Microsoft and Casio strike Linux licensing deal

Tokyo-based Japanese electronic device manufacturer Casio has signed an agreement with Microsoft to license certain Linux-related patents, leaving the company clear to use Linux software in future Casio products.The agreement was announced on Tuesday and will allow Casio to use, "among other things", Linux-based software in "certain Casio devices".

Tokyo-based Japanese electronic device manufacturer Casio has signed an agreement with Microsoft to license certain Linux-related patents, leaving the company clear to use Linux software in future Casio products.

The agreement was announced on Tuesday and will allow Casio to use, "among other things", Linux-based software in "certain Casio devices". Terms of the agreement were not disclosed but Microsoft acknowledged it was being compensated by the company.

"This licensing agreement is an extension of the long-standing relationship between the two companies; Casio utilises a wide variety of Microsoft software for its products, including its industrial handheld terminals and business information systems," the companies said in a joint announcement.

The specific patents covered by the agreement were not disclosed but the deal is the latest in a line of agreements between Microsoft and companies wanting to use its technology. Since December 2003, the company has formed more than 700 licensing agreements, it said.

Included in that figure are several smaller technology businesses that build products around the Linux-based Google Android operating system.

In June, Microsoft struck a deal with US defence contractor subsidiary General Dynamics Itronix that provides "broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for General Dynamics Itronix devices running the Android platform", the companies said.

A similar deal was agreed with Taiwanese contract manufacturer of Android devices, Wistron, but terms of the agreements remained private.