Microsoft Proving Open Source Naysayers Wrong

Throwing more good money after bad? Or, a sign the partnership is working? Microsoft dumps another $100m into certificates for Novell's Linux operating system products. That's after an initial investment of $240m in certificates back in 2006, of which $156m (65%) Novell has already booked during the front end of the contract. That answers the questions I opened with; the partnership is working. Who's benefiting? Certainly Novell, but enterprise organizations seeking enterprise Linux solutions and their existing suppliers, Microsoft and Novell, to stand behind the products with enterprise class support. So, you have to ask the question; were the open source detractors of the Microvell deal wrong? Is Novell still an open source sellout (I doubt many views have changes on this) and the increased investment in certifications all just about Microsoft appeasing customers by offering up Novell's Linux when Microsoft is out of proprietary options? It's hard to say the Microvell deal was a bad one or is a failure. If anything, buying $100m more Novell certificates tells me Microsoft is getting real traction in enterprises with this strategy.

I think the best of times for the Microvell deal are still ahead of us and the struggling economy is playing right into the strengths of any partnership like Microvell. Tough economic times drive companies to squeeze all unnecessary costs out of the system. Consolidation to a smaller set of technologies, vendors and contracts give larger vendors the opportunity gobble up more of the business from competitors. That gives larger vendors, integrators and one-stop-shops the upper hand in reducing costs, to easily swoop in and get the customer to turn over more business in what can be some very compelling cost saving offers.

With a receptive Enterprise IT audience looking for new alternatives to pinch pennies, vendors like Microsoft can do what HP, IBM and so many others have been doing for years.

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