Today, Microsoft and Linux distributor Xandros signed an agreement reminiscent of the controversial Microsoft-Novell deal. Microsoft and Xandros will work together on interoperability, Microsoft sales and marketing will tout Xandros as a “preferred Linux distribution,” and everybody’s favorite part:
Through the agreement, Microsoft will make available patent covenants for Xandros customers. These covenants will provide customers with confidence that the Xandros technologies they use and deploy in their environments are compliant with Microsoft’s intellectual property.
We’ll see how this plays with the Open Source crowd, particularly since the final draft of the GPL version 3 license, while grandfathering the Novell deal, would not apply here. See also Richard Stallman’s take on how GPL 3 will provide to all Linux users the same Microsoft patent protection extended to Novell.