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Linspire getting swallowed by Xandros

Linspire, the company that once raised Microsoft's ire with its Linux-based Lindows operating system, is being swallowed by Xandros, another Linux company.

Linspire, the Linux company started by high-tech entrepreneur Michael Robertson, is ready to fully assume its place as a footnote in operating system history.

As previously noted, the company is being swallowed by Xandros, another of the smaller Linux players. The deal is expected to be officially announced Wednesday.

"The Linux business is going through some healthy and necessary consolidation, which will give resulting companies greater assets and size to deliver on larger initiatives so Linux can touch more people," Robertson said in a statement.

Linspire is best known for its Linux distribution, once known as Lindows. Robertson initially pitched Lindows as able to run some Windows software, though that feature was later put on the back burner. The company definitely ruffled feathers in Redmond for its name. Microsoft took Linspire (then also known as Lindows) to court in 2001. Three years later, Microsoft ended up paying $20 million to Linspire, which agreed to drop the Lindows name.

Incidentally, last year Linspire and Xandros joined the list of open-source companies that have signed patent protection deals with Microsoft.