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Sunday, 10 July 2016 18:13

Microsoft and SUSE have new public cloud deal

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The Germany-based SUSE Linux and Microsoft have inked a new deal that focuses on the public cloud business and has updated terms and commitments, according to Kristin Kinan, global alliance director for public cloud at SUSE.

This supercedes earlier agreements between the two companies, Kinan said, in response to queries from iTWire.

Microsoft and SUSE signed a patent-licensing deal in 2006, at a time when SUSE was operating under the Novell umbrella in the US. Novell was acquired by the Attachmate Group in 2010 and later sold to the British mainframe company Micro Focus in 2014. From the time of the Attachmate purchase, SUSE went back to operating as an independent business unit in Nuremberg as it had been before it was first bought by Novell in 2003. In July 2011, Microsoft announced the SUSE deal would be extended till 1 January this year.

Last year when Microsoft was asked about the continuation of the deal, the company refused to say anything openly. The 2006 deal did not go down well with the free and open source software community and one prominent developer, Jeremy Allison of the Samba project, left Novell in protest.

Asked whether Microsoft had been ignoring SUSE in recent times, with its deals focused on SUSE's competitors Red Hat and Canonical, Kinan replied that SUSE had launched offerings during the Microsoft Azure preview in 2012 and had been engineering solutions with the Microsoft Open Source Technology Centre and Azure Engineering ever since.

"New solutions include the SUSE High Performance Computing image, SUSE Manager Management Pack updates, and image infrastructure updates, whereas Microsoft’s partnership with Red Hat was launched in 2015," she said.

Questioned whether Microsoft had tied up with SUSE in 2006 from a position of strength while its deal with Red Hat in 2015 came from a comparative position of weakness, Kinan replied: "Microsoft’s Linux business has grown to over 22 to 25% of their public cloud business, demonstrating customer commitment to Linux. Their investment in open source solutions, selling initiatives and partnering has exceeded our expectations."

Image: courtesy techrights.org


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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