It Pains Me to Say This… But Don’t Buy Linspire Either!

Another Linux distro has fallen for Microsoft’s protection scheme, and this time it is my old favorite, Linspire! I was one of the original Linspire Insiders, and love the things that they have done with the distro… but, they have caved to the evil that is Microsoft.

Linspire, Microsoft in Linux-related deal

Linspire Inc. has announced an agreement to license voice-enabled instant messaging, Windows Media 10 CODECs, and TrueType font technologies from Microsoft for its Linux distribution. Additionally, Microsoft will offer protection to Linspire customers against possible violations of Microsoft patents by Linux. In his June 14 weekly Linspire Letter, Linspire CEO Kevin Carmony stated, ‘This agreement will offer several advantages to Linspire Linux users not found anywhere else, such as Windows Media 10 support, genuine Microsoft TrueType fonts, Microsoft patent coverage, improved interoperability with Microsoft Windows computers, and so on.’ Linspire has long made an effort to bundle proprietary CODECs, drivers, and software with its Linspire and Freespire Linux distributions, as a way to offer users a Linux OS that works with a wide range of popular multimedia formats and browser plug-ins, and can play DVDs out of the box. Another area of cooperation will be on technology for interoperability between documents stored in OpenXML and the Open Document Format, as in the Xandros/Microsoft agreement announced on June 5. Additionally, in a blow to search engine leader Google, Linspire will make Microsoft’s Live.com search engine the default Linspire 5.0 web search engine, ‘allowing Microsoft to bring Live Search to a broader set of users and providing leading search capabilities to Linspire customers,’ a Linspire news release said.”

Fortunately, this will not carry over to the excellent Freespire project. The travesty of including “Live Search” instead of Google cinches it. They have fully drunk the Kool-Aid. Linspire, I will miss you! Let’s all hope Ubuntu doesn’t cave! In fact, if all the major Linux vendors cave… they could end up “owning” Linux… in the ‘net sense of the word!

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