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SuSE and Dell plan to share the limelight next week at LinuxWorld with the two companies refining their shared support and certification agreements, The Register has learned.

Dell, a longtime Red Hat backer and investor, will work with SuSE to certify its operating system with various hardware products, most notably servers, according to industry sources. The two companies are also looking to improve their shared support services to make sure customers are more readily taken care of when problems arise.

A better relationship with Dell is good news for SuSE as it tries to gain ground on Red Hat in the US. SuSE has enjoyed a tight partnership with IBM, but Dell and HP tend to promote Red Hat more often than not.

That said, SuSE and Dell already share some customers who will no doubt benefit from closer links between the companies. Some of the supported Dell systems can be found here on SuSE's Web site.

SuSE this week became an official part of Novell. With the $210 million acquisition complete, Novell is offering Linux users indemnification against any IP attacks from SCO.

As an aside, Dell's relationship with Linux has been most intriguing over the years. The company was the first major hardware vendor to offer Linux from the desktop to its highest end server and invested in companies such as Red Hat and Eazel early on. Then, however, Dell abruptly pulled the plug on its Linux desktop efforts. Many industry observers have said the desktop flirtation was meant to give Microsoft a bit of a scare and little else.

Unlike Red Hat, SuSE still has strong desktop ambitions, particularly now that is partnered with Ximian at Novell. Dell happens to be offering SuSE Linux 9.0 at this time. ®

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