Meet Novell's new best friend: VMware

Now that the sales pop from the Novell-Microsoft partnership has played out, SUSE Linux growth has stagnated, and Novell has a new best friend.

Novell has a new best friend when it comes to SUSE Linux distribution: VMware.

If you recall, Novell's former best friend for SUSE Linux was Microsoft. Microsoft and Novell have a partnership where the two parties had certificates that indemnified SUSE users from any intellectual property liability. In addition, Microsoft officially recommended SUSE Linux Enterprise for hybrid Windows/Linux shops. Microsoft also distributed coupons for maintenance and support for Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The Microsoft-Novell partnership dates back to 2006.

Now that the sales pop from the Novell-Microsoft partnership has played out SUSE Linux growth has stagnated. In Novell's fiscal third quarter report, the company said Linux platform product revenue was US$36 million, down seven percent from a year ago. Linux invoicing was down 11 percent from a year ago. Dana Russell, Novell's chief financial officer, said "depletion of the original Microsoft certificates this year makes for a challenging year-over-year comparison". Russell did say that Linux platform invoicing was up 15 percent from a year ago if you exclude Microsoft certificates.

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