Microsoft and Novell in strategic partnerhip

By Derek Sooman on November 3, 2006, 3:44 AM
Itís been quite a week or so for Linux. First Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison announces that Oracle are to provide support for Red Hat Linux, and now executives at both Microsoft and Novell have revealed that they are to enter into a broad partnership to provide support to Linux. A new agreement will ensure that Microsoft will offer sales support for SUSE Linux, the Linux distro that is sold by Novell. Together, the two companies will develop technologies to make it easier for users to run both SUSE Linux and Windows on their computers.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, said in a prepared statement. "This is a new model and a true evolution of our relationship that we think customers will immediately find compelling."
Both companies claim that the move is because corporate customers have made it clear they want to use a blend of technologies. This does of course sound like quite a strange thing for Microsoft to say (the phrase "cold day in Hell" springs to mind), but there's more: part of the agreement between the two companies covers patent cooperation and calls for both sides to agree not to pursue patent infringement claims against the other's customers.

"Too often technology companies ask their customers to adapt to them," said Ron Hovsepian, chief executive at Novell. "Today, we are adapting to our customers."
I canít help but see the parallels between Oracle offering support for Red Hat Linux and Microsoft now endorsing SUSE. Call me paranoid, but it feels that something is going on here, especially with the two events coming so close together, they must be in some way intertwined.

User Comments: 3

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asphix said:
i've been considerign switching to linux as a base OS and running Windows in a virtual environment for some time. I actually have a test machine using VMware to do just that in order to explore the option.I'm loving it so far, and if this partnership means better integration between the two OS's that would be fantastic.
ThomasNews said:
Got this in from the ODF Alliance, it's their reaction to the announcement;[i]Part of their announcement was that Novell would provide support for Microsoft's Office Open XML format, which Microsoft is promoting as an alternative to the OpenDocument Format, which has already been approved as an ISO standard."We see yesterday's announcement as further acknowledgement from Microsoft that ODF is something customers are demanding," said Marino Marcich, Managing Director of the ODF Alliance. "By making it easier for some Open Office users to access files stored in Microsoft's Office Open XML format, it makes it easier for customers to adopt ODF without worrying about the difficulty of tapping into files stored in a proprietary format that others may send them, or that they may have stored in their own systems.""Open Office and other ODF-supporting implementations already support a variety of legacy or proprietary formats, and Office Open XML will be a welcome addition. In terms of Microsoft's translator project that would save Word files in the ODF format, the Alliance still thinks that the translator project does not yet provide true interoperability, and we encourage Microsoft to provide native support in Office that will allow users to save to ODF as easily as any other format."[/i]
murphj9 said:
This news shows that more businesses and government agencies are looking to a combination of open and proprietary solutions. Companies must work to offer interoperability solutions that enable customers to deploy open source and proprietary software more efficiently and addresses the IP open source issues that customers were most concerned about.
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