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.