Microsoft and Novell in Windows-Linux deal?

Microsoft and Novell in Windows-Linux deal?

Summary: The Wall Street Journal says Microsoft and Novell are about to announce a joint sales and development agreement to make Windows and Linux work more smoothly together. Given the long and sometimes acrimonious history between the two companies, this is encouraging news.


The Wall Street Journal (subscription only link) reports that Microsoft and Novell are going to announce an "unusual partnership" today: 

Under the pact, which isn't final, Microsoft will offer sales support of Suse Linux, a version of the operating system sold by Novell. The two companies have also agreed to develop technologies to make it easier for users to run both Suse Linux and Microsoft's Windows on their computers. The two companies are expected to announce details of their plan today at a press conference in San Francisco.

In addition, Microsoft won't assert rights over patents over software technology that may be incorporated into Suse Linux, the people said. Businesses that use Linux have long worried that Microsoft would one day file patent infringement suits against sellers of the rival software.

I'll post more details when I hear them. Given the long and sometimes acrimonious history between these two companies, this is very encouraging news for people who just want to get work done.

Topic: Linux

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  • Oh no....

    ... first Zend, now SuSE!

    Microsoft obviously has it in for me and is determined to absorb me in a borg-like fashion by assimilating two of my key suppliers.

    More details please Ed - as soon as poss.
  • Mike Cox is on a window ledge!

    I can see Mike Cox across the street on a window ledge, threatening to jump! His rep just reached out the window and is holding Mike on the ledge by his pocket protector!
    • 11 out 10!!

      • Ooops - that should have read "11 out of 10"

  • First step towards M$ Linux

    It would make sense for M$ to develop a linux distro, especially with all the problems they had trying to get Vista out the door.
  • Oh no, not my beloved SuSE :(

    • Oh man...

      My sentiments exactly.

      I've been a SuSE user since 8.1 and I was worried about the Novell aquisition which turned out to be great for SuSE but this? I guess we'll have to wait and see what this announcement entails.
      Tim Patterson
      • An early glimpse at the text...

        ... indicates Microsoft is supplying the money.
        Anton Philidor
        • Maybe now

          You will consider installing a copy of SUSE and share with us your experiences. Yes?

          You can do it Anton! ;)
          D T Schmitz
  • I'm watching the podcast ...

    ... and Steve Ballmer has just said that they've spent the last six months sorting out many issues to do this.

    So either they got wind of Oracle's Redhat attack or else this is just coincidence. It is possible that the Oracle/Redhat announcement triggered this press conference.

    Ron Hovesepian has just started talking about virtualisation and interoperability. Microsoft did start looking at Xen some months back and SuSE/Novell use....... Xen!

    • Go to the XenSource Site

      and run their demo.
      That should give you a good feel for Xen, which is standard in SUSE.
      D T Schmitz
  • Official now

    Well at least it's been announced. Very exciting too! It's something that was bound to be done and I had this pair figured. Proprietary and Open source had to find a integration point somewhere.

    IMHO, this will be good for all Distributions, Open source, and MS. The pressure has been coming on strong with Oracle/Redhat, and Google doc's as well as google's future support for Open Office.

    Sun has also made it's moves with Ubuntu, Solaris for free, Open Solaris, Open Sparc, Java and so on.

    If all goes well, Users will have better and more useful options/solutions.
    • I was interested..

      ... to hear that one of the goals is increasing interoperability between MS Office and OpenOffice.
  • One comment that kept creeping up ...

    ... was that this is being driven by customers. They even had a body from Goldman Sachs there who pretty much did [i]"I want both technologies - sort it out"[/i].

    This makes me wonder if the penetration of Linux into the business space has reached the point where Microsoft simply cannot ignore it. Oracle are a different case because they've always been *nix, but many of the shills have spent a lot of time telling us how Linux is a flea on the Microsoft elephant. It seems that the flea is a bit larger than the shills would have us believe.

    Finally, it raises one last question - what will the MS-fanboys have to say now? I shall be keeping a special watch on George Ou's blog!
    • George Ou... preparing a nice big humble pie.
      Too busy to blog.

      This news is cracking me up!
      D T Schmitz
  • Bye-Bye SuSE...

    Yup I watched the news conference.

    The sticking point is the patent agreement. The patent agreement is a defacto admission on the part of Novell that Linux already contains code covered under MS patents and Novell will pay royalties to MS. Ballmer made it clear that the patent agreement protects only those using SuSE Linux.

    I reject this assertion on it's face. Novell has sold out.

    Good thing there are unlimited choices in the Linux community. Time to exercise a different choice.
    Tim Patterson
  • Paranoia time

    I just find myself wondering about all those companies who sued M$ who the next thing you know were signing joint agreements with them. Mr Goldfarb, formerly of BayStar filed an affadavit about how he invested in tSCOg (The SCO Group) after assurances from a Microsoft employee that he would recoup his investment. GrokLaw, of course published the affadavit once it was released. Microsoft reneged but they did buy that license which Novell is demanding 95% of the money from (they want tSCOg to put it in a constructive trust until their lawsuits against the Universe are settled.

    Could it be...? Is IBM next?...
  • What they need is better support of Mono project

    If there is a partnership, the most useful would be the Mono project (which happens to be sponsored by Novell).
  • IBM is the most unreliable IT company there is.

    MS could set IBM straight. Nothing from IBM is reliable. Their software crashes (Datastage, Rational Rose), not fit for use (notes, the killNotes.exe is an official tool used by our Desktop support officers), bad customer support (a simple question of if a software is included free in this particular package took 2 month, and took 4 seperate calls to get to the right department).

    Even their own site doesn't work properly. When I tried to submit a customer satisfaction survey, the site returned a page full of java exceptions. Dosen't inspire a great deal of confidence in their company.
    • hmm... replied t to the wrong message...

      I was replying to Paranoia time: jplatt39 -- 11/02/06