Microsoft, Novell Make Peace over Linux

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 11-02-2006
Microsoft and Novell announced on Nov. 2 a set of broad collaboration agreements to build, market and support a series of new solutions that will make Novell and Microsoft products work better together.

Perhaps the biggest news is that Novell and Microsoft announced an agreement to provide each other's customers with patent coverage for their respective products. These agreements will be in place until at least 2012.

For more on Linux, see Gartner: Linux Not About to Do Damage to Windows

"They said it couldn't be done. This is a new model and a true evolution of our relationship that we think customers will immediately find compelling because it delivers practical value by bringing two of their most important platform investments closer together," said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, at the news conference in San Francisco.

"We're excited to work with Novell, whose strengths include its heritage as a mixed-source company. Resolving our patent issues enables a combined focus on virtualization and Web services management to create new opportunities for our companies and our customers," Ballmer said.

According to a Microsoft news release, "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 companies' patents."

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