The company which at one time blatantly attacked Microsoft’s position on the consumer desktop with what was then called “Lindows,” a Linux distro aimed at low-price systems sold in major department stores, announced today a 180-degree change of tack.
Adding its name to those of Novell and Xandros, Linspire becomes the third Linux distributor to reach a patent covenant agreement with Microsoft. In finding the courage to shake hands with the enemy, Linspire’s president and CEO this morning publicly compared himself to Steve Jobs.
“Just as Steve Jobs announced in 1997 that ‘the era of setting this up as a competition between Apple and Microsoft is over,’ I too believe it’s time for Linux to do the same,” Kevin Carmony stated in an open letter to his company’s customers. “Rather than isolating Linux, I believe we need to understand, as Apple did in 1997, that Linux exists in an ecosystem and must work with and interoperate within that ecosystem. As unpopular as it may appear to some, Linspire is willing to take a lead in this effort. Some people booed Steve Jobs back in 1997, but if you trace the history of his announcement, I think it was an incredibly smart move for both Microsoft and Apple, issuing in a new era for both.”