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New Cooperation Between Windows and Novell

Long time rivals in the server software market Windows and Novell announced an unprecedented level of cooperation on Thursday, November 2nd. The competing companies, often bitter rivals, announced they would be making their flagship operating systems compatible. This means both companies will develop and market software that will allow Windows and Linux to co-exist on the same machine. This move comes after Linux captured more than 11 percent of server sales last year. In the last year sales growth of the Linux server platform has out-paced Microsoft’s Windows products. The accord between the two companies took six months to hammer out, and was initiated by an April phone call to Microsoft from Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian.

In addition to the making their software compatible the two companies agreed not sue the other company’s customers in the event their software encroached upon patents. From this point forward Microsoft will be recommending Linux for Windows customers who also want to run Linux. Microsoft is also offering coupons for maintenance and support. As an outgrowth of this agreement, Microsoft programs might, at some point, run on the Linux platform.

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