Those who believe that Microsoft only pays lip service to Open Source may be surprised by the mega-deal Microsoft just signed with Novell, which shows that Microsoft has finally decided to come to terms with Linux.
The Novell deal is exceptionally complicated, and spans legal, technical and financial issues. But the upshot is this: There should be better interoperability between Linux and Windows as a result of it.
A lot of money will change hands. Microsoft will be paying $240 million to Novell for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscription certificates, for example, for Microsoft customers who want to use Linux in Windows environments. That will cover support and maintenance for Novell’s SuSE Linux Enterprise Server.
Separately, Microsoft has also launched an Open Source lab, for testing interoperability between Open Source and Windows.
So the days of a siege mentality at Microsoft when it comes to Linux and Open Source are clearly over. The real winners here are users.