Microsoft is preparing to offer sales support of Suse Linux, a variant of the Linux Operating System sold by Novell. The two companies have also seems to have agreed to develop technologies to make it easier for users to run both Suse Linux and Microsoft’s Windows on their computers. The two companies are expected to announce details of their plan today at a press conference in San Francisco.
In addition, Microsoft won’t assert rights over patents over software technology that may be incorporated into Suse Linux, the people said. Businesses that use Linux have long worried that Microsoft would one day file patent infringement suits against sellers of the rival software.
The pact marks an unusual level of cooperation between two longtime rivals. Microsoft has been battling all versions of Linux, but has faced pressure to assure that customers can run both Windows and Linux without problems.
Microsoft has issued a media alert confirming that CEO Steve Ballmer will make an announcement today.