Microsoft and Novell: We're raking in business

The two software makers say they have signed more than 100 joint customers in the past six months.

The overall market for enterprise spending may be weak, but Novell and Microsoft insist they are signing plenty of joint customers.

Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian (left) shakes hands with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer after signing a 2006 accord. Microsoft

In a statement, the software makers say they have signed more than 100 joint customers in the past six months. That's twice the rate at which they had been signing folks as part of an 2006 accord, the two companies said. In total, the two companies say they have sold $200 million worth of Novell support and maintenance certificates to more than 300 customers.

Microsoft says the economy is helping this piece of its business. "In today's economic environment, when customers are looking to derive the greatest value from their IT investments, we are seeing an increased rate of demand for the interoperability solutions and IP peace of mind benefits provided by our collaboration," Microsoft general manager of strategic partnerships Ted MacLean said in a statement.

Among the better known North American names signed since November are Honeywell Aerospace, Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson and Sony Pictures Entertainment. The companies also named several other U.S. firms as well as a number of companies in Asia and Europe.

The Microsoft-Novell deal is often held up by Microsoft as an example of how open source and proprietary software makers can work together. Striking that deal, though, was not easy , as noted in a book earlier this year co-authored by Microsoft's Marshall Phelps.

The arrangement has also led to technical cooperation between the two, including a plug-in for Microsoft's System Center Operations Manager software which lets IT workers monitor their Linux and Windows system environments all within Microsoft's management software. That module is due out later this month, the companies said.

In a statement, 451 Group analyst Jay Lyman said that "the partnership has substantially benefited Microsoft's Linux integration story and has driven Linux revenue for Novell.

"The development and work by the two companies to improve Linux and Windows interoperability addresses the reality of mixed enterprise environments for customers, who were largely the impetus for this collaboration and are now benefiting from the resulting technology and support," Lyman said.

 

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