At the time the original deal was signed, in November 2006, Novell was a single entity with its entire Linux business being managed within.
The new deal, which runs until January 1, 2016, will see Microsoft invest $US100 million in SUSE Linux Enterprise certificates for customers receiving Linux support from SUSE.
The extension of the deal does not come as a surprise given that Microsoft has recently shown more than a passing interest in improving the experience of customers using Windows systems to run Linux on its Hyper-V emulation layer.
Microsoft personnel recently submitted changes to patches for making Hyper-V work better with the Linux kernel; the original patches did not meet the strict quality standards of the kernel maintainers and hence had been left out of the kernel.
The renewal of the deal will not occasion even half the hysteria that the original deal did; Microsoft, at that time, was considered an active competitor on the world stage. That is no longer the case, with the Vista debacle having sucked most of the oxygen out of the company's lungs.
And SUSE has not proved to be the force that Microsoft thought it would be - Red Hat is still the enterprise Linux leader by a huge margin, and its growth shows no sign of abating.
If Microsoft had changed leadership and brought in someone with technical nous to follow in the steps of Bill Gates, then things may well have been different. But Steve Ballmer does not inspire confidence and the company has slowly but surely lost is foothold in nearly every computing market niche.
A sad truth is now being learnt in Redmond: after a while, all the PR buzzwords in the industry cannot help an aging behemoth to change direction when there are crosswinds coming in from all directions.