Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
At first glance, it may appear to be one of the seven signs of the Apocalypse: Microsoft has agreed to support SUSE Linux. On closer evaluation, however, it may not be all that surprising or significant for the Linux community.
Fast on the heels of Oracle's announcement of support for Red Hat's Linux distribution, Microsoft held a news conference last month to announce that it is working with Novell (the company that now owns SUSE Linux) to support SUSE on systems running Microsoft operating systems. Supposedly, this will allow systems running the proprietary Windows OSes to also run SUSE, and those running SUSE to also run the Windows OSes. If it sounds a lot like VMWare without the middleman, you're absolutely right.
Virtualization is only part of the agreement, however -- Web services management and Open Document Framework being two other components. According to Microsoft, this deal is yet another bridge to supporting open source software, having greater interoperability between the operating systems, and so on. A deal between Microsoft and Sun had a similar tone two years ago but doesn't seem to have gone anywhere since the announcement.