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Why Novell Kisses Microsoft’s Ring Every So Often

Their pact produced upwards of 100 new customers in the past six months

Microsoft and Novell decided to revisit their eyebrow-raising pact the other day, the one that was signed in November of 2006 to the outrage of the FOSS mob, and let it be known - na-na-na-na-na - that it produced upwards of 100 new customers in the past six months, double the rate of the first two years of their relationship.

Since that fatal November day, they say they've sold more than $200 million in certificates for Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server support and maintenance to more than 300 customers.

Which is why Novell kisses Microsoft's ring every so often when no one's looking; it would be lost without the sales Microsoft's brought in.

Microsoft puts it down to an increased rate of demand for their interoperability solutions and the "IP peace of mind" that goes with its promise not to sue. Heavy on the peace of mind.

Recent customers include Boise Inc, Idaho Power Company, Honeywell Aerospace, La Poste, Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sky TV and St Jude Medical Center.

Novell's offer this past November to support Red Hat installations in transit to SUSE apparently piqued customer interest. Reportedly more than 10% of the new customers brought in in the past six months have signed on for this support package including UK-based 2e2, an up-and-coming IT managed services and solutions provider.

Novell and Microsoft have been focusing on China and the Asia-Pacific region, where they made an incremental investment a year ago to turn unsupported Linux users into SUSE subscribers. The effort seems to gotten them 50 new customers including 30 in China and 20 in Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan.

Joint work on interoperability is about to produce a SUSE Linux Enterprise Management Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, due later this month, which will extend the monitoring capabilities in System Center Operations Manager R2 across seven SUSE services and let customers monitor both their Linux and Windows system environments through one console.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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