Microsoft Corp. announced on June 13 that it will license instant messaging and digital media technology to a small desktop Linux distributor, Linspire Inc., adding to a growing number of deals meant to help the Windows operating system work more smoothly with open-source software.

San Diego-based Linspire’s relationship with Microsoft hasn’t always been so friendly. The company was founded under the name Lindows in 2001 but took $20 million to switch to Linspire as part of a trademark infringement settlement with Microsoft.