Novell Banks On New Microsoft Customers

    December 20, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The agreement between Novell and Microsoft on marketing SuSE Linux to Microsoft customers seeking a heterogenous environment of Windows and Linux servers has been bolstered by a trio of deals with financial institutions.

Part of that Microsoft-Novell deal involves selling licenses for Novell’s SuSE product, with Microsoft’s expansive sales force handling those customer purchases. Some have criticized the agreement, by contending Microsoft comes out ahead at Novell’s expense.

Microsoft is touting some recent deals as evidence that the maligned agreement will benefit Novell.

Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and AIG Technologies, a member company of the massive American International Group, have all taken up Microsoft on the Novell licenses.

Representatives from all three companies extolled the interoperability between Linux and Windows stemming from the work completed by Novell and Microsoft.

Similar platitudes came from the executive offices of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, and Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian.

“Deutsche Bank’s, Credit Suisse’s and AIG Technologies’ decisions to deploy SUSE Linux Enterprise, following so closely on the heels of our announcement with Microsoft, are powerful, early proof points of the value of our joint collaboration, and we expect more success stories like this over the coming quarters,” said Hovsepian.

Criticism of the deal rose quickly through the Internet, and Hovsepian addressed it in a letter to the Linux community.

“Our agreement with Microsoft is in no way an acknowledgment that Linux infringes upon any Microsoft intellectual property,” said Hovsepian.

A Microsoft spokesperson likewise asserted this was the case in a separate statement.

Although the deal has been characterized as one that leaves Linux distributor Red Hat on the outside looking in, Red Hat brushed off such assertions and hinted Novell had signed its own death warrant by partnering with Microsoft.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.