Microsoft Cozies Up with Linux for $348 million

Dennis Faas's picture

Familiar with Linux? It's the hardcore techie's answer to the more restrictive (albeit user-friendly) operating systems from Microsoft and Apple. Those who know what they're doing with Linux can achieve unparalleled goals via software applications and open source technology. It's also a great way to hack an Xbox.

Changes are possible upon the horizon, however, with the recent announcement that Microsoft has partnered with Linux owner Novell. The result is a relationship that will continue until at least 2012, and include some major cash transactions.

The primary goal of the agreement is to make Linux and Windows applications completely compatible with one another. It promises to make life easier for fans of both, especially since both Novell and Microsoft have pledged to be careful of each other's patent rights. That means Microsoft is [very!] unlikely to swallow up Linux or any of its users, and although the possibility remains, fans should sleep comfortably (until 2012, at least).

Conditions of the deal will see Microsoft pay Novell $348 million, although Novell is responsible for paying back $200 million of that deal in the span of five years. The money is meant to give compatibility research a jump-start, but keep in mind that both partners are indeed just that -- partners. Microsoft is remaining vigilant with a message that it has not acquired Novell. (source:

In a related story, a man has successfully fought Dell for a cash refund after the computer supplier provided him with an unwanted Windows operating system. Dave Mitchell, a freelance programmer from Sheffield, UK, is a die-hard Linux supporter and was greatly distressed when his Dell Inspiron laptop came loaded with the Microsoft OS. (source:

Mitchell told publication Linux World that he refused to even run the loaded operating system.

Ouch, Microsoft.

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