Microsoft and Xandros Sign Agreement
Today Microsoft Corp. and Linux platform provider Xandros Inc. announced a broad collaboration agreement based on a set of technical, business, marketing and intellectual property commitments. These commitments provide customers with enhanced interoperability, more effective systems management solutions, and intellectual property assurances, all of which extend a bridge between open source and commercial software and deliver customers real value in mixed systems environments.
For Xandros, the agreement marks a major milestone in its vision of delivering end-to-end Linux desktop and server solutions as well as Windows® and Linux cross-platform management and interoperability tools.
"Companies today are running a mixture of Linux and Windows systems," said Andreas Typaldos, Chief Executive Officer of Xandros. "Cross-platform data centers are a reality. To meet evolving customer needs, vendors need to recognize the value of sharing intellectual property, developing more interoperable solutions and providing management tools that are familiar and easy to use."
For Microsoft, the agreement is the latest in a series of collaborations with Linux platform and open source software providers. This list of collaborators includes Novell Inc., JBoss, XenSource Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Zend Technologies Inc. and others.
"Customers win when their platform providers build collaborative relationships," said Bill Hilf, General Manager of Platform Strategy at Microsoft. "We have been working with commercial open source companies to deliver better value to our customers in areas like server interoperability, systems management and office document formats. We believe in and encourage respect for all licensing and development models, and intellectual property is an important component in this environment. Our announcement with Xandros is an exciting step to deliver what our mutual customers have been asking for."
Over the next five years, Microsoft and Xandros will focus on five primary efforts:
* Systems management interoperability. Xandros and Microsoft believe advances in system management technology can significantly reduce the cost of operating large computer networks running diverse platforms. Xandros will partner with Microsoft to deliver value-added heterogeneous management capabilities that will work with the next generation of Microsoft® System Center and Xandros Systems Management products, which provide end-to-end service management. Xandros will also join Microsoft and other management vendors in implementing the WS-Management set of protocols in Xandros BridgeWays cross-platform management products and in various systems management standardization efforts.
* Server interoperability. Xandros will license a broad set of Microsoft server communications protocols. Xandros will develop enhancements to Xandros Server, allowing it to interoperate more smoothly with Windows Server® in a network setting.
* Office document compatibility. Xandros and Microsoft share the view that competing office productivity applications should, by design, make it easy for customers to exchange files with one another. To that end, Xandros will join Microsoft and other companies that are building open source translators fostering interoperability between documents stored in Open XML and Open Document Format. Xandros will ship the translators in upcoming releases of its Xandros Desktop offering.
* Intellectual property assurance. Through the agreement, Microsoft will make available patent covenants for Xandros customers. These covenants will provide customers with confidence that the Xandros technologies they use and deploy in their environments are compliant with Microsoft's intellectual property. By putting a framework in place to share intellectual property, Xandros and Microsoft can speed the development of interoperable solutions.
* Microsoft sales and marketing support. The companies are committing to a set of sales and marketing efforts to promote the output of their technical efforts. As part of this effort, Microsoft will now endorse Xandros Server and Desktop as a preferred Linux distribution due to Xandros' efforts to establish rich interoperability and deliver IP assurance to its customers. In addition, a specialized team of Microsoft staff will be trained on the value propositions of this collaboration to customers and channel partners. Xandros will also become a member of the Microsoft Interop Vendor Alliance.