Feeds

Microsoft and Novell to push SuSE Linux sales in China

You're either with us or against us

Boost IT visibility and business value

Microsoft and Novell yesterday announced plans to extend their interoperability alliance by tapping into the increasingly lucrative Chinese market.

The software companies said in a joint statement that they were placing "particular emphasis" on the People's Republic to jointly market and sell Novell's SuSE Linux distribution in that country.

Under the extended agreement, Microsoft will buy certificates for SuSE Linux service and support from Novell and resell them to its Chinese customers.

Microsoft, which kicked off its five-year partnership with Novell in November 2006, said its aim was to make its Windows operating system more interoperable with Linux.

The firms are marketing "supported Linux" in which they collect a fee from software systems that mingle open source programs with Microsoft products including Vista and Office.

"We recognise that our customers want to use Microsoft products in heterogeneous environments, and therefore we are pleased to offer this option to meet customer needs in one of the leading global markets," said Ya-Qin Zang, chairman of Microsoft China.

But it's also a strategic move that demonstrates Microsoft's desire to have its cake and eat it too by extending an agreement with its rival that is, in essence, a patent protection and cross-licensing deal with Novell for its technologies.

The alliance will undoubtedly be slammed by many open source fanciers who will view the deal as Microsoft's latest effort to grab a fee from Linux customers.

It's also worth noting that less than a year ago Microsoft's top lawyer Brad Smith made plenty of threatening allegations about how open source software violates exactly 235 entries in the firm's vast patent portfolio.

Of that total, Microsoft singled out the Linux kernel with claims that it violated 42 of its patents.

Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer told developers in London last October that anyone using open source software from Red Hat, which doesn't have a cross-licensing love-in deal with Redmond, effectively owed him money.

"People who use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation eventually to compensate us," said Ballmer.

Last week Red Hat said it had abandoned plans to develop a consumer desktop product for the forseeable future because it cannot compete with the might of Microsoft in that market. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?