Microsoft renews alliance with SUSE, throws $100 million in pocket change at Linux

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Microsoft renews alliance with SUSE, throws $100 million in pocket change at Linux
Microsoft and Linux haven't always had the friendliest of rapports but, a few years back, the folks at Redmond decided to cozy up to Novell and the enterprise-focused distro SUSE. The German arm of the company even wished Tux a happy 20th birthday last week, in an attempt to further thaw their notoriously chilly relationship. Now the Windows crew have decided to renew their partnership with SUSE and have committed to purchasing $100 million in technical support for Microsoft Enterprise customers who also happen to be running Linux boxes as part of their operations. It's not about to stop claiming that the open source OS violates several of its patents, but at least they've learned to get along with out suing each other into oblivion... unlike some other companies we could name. Cough. Check out the full PR after the break.

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Microsoft and SUSE Renew Successful Interoperability Agreement
Strong customer response leads to four-year, $100 million extension.

REDMOND, Wash., and NUREMBERG, Germany - July 25, 2011 - Microsoft Corp. and SUSE, an independent business unit of The Attachmate Group Inc., today announced a four-year extension of the groundbreaking agreement struck nearly five years ago between Microsoft and Novell Inc. for broad collaboration on Windows and Linux interoperability and support. This relationship will extend through Jan. 1, 2016, with Microsoft committed to invest $100 million in new SUSE Linux Enterprise certificates for customers receiving Linux support from SUSE.

Customer Momentum

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. Recent additions include Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea, ALSTOM IT Shared Service Centres, Celesio AG, Colt Technology Services Group Ltd., Coop Danmark A/S, FagorBrandt SAS, LIBRO Handelsgesellschaft mbH, Nationale Suisse, Swiss Re and Wincor Nixdorf International GmbH. In addition, through this alliance, SUSE enables customers to consolidate their Linux support by offering subscription support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and community Linux distributions such as CentOS.

"As one of the largest banking corporations in Spain, we offer our clients a broad portfolio of financial products and services," said Fernando Martinez, infrastructure manager at BBVA Bank. "In an operational environment this dynamic and stratified, the personnel, teamwork, ethical principles and technology define the backbone of our business. We rely on the SUSE Expanded Support Program to migrate part of our IT operations to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, as it supports our objectives for greater interoperability for our Windows and Linux systems."

Partner Opportunity

Microsoft and SUSE also have driven significant opportunities for partners that have leveraged the companies' collaboration as a means of meeting their own customers' demand for interoperability. Companies such as Dell Inc. have benefited as both a customer and reseller of Microsoft and SUSE solutions. In addition, SHI International Corp., a leading U.S.-based reseller of software, hardware and services, and Adaptive Computing Enterprises Inc., a premier workload management independent software vendor serving the high-performance computing sector, have helped their own customers realize benefit from the joint solutions resulting from the collaboration. Select international partners include ALSANET AG, Bechtle AG, Comparex AT, ErmesTel, Kelway Ltd., Liga Distribution ApS, NEXPERT AG, SCC, Securelinx Ltd., Softcat Ltd., Stover AS, Trustmarque Solutions Ltd. and 2e2.

"The Microsoft-SUSE expanded support program has helped a number of our customers standardize on SUSE as an optimized guest on Hyper-V, as well as provide a highly cost-effective support program for non-SUSE distributions, including Red Hat," said James Largotta, global vice president of sales for BridgeWays, an independent software vendor that develops management packs to extend the cross-platform capabilities of Microsoft System Center. "Because of this, we find the interoperability partnership between Microsoft and SUSE to be highly complementary to the work we do, especially with the emergence of the private cloud."

"The fact that we have interoperability in the industry today is a big step compared to the old days," said Professor Dr. Ulrich Trottenberg, director, Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing (SCAI). "For Fraunhofer SCAI, this is critical because we have so many different technologies that we must work with to meet the needs of our customers and to support our own research. We are pleased to see that Microsoft and SUSE are proactively exploring ways to improve platform interoperability. This is so important since both vendors are also resolving intellectual property concerns, which drives greater choice and flexibility for their customers."

Advancing Cross-Platform Interoperability Into the Cloud

Microsoft and SUSE have built a bridge for customers between the two worlds of open source and proprietary software. As this collaboration moves forward, the two companies will continue to offer the highest levels of interoperability and assurance that both companies stand behind their solutions.

"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."

"We're pleased to extend our long-term relationship with Microsoft," said Michael Miller, vice president, Global Alliances and Marketing, SUSE. "Our mutual commitment to help organizations make the most of mixed Linux and Windows Server environments is what has made this collaboration successful. We will continue to work with Microsoft to deliver solutions that enable our joint customers to manage critical workloads in mixed-source environments across a wide range of computing models, including private, hybrid and full-cloud implementations."

Microsoft and SUSE also will continue their technical collaboration on solutions to help customers work more efficiently in the areas of cloud, virtualization and manageability. One such example is through the combination of a cross-platform solution with Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, giving IT managers a robust solution to migrate to a private cloud architecture. The companies also plan to extend Microsoft System Center through integration with SUSE Manager and select technologies to enhance Linux deployment, patching and updating.

About SUSE

SUSE is a leading provider of enterprise Linux solutions that increase agility, reduce cost and manage complexity in dynamic environments. With a portfolio centered around SUSE Linux Enterprise, the most interoperable platform for mission-critical computing, SUSE enables organizations to confidently deliver computing services across physical, virtual and cloud environments. With our award-winning products, open source communities and ecosystem of partnerships, SUSE solutions empower thousands of organizations around the world. For more information, visit

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

SUSE is a registered trademark of Novell Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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