Microsoft and SUSE Linux… My take…

I was very excited to hear about the opportunity for collaboration between Microsoft and Novell’s SUSE Linux.

 Basically, the settlement accounts for an agreement by Microsoft not to pursue “non-commercial” patent enforcement of developers for the next 5 years.  They’re supposed to distribute 70,000 coupons for a year of technical support for the SUSE Linux Enterprise server.  They’re supposed to work together to allow virtualization of Windows on Linux and Linux on Windows.  There’s supposed to be enhanced support for web services.

I’ve spent some time looking into Linux and have a copy of SUSE Linux 10 Unleashed.  It’s a good book and comes with a copy of the OS.  I’ve heard great things about the strides that have been made with Linux in the last several years.  It’s been a long time since I’ve taken a look at it.

The pathetic 64-bit driver support for Vista has been very disappointing.  I don’t know that I’d switch to Linux right now, but I can say that Open Source is starting to look like the best solution for a lot of tasks which are on my radar screen.

That was the third part of the agreement.  Novell was going to get help to implement the Open XML document format for OpenOffice and be able to make that available to the world.  I think this was probably done to shut down the EU and their crazy lawsuits about monopolies and stuff.  Who knows.  Apparently, Office 2007’s new XML based file structure will be available to Open Office users and also to MS Office 2000 and 2003 users.  That’s pretty cool.  It’s hard to see that anyone will lose from this arrangement.

I read some other blogs which said the deal was meant to put a squeeze on Red Hat.  That may be.  I’m certainly not in a position to know.  However, improving support for organizations running Linux and Windows is a great thing.  If you have an interest in that, you can check out www.winlinanswers.com This site is run by Jeremy Moskowitz, Group Policy Guru Extraordinaire.  I haven’t read his book, but I’d really like to.

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