Microsoft and Linspire Collaboration Promotes Interoperability and Customer Choice

Broad agreement will facilitate interoperability between Windows and Linux,

provide intellectual property assurance.

Jun 14, 2007, 01:00 ET from Microsoft Corp.

    REDMOND, Wash., and SAN DIEGO, June 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today
 Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:   MSFT) and Linux desktop provider Linspire Inc.
 announced a broad interoperability, technical collaboration that also
 includes intellectual property assurances. The agreement promotes customer
 choice and strengthens the bridge between the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) and
 Linux operating systems.
     Through this agreement, the companies will work to advance office
 document compatibility, enhance instant messaging interoperability and
 reinforce existing collaboration on digital media. In addition, Linspire
 will be providing its customers with the option of acquiring a patent
 covenant from Microsoft for customers operating the Linspire desktop.
     "Linspire has always been about choice, and this announcement continues
 our tradition of offering options for improved interoperability, enhanced
 functionality and confidence," said Kevin Carmony, chief executive officer
 at Linspire. "Over the years, in an effort to expand choice, we have
 entered into dozens of agreements with commercial software vendors. It
 certainly made sense to collaborate with Microsoft, one of the most
 important partners in the PC ecosystem."
     "Delivering interoperable solutions for our customers is an important
 priority," said Bill Hilf, general manager of Platform Strategy at
 Microsoft. "Through our ongoing collaborative relationships with commercial
 open source companies, we are demonstrating our commitment to delivering
 the value and increased interoperability customers want. Covering features
 from document formats to instant messaging and digital media, our
 announcement today with Linspire is an important step for our mutual
     Enhanced Functionality and Interoperability
     Microsoft and Linspire will work together on a variety of technical
 projects designed to enhance interoperability and expand the functionality
 of Linspire. These include efforts focused on the following:
     --  Document format compatibility. Linspire will join with Novell Inc.,
         Microsoft and other companies to develop and distribute open
         source-licensed translators that allow OpenOffice and Microsoft Office
         users to better share documents. These efforts will enhance customer
         choice by enabling effective translation between Ecma Open XML and
         OpenDocument Format documents.
     --  Instant messaging. Linspire will license Microsoft's RT Audio Codec to
         promote voice-enabled interoperability between Linspire's Pidgin
         instant messaging client and Microsoft's instant messaging clients for
         business, Microsoft Office Communicator, and, for consumers, Windows
         Live(TM) Messenger.
     --  Digital media. Future releases of Linspire will now support the latest
         Windows Media 10 audio and video codecs, allowing Linspire and
         Microsoft Windows users to better share digital media files.
     --  TrueType fonts. Linspire will license popular Microsoft TrueType
         fonts, including Arial, Georgia(R), Times New Roman and Verdana(R), so
         Linspire users have improved experiences creating, editing and viewing
         files and documents.
         --  Linspire customers only receive these three technologies (instant
             messaging, digital media and TrueType fonts) if they purchase a
             patent SKU. The technologies are not shipped with all Linspire 5.0
     --  Web search. Linspire will select the Live Search service of Windows
         Live as the Linspire 5.0 default Web search engine, allowing Microsoft
         to bring Live Search to a broader set of users and providing leading
         search capabilities to Linspire customers.
     Intellectual Property Assurance
     Through the agreement, Microsoft and Linspire have developed a
 framework to provide patent covenants for Linspire customers. The patent
 covenants provide customers with confidence that the Linspire technologies
 they use come with rights to relevant Microsoft patents. As well, Linspire
 now joins a growing group of open source software (OSS) distributors
 collaborating with Microsoft on efforts to establish rich interoperability,
 deliver IP assurance to customers and build the bridge between open source
 and proprietary software.
     For Microsoft, the agreement is the latest in a series of
 collaborations with Linux platform and OSS providers. This list of
 collaborators includes JBoss, LG Electronics, Novell, Samsung Electronics
 Co. Ltd., Xandros Inc., XenSource Inc. and Zend Technologies Inc.
     About Linspire
     Linspire, Inc. ( was founded in 2001 to bring
 choice into the operating system market. The company's flagship product,
 the Linspire operating system, is an affordable, easy-to-use Linux-based
 operating system distributed primarily pre-installed on PCs for use in
 homes, schools and businesses. Linspire also pioneered the CNR Technology
 (, which allows desktop Linux users access to thousands
 of software programs, packages and libraries, each of which can be
 downloaded and installed with just one mouse click.
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in
 software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize
 their full potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.