June 11, 2007 10:36 AM PDT

Microsoft appoints Linux interoperability chief

Microsoft has appointed a director to lead its interoperability efforts with Novell.

The two companies have been trying to sell a combined proprietary and open-source software package to businesses since they announced a deal in November. Through a jointly run Interoperability Lab, they intend to make Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Server 10 run on Microsoft Virtual Server 2005. The companies will also market each other's products.

Tom Hanrahan, former director of engineering at the Linux Foundation--which was formed by the merger of the Open Source Development Labs and the Free Standards Group--will head up the Interoperability Lab and take the job title of director of Linux interoperability. Hanrahan is a Linux veteran, having overseen a large team of kernel developers in a former role at IBM's Linux Technology Center.

Novell appointed Susan Heystee in December to manage its relationship with Microsoft.

Both Hanrahan and Heystee look set for a turbulent ride in what has already proven to be a controversial relationship between the companies.

Microsoft and Novell have argued vehemently over whether Linux infringes Microsoft's patents--or vice versa--and the partnership was criticized heavily at Novell's own conference by one of the open-source community's most prominent figures, Richard Stallman.

While the market's No. 1 open-source vendor, Red Hat, continues to distance itself from Microsoft, the software giant has entered patent agreements with Linux players LG and Xandros.

Separately, Microsoft has appointed a head of its Macintosh Business Unit. Craig Eisler will take the helm as the Redmond, Wash., company works to finish Office 2008 for Mac in time for a release in the second half of this year.

Eisler, who worked as a development manager for DirectX during an earlier job with Microsoft, replaces Roz Ho.

CNET News.com's Ina Fried contributed to this report. Richard Thurston of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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Novell Inc., interoperability, Linux, open source, Microsoft Corp.

4 comments

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Why have two companies (Microsoft and Novell)...
... "trying to sell a combined proprietary and open-source software package to" your business when you can obtain a really nice package (Open Office and eComStation) from Serenity Systems International that comes with less headaches. Why deal with two companies when one company can do the job!
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
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Wow
So the vaporware virtualization software from MS will eventually run SUSE?

Big deal.

Who else but would create a piece of software used to run many OS's only support their own crap and maybe 1 linux version?

MS is so far behind in this market, they will never catch up. When it is finally released at least a year from now it won't be able to compete with what is available today, or even last year.
Posted by MSSlayer (1074 comments )
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Embrace...to dismantle
It won't be embrace and extend this time.

How can MS say they will sue if people use Linux' supposed MS
technology on the one hand, and on the other, try to create the
perception that they are making it interoperable.

Yeah, they'll make it interoperable, only to make it more difficult
for people to use as the end goal. BOTTOM LINE: Linux and
Open Source means death to Windows.
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
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linux interoperability
Windows sucks and, it should be called microc**t
Posted by linuxfighter (3 comments )
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