Despite news of a patent cross-licensing deal being struck between Microsoft and Xandros earlier this week, Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos has refused to agree that his company's Linux distribution violates any Microsoft patents. Neither, he claims, did Microsoft ask Xandros to do so as part of the deal.
However, feedback from the Linux community has been on the order of 'you really shouldn't be talking to the devil', claims the company's CEO.
Typaldos told our sister publication, Network World, that at no time did Microsoft reveal to Xandros, which develops Linux desktops, servers and management tools, any of the 235 patents that Microsoft says Linux violates.
Microsoft has yet to detail publicly specific patents violated by Linux and some critics think the statement is a smoke screen in order to undermine the open source community.
“We did not discuss patents [with Microsoft] and we don’t think Linux violates any patents and we were not asked about it,” Typaldos said. “It is a non-issue for us.”
Linux and open-source advocates believe it is a big issue and say the Xandros deal, and another signed by Novell with Microsoft last year, erodes open source licensing provisions especially around intellectual property issues.
Indeed, the Free Software Foundation is rewriting its GNU General Public License (GPL) 3.0 to prohibit such patent deals in the future.