The accord between the two firms, which have been bitter rivals in the past, covers interoperability, technical collaboration and "intellectual property assurances".
The companies will work to advance office document compatibility, enhance instant messaging interoperability and reinforce collaboration on digital media.
In addition, Linspire will provide its customers with the option of acquiring a "patent covenant" from Microsoft to protect them from action by the software giant to enforce its claimed ownership of key elements of the Linux operating system.
"The patent covenants provide customers with confidence that the Linspire technologies they use come with rights to relevant Microsoft patents," Microsoft stated.
Kevin Carmony, chief executive at Linspire, said: "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, which is one of the most important partners in the PC ecosystem."
Bill Hilf, general manager of platform strategy at Microsoft, added: "Delivering interoperable solutions for our customers is an important priority.
"Covering features from document formats to instant messaging and digital media, our announcement today with Linspire is an important step for our mutual customers."
Linspire gets into bed with Microsoft
By Robert Jaques on Jun 15, 2007 10:52AM