Microsoft teams with Linux distributor Xandros

Microsoft and Linux distributor Xandros, which sells a Debian-based Linux distribution for desktops and business servers, have announced a technical and legal collaboration: over the next five years the two will work on improving interoperability between their servers to improve systems management. The pact calls for Microsoft to provide patent covenants for Xandros customers that ensure they are not infringing on Microsoft's intellectual property, according to the companies. Xandros will also ship software for desktop productivity applications that translates between the Open Document Format and Microsoft's OpenXML document format. The agreement will make it easier for Xandros customers to run a mix of Xandros and Microsoft software said Andreas Typaldos, CEO of Xandros.

Typaldos could not definitively say whether anticipated changes in the General Public License, which governs the distribution of Linux, will affect the terms of Xandros' partnership with Microsoft: "Xandros is fully aware of the development of the GPLv3 license. We will remain focused in our efforts to address our customers' interoperability and IP needs in a mixed source environment, and will remain flexible so we can adjust to future developments." The most recent draft of the GPL version 3 includes provisions to prevent patent-sharing agreements like the one between Microsoft and Linux vendor Novell.

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