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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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By BioHazardous on 11/3/2006 1:47:58 PM , Rating: 2
What? Have you even seen SLED (SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) 10? You should see the work Novell has been putting into their desktop solution to make it user friendly.

With Novell teaming up with Microsoft, that can only mean more acceptance of Linux as an operating system for both servers and personal computers. This will lead to more programs being able to be installed onto Linux without having to use any emulators.

I am not a Linux expert, so I don't know the ins and outs of how to make everything work on Linux and to be quite honest, I gave it a shot on my new home desktop but gave up since I primarily use it for gaming and ran into all sorts of compatibility issues with hardware and software. I even had the Linux experts in the integration lab of the company I work for try to get it all working so it could be a gaming rig, but at the time everything I had was too new for it to work correctly. Had the Linux OS I installed worked with my games, I'd be using that instead of MS at home. So if MS and Novell are teaming up, and compatibility issues become more of a thing of the past with Linux, then I'd be all for installing Linux again on my home computer.

I don't know what's so un-user friendly about MS anyway. I have no problem doing everything I want to be able to on my computer with MS Windows running on it.

Just my two cents.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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