For the first time, Microsoft was invited to participate in Novell's annual BrainShare conference, according to ARNnet. Last week, the former rivals took center stage to discuss the details of the partnership pact that has ruffled so many feathers of late. Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian explained that the entire deal was about making the customers' day easier -- giving them interoperability. Linux and open platforms marketing director Justin Steinman told us the same thing not long ago in an IT Business Edge interview.
A "coffee table chat" between Microsoft's Craig Mundie and Novell's Jeff Jaffe focused on interoperability efforts. Both agree that the companies' respective operating systems will coexist and that interoperability is necessary, but each also admits that he will push his own company's product when interacting with customers. ARNnet quotes Mundie this way: "Let the games begin."
Customers like BrainShare attendee Brian McLeod are apparently happy with the deal. He says he hopes "it brings Novell more business." And as Gartner VP George Weiss says, Microsoft is less worried about losing business to Novell than it is about losing control of the environments running both Windows and Linux. The agreement with Novell allows Microsoft to maintain control.