writes "Groklaw host PJ has disected the 'patent peace' agreement between Linspire and Microsoft, and has determined that
What Linspire Agreed To is next to useless for many users.
"You can't share the software with others, pass it on with the patent promise, modify your own copy, or even use it for an "unauthorized" purpose, whatever that means in a software context. You must pay Linspire for the software, but then the "covenant" says to use Linux, you must also pay Microsoft. That payment doesn't cover upgrades. Linspire said it was absorbing the initial fees, but I don't know about upgrades. New functionality means you lose your coverage or presumably must pay again." The agreement also doesn't cover various games, 'business software', GPL V3 software, server software and various other types of software (from Linspire or elsewhere), including, "other excluded products". It also allows Microsoft to interrogate you a la their normal Window EULA. ... Oh, and Microsoft can change or drop the agreement any time they want to, so you're really only safe until Microsoft decides that they really want to sue you (at which point you will be unable to get upgrades or new software without exposing yourself to their patent claims).
See the article for full details. I'm going back to my Ubuntu system."