Mark Shuttleworth CEO of Canonical slammed the door on that rumor in his blog posting recently. In addition, Mark didn’t mince any words or softpedal on his take regarding the recent Novell/ Xandros /Linspire type deals.
We have declined to discuss any agreement with Microsoft under the threat of unspecified patent infringements.
Allegations of “infringement of unspecified patents” carry no weight whatsoever. We don’t think they have any legal merit, and they are no incentive for us to work with Microsoft on any of the wonderful things we could do together. A promise by Microsoft not to sue for infringement of unspecified patents has no value at all and is not worth paying for. It does not protect users from the real risk of a patent suit from a pure-IP-holder (Microsoft itself is regularly found to violate such patents and regularly settles such suits). People who pay protection money for that promise are likely living in a false sense of security.
I couldn’t have said it any better. Thank you Mr. Shuttleworth for having some cojones in calling a spade a spade.