Bombshell: Microsoft and Novell to interop on... Linux?

, posted: 3-Nov-2006 13:47

Novell
Microsoft

The webcast announcement earlier in which CEOs Ballmer and Hovsepian said Novell and Microsoft are joining forces to support Linux is something of a shocker.

Microsoft, diametrically opposed to Open Source and Novell, which has sued Redmond - and now they've got a Linux alliance? That's about as unlikely as they come.

Talking to Microsofties about this, it seems the main driver is pragmatic business decisions. Customers want to be able to run both Windows and Linux, and they're not going listen to Microsoft telling them not to. Likewise, Novell's Linux-only shpiel isn't getting traction in the enterprise.

So there you have it: customer intransigence lead to Microsoft supporting Linux.

The carrot Microsoft and Novell are holding out is indemnification against patent and licensing lawsuits that may arise from the use of Open Source software. At this stage, I'm still not convinced that this should be the main reason to go with "Microsoft Linux" but I can see that it would appeal to CIOs and CEOs. Geeks aren't likely to care much about it though.

This is also official confirmation that Linux has grown up, and is now a serious operating system. Well, a serious kernel with the userland tacked on.

One thing's for sure - this has the potential to hurt Red Hat a lot. Novell's share price took a major hike upwards (15 per cent) so there's smiles in Provost all round no doubt. Red Hat is down two per cent on the other hand.

Video: Steve Ballmer Sells Windows 1.0

Other related posts:
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