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IBM, Novell promise big savings with Linux desktop

Novell and IBM cozy up to promote Novell's Linux desktop and favor WebSphere application server over JBoss.

IBM and Novell on Tuesday announced two agreements designed to prop up both companies' open-source offerings, including Novell's desktop Linux.

The two companies created a desktop software bundle they claim is $300 to $500 cheaper per user than the latest office worker software from Microsoft.

The "open collaboration client" includes Lotus Notes 8, Sametime instant messaging and IBM's Lotus lightweight productivity applications, which natively support the OpenDocument format. The companies developed a one-click install process for Novell's desktop Linux.

The package is well-suited for customers who are looking to test Linux desktop alternatives to Microsoft's Office, according to a statement from Dagmar Ziegler, manager of IBM Software sales for Azlan, a business unit of Tech Data in Germany.

In the server area, Novell said it will distribute and support IBM's open-source Java application server and offer it as an alternative to JBoss.

Before JBoss was acquired by Novell competitor Red Hat, Novell established an agreement to distribute and provide support for the JBoss application server, which it still does.

With the new offering, Novell is encouraging customers to use WebSphere Application Server Community Edition with Suse Linux Enterprise Server. The package will also provide migration tools to get applications off of JBoss.