Microsoft And Attachmate Extend SUSE Linux Alliance

Monday the companies unveiled a four-year, $100-million extension to the agreement under which the vendors collaborate on Windows-Linux interoperability and support. Under the extension to Jan. 1, 2016, Microsoft said it is committing to invest $100 million in new SUSE which takes the alliance out to Linux Enterprise certificates that allow Microsoft customers to receive Linux support from SUSE.

The original agreement, inked on Nov. 2, 2006, was scheduled to expire Jan. 1, 2012.

The two companies said more than 725 customers worldwide have been served through the alliance. In fiscal 2010, ended Oct. 31, Novell reported that sales of Linux platform products were $144.4 million, down from $149.2 million in fiscal 2009.

Attachmate said the Microsoft-SUSE deal has created "significant opportunities" for channel, technology and ISV partners. "The Microsoft-SUSE expanded support program has helped a number of our customers standardize on SUSE as an optimized guest on Hyper-V, as well as provide a highly cost-effective support program for non-SUSE distributions, including Red Hat," said James Largotta, global sales vice president at BridgeWays, an ISV that develops management packs to extend the cross-platform capabilities of Microsoft System Center, in a statement.

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"Because of this, we find the interoperability partnership between Microsoft and SUSE to be highly complementary to the work we do, especially with the emergence of the private cloud," Largotta said.