love / hate relationship between Microsoft and all things open source is swinging back to the mushy side of the equation, and while this isn't exactly the retaliation we were expecting after getting blasted by Linus Torvalds, it's intriguing nonetheless. In an agreement that eerily resembles that drawn up with Novell, Microsoft has reportedly "announced a broad collaboration agreement based on a set of technical, business, marketing, and intellectual property commitments" with Linux platform provider Xandros. The deal seeks to provide customers working in mixed operating system environments with "enhanced interoperability, more effective systems management solutions, and intellectual property assurances," and the four major focal points include systems management interoperability, server interoperability, office document compatibility, and intellectual property assurance. Interestingly, that also means that Redmond won't be suing Xandros for so-called patent infringement anytime soon, and the partnership even suggests that Microsoft will be "endorsing Xandros Server and Desktop as a preferred Linux distribution." So while we may never know Microsoft's true feelings towards the passionate open source community, there should be a whole lotta love spread to Xandros customers over the next five years.