Following similar Linux-related deals with Novell and Xandros, Microsoft is continuing its strategy to create a level of interoperability with the open source platform. Linspire, formerly known as Lindows, has become the latest Linux firm to seek protection from Microsoft.

Under the latest deal, the two will be working more closely in a variety of areas, including instant messaging and Web search. In addition, purchasers of Linspire's paid Linux version will get intellectual property protection against any legal action by Microsoft for using the Linux desktop software.
Linspire also agreed to set Microsoft's Web search engine as the default on its operating system and will also get an extension to its license of the Windows Media technology, including access to Windows Media 10 codecs. Linspire will join an effort to create translators between Office 2007's XML file formats and the Open Document format.

The company decided to deal with Microsoft, despite its 'past difficulties' back in 2004 when Linspire agreed to drop its Lindows name and received $20 million from Microsoft as part of a trademark infringement settlement. Linspire CEO, Kevin Carmony said "It certainly made sense to collaborate with Microsoft, one of the most important partners in the PC ecosystem."