Microsoft cosies up with Linux

Microsoft cosies up with Linux

Microsoft announced yesterday that it is cosying up to Linux distributor Turbolinux, with "a business agreement" designed to improve Linux-Microsoft Windows server interoperability.

The deal will also provide "Intellectual Property (IP) assurances" for Turbolinux users, the majority of whom are in Japan and China. These assurances are expected to protect users of the Linux distribution from any future legal action that Microsoft may take, claiming ownership of code used within the Linux kernel.

Under the terms of the collaboration the firms will develop single sign-on technology enabling customers to use one set of credentials to log onto Windows-based and Turbolinux devices.

The agreement will include an R&D interoperability lab to be housed in the same building as Microsoft’s Beijing office. The companies will use the lab to focus on testing and showcasing technology for customers and partners.

Turbolinux will also participate in the Interoperability Vendor Alliance, a Microsoft-sponsored community of software and hardware vendors. The Linux distro desktops will also now feature Live Search and support Microsoft’s Open XML document format.

“This agreement represents a business and technical collaboration that will benefit customers,” said David Kaefer, general manager for intellectual property licensing at Microsoft.

The deal is the first between Microsoft and a leading Linux server and desktop platform distributor in Asia. But it follows on a growing list of global collaborations with firms including Novell, XenSource, Xandros, Linspire, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics and Zend Technologies.