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Microsoft-Novell partnership hooks Dell

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Dell has become the first major player to show up to Microsoft and Novell's compatibility love-in.

The PC vendor joins a landmark alliance between the patent-protected and open source OS developers inked last November. The agreement will address what all three companies say is customer demand for greater interoperability and intellectual-property assurance between Windows and Linux.

Under the Microsoft-Novell pact, Microsoft began selling Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) coupons. The two companies also agreed to work on interoperability for SLES and Windows on virtualization, directories and file formats between Microsoft Office and Open Office.

Dell will now buy SLES coupons from Microsoft and establish a services and marketing program to migrate existing business Linux users to SuSE.

Since the start of the Microsoft-Novell agreement, more than 40,000 new certificates for three-year priority support subscriptions to SLES have been activated. However, the deal did raise the hackles of some in the Linux community. Microsoft insisted on an addendum of agreeing not to sue develops in the Linux open source community for patent infringement — despite Novell adamantly denying the existence of any such IP violations. ®

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