Another Microsoft + Linux deal? While the fallout between Novell, Microsoft and the community at large has still not even come close to settling, Microsoft is hard at work securing ties with more Linux companies. This time, they have entered into agreement with Xandros, in a deal that is very similar to the one they entered into with Novell. On the Xandros side, they will supposedly be implementing software that will help transition documents between Microsoft Office and alternative office suites. On the Microsoft side, they'll be providing “patent protection”. No doubt they'll be protecting Xandros customers from the numerous patents that they are too busy to name.
Xandros entered this agreement despite Microsoft stating publically just last week that their patent protection won't be extended to “clone products” at all, which could very well include Office. Given that the next iteration of GPL has wording intended to prevent patent-sharing situations like these ones, it is wondered how Novell and Xandros will cope with that once newer versions of open source software are released under it. They made this statement:
"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," Typaldos said in an e-mail.
Embrace, extend, obliterate. Novell certainly hasn't improved their business any because of Microsoft's deal, and continues to face financial loss, as well as sharing the concern over GPL 3. Does anyone expect Microsoft to embrace environments they cannot control? It's bad business.