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Microsoft and Novell Alliance Embraced by Wal-Mart
Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc. today announced that Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, became the latest customer to take advantage of the benefits of the new collaboration on interoperability between Microsoft Windows and Linux. Under the agreement, Microsoft will deliver SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscription certificates to Wal-Mart for use in Wal-Mart’s IT infrastructure. The engagement among the three companies opens a host of other potential opportunities for both Microsoft and Novell to provide Wal-Mart with additional software resources and support, building on future joint research and developments around virtualization and interoperability.

Wal-Mart, already a significant user of Microsoft products, is pleased that the collaboration will improve interoperability among various systems. “We have wanted information technology vendors to deliver true interoperability and IP assurance between multiple platforms for some time now, and we are pleased that Microsoft and Novell are committed to fulfilling that need,” said Nancy Stewart, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Wal-Mart. “Wal-Mart is known around the world for its innovative use of technology. Selecting Microsoft and Novell is another step in that strategy. The net result is a win for us and, more importantly, for our customers.”

“Customers tell us every day that they need to operate a cost-effective IT organization and leverage the most they can out of their investments,” said Ron Hovsepian, president and CEO of Novell. “Through our relationship with Microsoft, we’ve created new opportunities for enterprise interoperability and virtualization that ultimately result in real savings for our customers. We are delighted that Wal-Mart has chosen SUSE Linux Enterprise, and we look forward to collaborating with them for many years.”

By working together with Microsoft and Novell, Wal-Mart gains the ability to manage Windows and Linux by extending its existing Microsoft management tool set and authentication platform: Systems Management Server, Active Directory and Microsoft Operations Manager. Wal-Mart can also move to lower-cost commodity server hardware while simultaneously improving the customer experience.

“Customers tell us that they need interoperability and that they want their technology vendors to manage the underlying intellectual property issues in software,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “We are delivering this to Wal-Mart and giving them peace of mind so they can focus on their business and build for the future.”

The Microsoft-Novell Agreement

On Nov. 2, 2006, Novell and Microsoft announced a series of agreements to jointly build, market and support new solutions to improve interoperability, deliver powerful new virtualization capabilities, make Microsoft and Novell products work better together, and give customers peace of mind that both companies stand behind the products they deliver. As part of this five-year agreement, Microsoft agreed to use, resell or distribute certificates that customers redeem to receive SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscriptions for upgrades, updates and technical support from Novell.

Since the announcement, more than 35,000 new certificates for three-year priority support subscriptions to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server have been activated under the Microsoft and Novell collaboration agreement.

More information about the Microsoft and Novell agreement, including other customer announcements, can be found at http://www.novell.com/linux/microsoft and http://www.microsoft.com/interop/msnovellcollab/default.mspx.

Published Tuesday, January 23, 2007 6:41 AM by David Marshall
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