Linux to work with Windows
Microsoft-Novell partnership aimed at bridging divide between open-source and most common operating system.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Once-bitter software rivals Microsoft and Novell came together Thursday to make peace in the operating system world.
The announcement was made at a news conference in San Francisco that was monitored via Webcast in New York.
The arrangement calls for technical collaboration as well as for the two companies to team up in sales and marketing.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the agreements aim to bridge the divide between open-source and proprietary source software, and will enhance interoperability between the two systems.
As part of the partnership, Microsoft won't claim patent rights over technology that might be included in Suse Linux, addressing a concern voiced by several customers, the companies said.
Microsoft also said it will not assert patent infringement claims against individual, non-commercial open-source developers.
Ballmer acknowledged that more customers are running mixed systems, but made clear Microsoft isn't getting into the Linux code business.
"While we're going to compete, we're going to collaborate in the right way," he said.
Novell bought Suse Linux in 2003, marking its foray into the open-source market that has long battled chief rival Windows.