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Microsoft-Novell survey gives their deal a thumbs-up

Survey commissioned by the two companies asserts that their high-profile agreement will drive customers away from joint rival Red Hat.

Microsoft and Novell on Tuesday published results from a jointly commissioned survey that asserts the two companies' high-profile agreement will drive customers away from joint rival Red Hat.

Communications firm Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, which has been doing research for Microsoft for eight years, conducted 201 interviews with IT professionals to garner opinions on vendor partnerships and interoperability between Windows and Linux.

The interviews were conducted two weeks after Novell and Microsoft announced their legal and technical agreement. Two-thirds of respondents were aware of the deal.

The survey found that more than 90 percent of respondents favor efforts to improve interoperability between products from "platform providers."

In addition, the survey indicated that Microsoft's intention to make Novell a preferred Linux provider should work.

Eighty percent agreed with the statement: "My organization would consider doing more business with Linux distributors if they had a technical alliance with Microsoft."

The survey also queried customers on the question of intellectual property rights and potential legal liabilities.

It found that 71 percent of respondents agreed with the statement: "I am more likely to deploy a Linux that comes with intellectual property rights, which reduces my company's exposure to risk."