No Microsoft-Ubuntu Deal in the Works

Don't expect a patent deal between Microsoft and Ubuntu Linux distributor Canonical anytime soon.

The company's CEO said in a post on his personal Web log over the weekend that despite the rumors, there are no negotiations with the Redmond company. Furthermore, he took issue with Microsoft's threats of patent lawsuits for unspecified patents.

Mark Shuttleworth, said that it was his position on the matter, and he was fairly certain that the members of Ubuntu Community Council and his company shared his views.

"Allegations of 'infringement of unspecified patents' carry no weight whatsoever," Shuttleworth wrote. "We don't think they have any legal merit, and they are no incentive for us to work with Microsoft on any of the wonderful things we could do together."

He called Microsoft's promise not to sue for unspecified infringement "not worth paying for," and seemed to equate those taking the deal from Microsoft as living in a "false sense of security."

Microsoft has already struck deals with Linux companies Novell, Xandros, and Linspire. The deals promise that Microsoft would extend some patent protections to the customers of the companies, while also allowing for interoperability work.

Shuttleworth apparently wants none of it. He also questioned Microsoft's commitment to standards through its Open XML format, saying that it wasn't good enough, and he didn't think Microsoft would hold itself to the pledge of openness.

"The Open Document Format (ODF) specification is a much better, much cleaner and widely implemented specification that is already a global standard," he argued, saying OpenXML is far less open than ODF.

Canonical wouldn't be the first company to turn down Microsoft's olive branch for patents. Red Hat has also declined to participate, saying it would not pay an "innovation tax" to Microsoft shortly after news of the Novell deal broke.

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