TechEd 2007: Xandros Becomes Second Linux Vendor to License MS IP

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ORLANDO [3:45 pm ET June 4, 2007] - At TechEd 2007 in Orlando this morning, although there were few product announcements from the keynotes, Microsoft senior vice president Bob Muglia announced that Xandros has become the second Linux vendor to license Microsoft's intellectual property for use with Linux, following in Novell's footsteps.

We learned more about the deal this afternoon from the two companies involved in the deal: It is indeed a patent covenant arrangement, which the company told BetaNews is similar to the one Microsoft reached with Novell last year. "Xandros will now be able to employ Linux in their future products with the assurance that intellectual property is valued and respected, while their customers will have intellectual property peace of mind," a spokesperson for Microsoft's intellectual property team wrote to BetaNews this afternoon. "Through this agreement Xandros and Microsoft will focus on improved systems management, server interoperability, office document compatibility and patent assurance."

Specifically, Xandros will be updating its Systems Management product line, and Microsoft will be endowing its forthcoming System Center line, with interoperability tools that will enable end-to-end service management in heterogenous networks involving the two companies' systems. These tools should operate regardless of which one is on what end. Numerous Microsoft server management protocols will be licensed to Xandros to enable its tools to participate in the management of these systems - this is where the intellectual property licensing comes in.

Xandros will also be joining Microsoft in the production of document conversion functionality between Open XML and OpenDocument Format, which is another step Novell took in its agreement last year.

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