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Microsoft to offer sales support and collaborate on technology

According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft has entered into a partnership with Novell Inc. to offer sales support and technology sharing for Novell's Suse Linux product.

While the deal has yet to be finalized, it represents a surprising new alliance between two warring sides in the operating system world. CEO Steve Ballmer made the announcement at a San Francisco news conference that Linux plays an "important role" in many companies, including Microsoft itself. "We see huge potential upside in these markets."

Novell's Suse Linux is currently the second largest commercial Linux distribution, with first place going to Red Hat. As a result of the announcement, shares in Novell jumped 16% to $6.79.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but one of the high points is the expected construction of a joint research facility where the two companies can design and test their software together. Improvements in compatibility between Microsoft Office and OpenOffice are also expected.

Speculation about the long-term outcome of this union has begun already. Frank Artale, vice-president of XenSource, noted that Microsoft's embracing of Suse Linux as opposed to another particular variant could cause a "halo effect" in that the association between the two could make users choose it over another distribution. The open-source community also may have reservations about using a distribution that is "sleeping with the enemy."

As another part of the deal, Microsoft agreed not to file patent infringement charges against Suse users, and Novell has agreed not to sue users of Windows.

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Suse is a great distro with good support
By peternelson on 11/2/2006 10:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
"it represents a SURPRISING new alliance between two warring sides in the operating system world."

To say the least!

I'm a big fan of Suse.

It's GOOD news that MS has agreed not to sue any Suse users.

Also about time Microsoft shared their proprietary networking methods etc.

Also seems significant that Microsoft sees upside in linux and decided effectively "if you can't beat them, make money out of supporting them" ;-)

Novell/Suse already has great support and an enthusiastic following in the community.

I agree it is wise to be vigilant and suspicious of Microsoft practices here.

However, there is some potential to make an excellent distro even better.

Now we just need more protection against SCO lawsuits ;-)

By TomZ on 11/3/2006 5:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
It's GOOD news that MS has agreed not to sue any Suse users.

Yes, and Novell promised to not sue any Windows users. LOL. I was really worried about that one - it kept me up at night.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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