Microsoft and Novell in Windows-Linux deal?

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.

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