Newflash: Hell Froze Over

I’ve made a few references before on this blog about the infamous “freezing over” but this one my friends, takes the cake. BusinessWeek is now reporting that yesterday, Microsoft and Novell linked up and Microsoft has agreed to provide some support to Linux.

“They said it couldn’t be done,” Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, said in a prepared statement. “This is a new model and a true evolution of our relationship that we think customers will immediately find compelling.”

Executives at both companies said that they were turning from competition to cooperation because corporate customers have made it clear they want to use a blend of technologies; Linux on some machines and Windows on others. Rather than frustrating customers with software that doesn’t work well together, the two companies hope to make their technologies operate smoothly. “Too often technology companies ask their customers to adapt to them,” said Ron Hovsepian, chief executive at Novell. “Today, we are adapting to our customers.”

I am glad that both Novell and Microsoft have realized this and for once have decided that the PAYING customer doesn’t have to adapt. I’m really interested to see what will come out of this partnership. I can’t tell you how overjoyed I would be if I was presented with an option during my SuSE installations to “Join an Active Directory Domain” for one thing.

I think there has to be at least some marketing mojo behind this for Microsoft, so we may need to take this news with a grain of salt until we see some results of the partnership. With the release of Vista just down the road, this move is sure to win Microsoft some bonus points with the geeks. I know it has for me.