September 28, 2007 11:57 AM PDT

Novell credits Microsoft for soaring Linux sales

Novell says its Linux business has grown by 243 percent over the last three quarters, and it largely credits its deal with Microsoft.

Novell has reached $100 million in revenue from Linux over the nine-month period, thanks to the close working relationship it has had with Microsoft since the two companies signed their collaborative deal in November.

As part of the deal, Microsoft offers support for Novell's Suse Linux, and the two companies are working on making their respective software interoperable.

"For Novell's first three quarters of our fiscal year, our Linux business was up 243 percent," said Justin Steinman, director of marketing at Novell.

"This (sales increase) is public endorsement that our joint engineering efforts are already paying dividends to customers operating in a mixed environment, which, by the way, is pretty much all Linux users today," said Steve Harris, senior sales director for open source at Novell. "It helps us to maintain momentum and our investments in this collaboration work, which will continue to drive growth in our Linux business worldwide."

It is the interoperability between Linux and Windows that "is really receiving a lot of customer interest right now," Harris said.

As an example of the cooperation between the two companies, earlier this month, Microsoft and Novell announced a joint development lab in Cambridge, Mass., that will focus on cross-platform interoperability. The lab, which measures 2,500 square feet, will host a combined team of eight Microsoft and Novell engineers and two directors, working to make Windows Server and Suse Linux Enterprise work together, according to a statement from the two companies.

One of the key areas of interoperability work will be in virtualization, which is seen as a crucial area by many IT professionals. The lab will also work on file formats, systems management and directory technology integration.

Novell's main competitor in the Linux market, Red Hat, announced its quarterly results this week. The company said its quarterly revenue of $127 million was up by 28 percent compared with the same quarter last year.

Its subscription revenue of $109 million was up 29 percent, Red Hat said.

Colin Barker of ZDNet UK reported from London.

See more CNET content tagged:
Novell Inc., interoperability, Linux, SuSE, Red Hat Inc.

10 comments

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Due to Microsoft alright!
But nothing to do with the Partnership...
Posted by umbrae (1073 comments )
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I was thinking the same thing
Vista is Microsoft's gift to Linux and Apple.
Posted by The_Decider (3097 comments )
Link Flag
More like, due to Vista!
If anything motivated people to check out a new Operating System, it would be Vista. :)
Posted by Jim Harmon (329 comments )
Link Flag
MicroSoft Provides the Support?
What's wrong with Novell? I used to trust Novell's support. MS doesn't even support it's own products. I'd not trust them to support someone elses.
Posted by Renegade Knight (13748 comments )
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Hey, that's not completely fair...
MS will support anything they're paid to support.
Posted by Jim Harmon (329 comments )
Link Flag
Did Colin Barker just crawl out of a cave...?!?
The headline reads: "Novell credits Microsoft... (then it goes on to
say) The creator of the Suse distribution says.."

HUH...????? ahh HELLO...
Novell didn't create Suse,
THEY BOUGHT IT..!!!
Posted by imacpwr (456 comments )
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Yes they did
But they also polished the hell out of it, and really the only competition for SLED(and openSUSE) is OSX.

Nothing comes close, especially not Windows. Duh, even Ubuntu beats the crap out of XP and Vista. Put Ubuntu side by side to SUSE and the truth that Ubuntu is years away from being top quality is quickly evident.
Posted by The_Decider (3097 comments )
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100 million in 9 months?
I thought linux was supposed to be free. I hate Suse with a passion after spending $50 on a disk and book pack that turned out to be a 10 page crap manual to nothing with a crap os(10.1). I will stick with other FREE distros next time. Have fun with all of your money.
Posted by ferretboy88 (676 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why pay for SuSe when you have OpenSuse
I saw in a previous post that you preferred Fedora over SuSe. To make a fair comparison, you should compare with OpenSuse.

OpenSuse 10.3 became available just a week ago. If you really want to get a feel of where SuSe is directed to, then try this distro.
Posted by Steven N (487 comments )
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