the linux world. People now can voice chat on MSN and even watch/listen to their entire collection of WMP format HD videos and music on linux as well, legally.
    There are hacks and work-arounds to all this, but its getting legalized now. Dont you think MS would want something more than just MSN Search on Firefox for all this?

  7. GQ

    June 16, 2007

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    @Pras: You saw my point. But it’s only about supporting the protocol, and not porting the softwares itself to Linux.

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