Microsoft to Work with Novell's Linux
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
Some other news. A couple of bitter business rivals are going to try to become a little more compatible. Microsoft reached an agreement that will allow its Windows operating system, with which most people are familiar, to work with the open source Linux system used by rival Novell. NPR's Laura Sydell reports that should make companies that use both systems happy.
LAURA SYDELL: Novell's Linux-based operating system and the Windows operating system don't communicate. At times, that's made life rough for business customers, says Rob Enderle, an analyst with Enderle Group. Suppose an employee is putting in data and...
Mr. ROB ENDERLE (Analyst, Enderle Group): The data you're entering, it doesn't seem to be going anyplace and it might actually look like a system freeze to you. And it has nothing to do with what's going on in your desktop; it has everything to do with what's going on on the servers.
SYDELL: The deal between Novell and Microsoft will open communication between the operating systems and should make the servers work more smoothly.
Mr. ENDERLE: You have two belief principles on both sides coming together in a kumbaya moment.
SYDELL: At a press conference in San Francisco, where the two companies announced the agreement, there wasn't an singing. A pragmatic Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer said it was a response to unhappy customers.
Mr. STEVE BALLMER (CEO, Microsoft): This is a set of agreements that really I think will greatly enhance interoperability between Linux and Windows and give customers greater flexibility in ways that they have certainly been asking.
SYDELL: And while software for the companies may now be in harmony, it's not all sweet music between Microsoft and Novell. The deal does not affect an anti-trust suit brought by Novell that's already cost Microsoft more than $500 million.
Laura Sydell, NPR News, San Francisco.
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