Open Source

First Novell, now Xandros signs up with Microsoft

Xandros ServerShrugging off the previous uproar in the open-source community, Microsoft has just signed a set of broad agreements with Linux provider Xandros that includes patent protection for Xandros customers.

The five-year deal for joint development is similar to the one Microsoft signed with Novell Inc. last year and where Microsoft said it wanted to enter into similar pacts with other open-source providers.

The patent clause in the agreement fueled the ire of detractors because it was seen as an endorsement of Microsoft's claims that open-source software violates some of its patents. Some in the open-source software community fear that Microsoft would use it to back intellectual property claims against others further down the road.

Their concerns are probably not unfounded as Microsoft has previously accused Linux and Open Office of tripping up to 235 Microsoft patents, though it declined to say what or why.

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What do you think? Is a legal showdown between Microsoft and the open-source community inevitable? Join the discussion.


Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

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