File Under: operating systems

Microsoft, Novell Extend Controversial Partnership

TuxWindowsMicrosoft and Novell have agreed to extend the controversial deal the two competitors struck back in 2006. The new agreement will see Microsoft purchase additional Novell certificates that its customers can redeem for Novell’s SUSE Linux service and support.

The two companies also say they will continue to enhance the various tools designed to create better interoperability between Windows Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft, says “our increased investment in the relationship with Novell is intended to give [our] customers and partners the best possible Windows-Linux interoperability solution.”

What’s perhaps most interesting about the extension of the deal that caused a massive uproar in the open source community is that, this time around, Microsoft hasn’t been touting the “protection” component.

When the two rivals first announced their agreement back in 2006, Microsoft played up the angle that it was giving Novell customers “protection” from any potential lawsuits against Linux. The company then went on a blustering “Linux steals our intellectual property” tour, proclaiming that lawsuits against Linux would be forthcoming.

The response from the Linux community was a rather blunt, sue up or shut up, and it would appear that Microsoft has opted for the later. In fact, today’s press release only mentions the intellectual property agreement in passing.

Instead the focus is on making Windows Server and SUSE Linux work better together. The read-between-the-lines message is that Microsoft knows server virtualization tools are a threat and wants to head them off at the pass.

While the open source community may still view Novell with suspicion, at least Microsoft seems to have moved beyond its schoolyard bully tactics.

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