Dell joins Microsoft, Novell in Linux pact

Deal aimed at better serving corporate customers using both Linux and Windows; Dell will help customers migrate to Novell's Suse Linux.

Microsoft said on Monday Dell had joined a business collaboration it had with Novell to allow open-source Linux software to work with Windows.

The move makes Dell the first major systems provider to join the Microsoft-Novell collaboration, which consists of a broad set of business and technological agreements to make their products work together better to serve corporate customers using both Linux and Windows computer servers.

Under the latest agreement, Dell will purchase Suse Linux Enterprise Server certificates, Microsoft said. Suse Linux is Novell's operating system.

Dell will also establish a services and marketing program to migrate existing Linux users who are not Dell Linux customers to Suse Linux, Microsoft said.

Linux is the most popular variant of open-source software. Unlike proprietary software, open-source software lets developers share code and add functions, and users only pay for custom features, maintenance and technical support.

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