Microsoft, Novell reach agreement on Linux

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Once bitter rivals, Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc. entered into an agreement on Thursday to allow open-source Linux software to work with Microsoft's Windows software.

After years of trying to crush open-source rivals, Microsoft said it will provide support and technology to allow Linux to work on Windows while agreeing not to assert patent rights over technology that may be included in Suse Linux, a version of the operating system sold by Novell.

n its second major partnership with an open-source software company this week, Microsoft sought to assure a growing number of Linux users, especially in the computer server market, that the two technologies can work together.

"We appreciate that open-source software plays an important role in our industry and it's here to stay," said Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel. "This will enable a new level of cooperation between open source and proprietary software."

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Joint letter to the Open Source Community From Novell and Microsoft.