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Microsoft and Novell Announce Collaboration on Windows and Linux Interoperability and Support
Posted on 3-Nov-2006 12:07. | Tags Filed under: News.

Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc. have announced a set of business and technical collaboration agreements to build, market and support a series of new solutions to make Novell and Microsoft products work together.

The two companies also announced an agreement to provide each otherís customers with patent coverage for their respective products.

These agreements will be in place until at least 2012 and will provide customers with choice and flexibility through improved interoperability and manageability between Windows and Linux.

Microsoft will officially recommend SUSE Linux Enterprise for customers who want Windows and Linux solutions. Additionally, Microsoft will distribute coupons for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server maintenance and support, so that customers can benefit from the use of an interoperable version of Linux with patent coverage as well as the collaborative work between the two companies.

The two companies will create a joint research facility at which Microsoft and Novell technical experts will architect and test new software solutions and work with customers and the community to build and support these technologies.

The agreement between Microsoft and Novell focuses on three technical areas: virtualization, web services and document format compatibility.

Virtualization is one of the most important current trends in the industry. The technology is one way users can consolidate and manage rapidly growing server workloads and their large set of server applications. The companies will work together to develop a virtualization offering for Linux and Windows.

The patent cooperation agreement enables Microsoft and Novell to give customers assurance of protection against patent infringement claims. It gives customers confidence that the technologies they use and deploy in their environments are compliant with the two companiesí patents.

As part of this agreement, Microsoft will provide a covenant not to assert its patent rights against customers who have purchased SUSE Linux Enterprise Server or other covered products from Novell, and Novell will provide an identical covenant to customers who have a licensed version of Windows or other covered products from Microsoft.

Microsoft will work with Novell and actively contribute to several open source software projects, including projects focused on Office file formats and Web services management. Microsoft also promised not to assert its patents against individual noncommercial open source developers. The company is also promising not to assert its patents against individual contributors to whose code is included in the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform, including SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop.

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