Microsoft partners with Novell for Suse

Written by Brett Thomas

November 3, 2006 | 15:54

Tags: #office #openoffice #suse #windows

Companies: #microsoft #novell

Though Microsoft's Server products are gaining incredible popularity, it is about impossible to deny the presence of 'Nix variants in the corporate environment. Novell's Suse Linux is the second most popular of these corporate distros, only behind RedHat. No wonder, then, that Microsoft is hammering out a partnership with Novell involving technology sharing and sales support.

In other news, the core temperature of the Earth just dropped by 15 degrees over the freezing of a theological location, and a London suburb reports that a pig just flew too close to the sun and turned into bacon.

Back to the serious news, though - this partnership is another step towards Microsoft's commitment to open-source software, and it could have some interesting consequences. The deal contains talk of a "joint research facility", which would allow the two companies to develop products together that assure cross-compatibility. It also spells out that neither company will sue the other or their user bases for patent infringements or other IP rights.

Much of the rest of deal is undisclosed, which leaves the terms wide open for speculation by the industry. There is already a considerable discussion about the potential "halo effect," where Suse becomes more interesting to corporate consumers looking for support, but less loved by the open-source community who will view this as clearly being in bed with the devil. The deal also leads to more questions about exactly how much OpenOffice support Microsoft might end up having to give its Office product line, something that could catapault OpenOffice into a serious competitor for one of Microsoft's biggest cash cows.

Have you got a thought on this deal? Is it good to see the support, or is it frightening to see Microsoft stepping so deeply into open-source territory? Tell us your views in the forums.
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