The balance of Linux power shifted Tuesday, with Novell announcing an IBM-assisted plan to acquire SuSE Linux.

Longtime Microsoft foe Novell has signed an agreement to acquire SuSE Linux for $210 million in cash, while IBM, the most powerful backer of the Linux OS, will make a $50 million investment in Novell.

The moves, announced Tuesday, could boost the fortunes of SuSE, the No. 2 seller of Linux, increase the competitive pressure on No. 1 Red Hat, and provide a new direction for Novell's rivalry with Microsoft.

Read more: [URL=http://news.com.com/2100-7344_3-5101680.html?tag=nefd_lede]CNet News[/URL].