Microsoft (MSFT) and Novell (NOVL) have announced an incremental investment in their relationship focused on converting unsupported Linux users to supported SUSE Linux Enterprise, with a particular emphasis on the Chinese market.

This is a result of increasing customer demand in the region for their business model solution, which builds a bridge between open source and proprietary software and provides interoperability and intellectual property peace of mind for organizations operating mixed-source IT environments.

"It's very encouraging to see that our business and technical collaboration continues to resonate with customers around the globe," said Ron Hovsepian, president and CEO of Novell in a press statement. "Both Novell and Microsoft are committed to furthering this alliance, and we couldn't be happier with the results to date. PICC, Dairy Farm and Dawning exemplify the benefits our strengthened alliance provides for the international IT community."

Microsoft and Novell's collaboration in China will focus on joint marketing and training efforts that tap into two emerging areas of interoperability demand: high-performance computing and virtualization. This will include hosting round-table discussions with local chief information officers in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing, running a virtualization customer pilot, and conducting technology workshops to assist the conversion from unsupported Linux to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

As part of the five-year Microsoft-Novell agreement, announced November 2, 2006, Microsoft can make subscription certificates available for customers to redeem SUSE Linux Enterprise Server support services directly from Novell. Since the announcement, Novell has invoiced more than US$141 million in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscriptions from the Microsoft and Novell collaboration agreement.

"We recognize that our customers want to use Microsoft products in heterogeneous environments, and therefore we are pleased to offer this option to meet customer needs in one of the leading global markets," said Ya-Qin Zang, Microsoft corporate vice president and chairman of Microsoft China. "We are very pleased with the initial response in the Chinese market to our joint offerings for IP peace of mind and technology interoperability in such areas as virtualization and high-performance computing."


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