(Seriously, why would I want to use Microsoft’s search by default in Linux?!?)
But anyway, this makes picking a Linux distro that much easier ;) To avoid Microsoft’s tentacles, simply don’t use SUSE, Xandros or Linspire and avoid openSUSE and Freespire which prop them up. Also, if Linspire ever gets CNR.com working, avoid that too.
Update 2: Some more quotes:
Linspire’s Kevin Carmony insists that the pact with Microsoft was done purely out of love for humanity, for creating a “better” Linux with Microsoft’s help: “I’d prefer to use diplomacy and cooperation, than go to war. Linspire plans on working with Microsoft, just like we have with dozens of other partners, to build a better Linux. The choice to use, or not to use, the ‘better’ Linux we strive to produce will always be up to you, but I like the idea of finding a mutually advantageous way for Microsoft and Linspire to work together.” Very touching indeed – until you remember that Microsoft has repeatedly labeled Linux and its license as a “virus”, “pac-man” and “cancer”, that Microsoft has been trying to discredit Linux at every opportunity, and that Microsoft has recently hinted at a possibility of future lawsuits against Linux users for patent violations. With partners like that, who needs enemies?
There is a reason why, despite being one of the most user-friendly distributions on the market, Linspire has attracted no more than a trickle of users. Its frequently changing attitudes, a constant barrage of meaningless press releases, failures to deliver promised products, and now the dubious pact with a company whose history of destroying powerful competitors is well documented, makes Linspire a highly suspicious player on the Linux distro scene. It has been around for over five years; yet, its current management still doesn’t get Linux and open source software – instead of engaging the community and exploiting the concept of sharing, Kevin Carmony chooses to fly to Redmond to meet with suits!
Avoid this so-called “better Linux” like plague.
I watched Microsoft as a leading-edge company make has-beens out of those who couldn’t keep up with its frenetic pace of Windows development. WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 spring to mind. Now Microsoft, a little longer in the tooth itself, has found a way to make has-beens out of a new set of companies — those that agree to pay Microsoft royalties on open source code. […] One way to become a legacy company is to take the saber rattling seriously and sign your company up to pay the patent tax. It’s money that could be spent adopting more open source code and moving the company forward, but like I said, Microsoft is perfectly willing to make other firms the has -beens. Just contact any Microsoft deputy general counsel’s office. They will show you where to sign.
Update 3: Groklaw has an article up, “What Linspire Agreed To” which made it to Slashdot as “Linspire/Microsoft Agreement Useless to Users” though I would argue its *worse* than useless; FTA: “Who wouldn’t give up freedom for some fonts and some MP3s?”
Update 4; Aug. 28, 2007: As per the 2007 Desktop Linux Poll, only 0.1% of some 38.5K Linux users used Linspire and 0.3% used Freespire; I think its safe to say that those distros are on their way out…