Novell credits Microsoft for soaring Linux sales

The company claims its Linux sales have grown by 243 percent, largely due to the partnership with Microsoft

Novell has claimed its Linux business has grown by 243 percent over the last three quarters, and it has credited its deal with Microsoft as a big factor.

Novell has achieved $100m (£49m) in revenue from Linux over the nine-month period thanks to the close working relationship it has had with Microsoft since the two companies signed their collaborative deal in November. As part of the deal, Microsoft offers support for Novell's Suse Linux, and the two companies are working on making their respective software interoperable.

"For Novell's first three quarters of our fiscal year, our Linux business was up 243 percent," said Justin Steinman, director of marketing at Novell.

Steve Harris, senior sales director for open source at Novell, told "This [sales increase] is public endorsement that our joint engineering efforts are already paying dividends to customers operating in a mixed environment, which, by the way, is pretty much all Linux users today. It helps us to maintain momentum and our investments in this collaboration work, which will continue to drive growth in our Linux business worldwide."

It is the interoperability between Linux and Windows that "is really receiving a lot of customer interest right now", Harris said.

As an example of the co-operation between the two companies, earlier this month Microsoft and Novell announced a joint development lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which will focus on cross-platform interoperability. The lab, which measures 2,500 square feet, will host a combined team of eight Microsoft and Novell engineers and two directors, working to make Windows Server and Suse Linux Enterprise work together, according to a statement from the two companies.

One of the key areas of interoperability work will be virtualisation, which is seen as a crucial area by many IT professionals. The lab will also work on file formats, systems management, and integrating directory technology.

Novell's main competitor in the Linux market, Red Hat, announced its quarterly results this week. The company said that its quarterly revenue of $127m (£62m) was up by 28 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

Its subscription revenue of $109m (£53m) was up 29 percent and net income was $18m (£8.8m), up 64 percent, Red Hat said.