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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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November 18, 2008 9:01 PM

Customers of Novell-Microsoft partnership pass 200 in second year

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft and open-source purveyor Novell are marking the second full year of their interoperability partnership, which surprised some in the software industry when it was announced Nov. 2, 2006. "This is almost like the lion and the lamb laying down together," analyst Laura DiDio told me at the time.

Susan Heystee, general manager of global partnerships for Novell, said earlier today that the companies have landed more than 200 joint customers, up from 70 after the first year of the pact.

"They appreciate the fact that we're at the table together, working with them, listening to their needs around interoperability," she said.

In 2006, the longtime antagonists in the market and in court announced they would promote each others' enterprise server products to customers running "heterogeneous" IT systems -- those with a combination of Microsoft and open-source software.

Microsoft pledged to distribute 70,000 coupons for maintenance and service of Novell's SUSE Linux.

The companies also forged an intellectual-property agreement that protects each one's customers and some open-source software developers from patent-infringement suits. Microsoft also made a related upfront payment to Novell.

They also began joint development of software with an emphasis on virtualization, management of Web services and open-document formats.

Results of that development work announced today include a management tool that will allow IT workers to monitor Windows and Linux servers from the same console. The tool is due in the first half of 2009.

Also, a beta version of Moonlight, an open-source version of Microsoft's new Web video and rich internet application platform Silverlight, will be available imminently, said Sanjay Sidhu, a Microsoft director of marketing and business development for the partnership. Moonlight will have the features of Silverlight 1, which has already been replaced by Silverlight 2.

Heystee said work on a version of Moonlight that will match Silverlight 2's features is already started.

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