How Microsoft's SUSE certificates work

How Microsoft's SUSE certificates work

Summary: In my earlier post on the Microsoft-Novell deal and its inroads with Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and AIG, there was a reader question about how the money exchanges hands. A spokeswoman for Microsoft clarified:Microsoft sells these SUSE Linux certificates as a reseller and collects the revenue.

SHARE:

In my earlier post on the Microsoft-Novell deal and its inroads with Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and AIG, there was a reader question about how the money exchanges hands. 

A spokeswoman for Microsoft clarified:

Microsoft sells these SUSE Linux certificates as a reseller and collects the revenue. The software giant bought 70,000 certificates from Novell when the partnership launched. In a nutshell, Microsoft is the reseller of these certificates and recoups its initial payment to Novell. Who knows if there's a profit on them?

Meanwhile, one Linux certificate represents support for one server. Novell provides the support on Microsoft issued SUSE Linux certificates. Thus far, Microsoft has sold 16,000 certificates. Microsoft wouldn't disclose whether the three financial services companies in the press release earlier today are the parties that bought all 16,000 certificates. In other words, it's possible there are more customers taking the Microsoft-Novell partnership for a spin. But given the number of servers at financial services firms it's probable that those three companies were the buyers. 

As for whether AIG and Credit Suisse were existing customers of Novell--Deutsche Bank indicated it was a customer of both Microsoft and Novell--neither company would publicly say. 

In sum, the next key milestone in the Microsoft-Novell partnership is the 70,000 certificate mark. If Microsoft sells that many SUSE certificates it will be a proof of concept for the partnership. From there Microsoft will have to decide whether to buy more certificates from Novell and resell them or just send mixed source customers to Novell directly.

 

Topic: Enterprise Software

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

5 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Let's say...

    ... at least two of the companies, again I will not tell any names, were existing Novell
    customers.

    So, not really worth any news.
    Burana
    • Nonetheless....

      ... to have sold over 20% of the licences in such a short time is fairly impressive.

      If it introduces Microsoft to the idea of working with other vendors in a constructive way instead of the ususal 3E method then we will all benefit - Microsoft, Novell and customers.
      bportlock
      • It depends....

        ... to have sold over 20% of the licences in such a short time is fairly impressive.

        Not if you undercut Novell's support fee unethically to get the sales.

        Being launch customers one do expects discount. Agreeing to put one's name forward in PR also attract discount. Buying both Microsoft software and Novell certs at once also attracts discount. All of which are accepted, above-board industry practice unless one go beyond the accepted boundary for discount.

        Mr Dignan is right to say that we want IT meat in his first article. It was phrased not as a cost advantage but technical advantage in getting SuSE Linux vs other Linux distributions. The MS press release was so low in the technical details, and the fact that there is not enough time to improve SuSE/MS interoperability that make me suspicious that the sales is more on cost ground rather than the technical merits the press release implies.

        Happy Christmas and New Year, or if you are infidels like me, enjoy the holidays.

        P.S. Thank you to Mr Dignan for following up on my comment.
        sinleeh@...
  • To Say That We Will All Benefit

    From anything Microsoft does is the same as saying we have all benefited from their monopoly status in the past.
    No one CAN possibly know what Microsoft will or will not do, but those of us who consider history is much more likely to predict what they will or will not do.
    You can argue with facts, but you can never win an argument against facts.
    Ole Man
  • Whos using the certifictes

    The one obvious customer that no one has mentioned is a LARGE sw company who has had problems in the past with windows servers. They probably would be sensitive to advertising that they were switching to any brand of Linux.

    One other thing, that big payment that SUSE gave MS when this started, would that and the price of 70000 certificates be approximately the same amount of cash? Enquiring minds etc. etc.

    BobJ
    plumnilly