In a move that, from the customer letters received monthly for some time, is incredibly uncharacteristic, Linspire’s chief, Kevin Carmony, became the third of the Linux distributors to make an uneasy peace with Microsoft. The other companies in this accord are Novell and Xandros.
Mr. Carmony spoke about the agreement in a manner comparative to the return of Steve Jobs to Apple, in that he sees the competition as harmful, and of no benefit to any of these players.
Linspire will gain the use of the document formats peculiar to Microsoft through this deal, as well as the ability to use the audio and video codecs of Windows Media. This will allow Linspire users to use the formats through downloading them with the Click and Run service Linspire pioneered. It is not clear whether the other distributions of Linux which are amidst the adoption of the Click and Run capability will also be able to use these codecs.
Mr. Carmony, as he tells the story, went calling on Microsoft’s door well before the deal was struck with Novell. Painting himself as a modern day Moses, he wishes to lead the Linux faithful out of a dangerous desert of difficulty and legal entanglements.
Not spoken of is what Microsoft gains from this benevolence. It remains to be seen how long these accords will last, as the good will from uneasy partnerships tends to last less time than the ink takes to fully dry on documents signed.
[tags]Linux, Linspire, Kevin Carmony, Microsoft, codecs, Windows Media formats, Click & Run, Novell, Xandros[/tags]