Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Microsoft buys $100 million of support from SUSE

Despite the problematic relationship between Microsoft and Linux vendors over the years, it’s not always been a case of frosty relationships.  Previously Microsoft decided to work closely with Novell on the Enterprise version of SUSE Linux, and now the company has renewed their alliance with SUSE by purchasing $100 million of support.
This support will be for Windows enterprise customers who are also running a SUSE machines in conjunction with their Windows boxes.  It’s a good move on the part of Microsoft to avoid upsetting business customers who are already feeling squeezed with extremely tight profit margins and software assurance costs to the Redmond giant.  The move will mean these enterprise customers won’t have to pay for further Linux support.
n a press release Microsoft said…”As IT operating environments become increasingly consumerized, cloud-based and automated, there is an implicit expectation that the underlying technologies from multiple vendors should work together. For this reason, the collaborative relationship between Microsoft and SUSE has come to be viewed as a model for the industry.  The joint Microsoft-SUSE collaboration has served more than 725 customers worldwide across a range of industries, such as manufacturing, oil and gas, healthcare, and financial services.”
“Our collaboration with SUSE not only helps customers to achieve success today, but also seeks to provide them with a solid foundation for tomorrow,” said Sandy Gupta, general manager of the Open Solutions Group at Microsoft. “Through our continued engagement on the technical side, an outstanding support offering from SUSE and our ability to provide mutual IP assurance, we feel confident that we will be able to deliver core value to those running mixed-source IT environments well into the future – and into the cloud.”
This move doesn’t mean that Microsoft will stop complaining about Linux or even stop suing for patent infringement, as these are just what the technology industry does (probably at the request of lawyers needing to justify their sky-high salaries).  It’s further evidence though that, deep down, technology companies around the world are more interested in building better experiences for their customers than they are feathering their own nests.
This is something I have always felt sets the tech world apart from other industries such as finance or energy.  It’s a good move and both Microsoft and Novell should be applauded for working together again.