Today Microsoft announced its System Center's ability to deliver automated management across heterogeneous IT environments, such as UNIX and Linux, as Sam Ramji notes on his blog. Great news, I suppose, in that Microsoft increasingly understands that it's not the center of the universe anymore.
The agent infrastructure Microsoft is building to interoperate with UNIX and Linux is built leveraging industry standards and open source such as WS-Management and OpenPegasus....It simply makes great technical and business sense to cooperate with the OpenPegasus community to build upon industry-standards based cross-platform technology.
Indeed it does, Sam, which is why one would expect Microsoft to support not only SUSE Enterprise Linux but also Ubuntu Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux as part of this. After all, if it's customers you want to benefit, then go for the two Linux distributions with the biggest community appeal (Ubuntu) and corporate appeal (Red Hat). Supporting only the Linux vendor with whom you have a measure of control through a patent agreement is, well, not so open.
So, good first step. Now let's see just how committed Microsoft is to openness.