CLOSED SOURCE SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft has announced that it will extend its cooperation with Linux vendor Suse.
Suse, itself a division of Attachmate, the firm that is controlled by a Microsoft-led consortium announced that its agreement with Microsoft will be extended for another four years. Microsoft in turn has committed to invest $100m in Suse Linux Enterprise certificates.
For all its history with Linux, Microsoft has in recent years realised that it simply cannot ignore enterprise oriented Linux-based distributions such as Red Hat and Suse. Microsoft now submits a considerable amount of code to the Linux kernel development team, focusing particularly on improving support for its Hyper-V virtualisation stack.
While Microsoft's deal is with Suse, the firm mentions Red Hat and even the free community-led CentOS distribution a number of times during its announcement. Of Hyper-V support, Microsoft said, "The Microsoft-Suse expanded support program has helped a number of our customers standardize on SUSE as an optimized guest on Hyper-V, as well as provide a highly cost-effective support program for non-Suse distributions, including Red Hat."
Of course long time Linux fans will continue to view Microsoft's contribution as a self-serving act. However one of the big advantages of open source software, including the Linux kernel, is that it allows anyone to modify it to their own purposes.
If anything Microsoft's $100m commitment only serves to highlight just how far Linux has come that arguably its biggest rival has started to embrace it. And for some users, having Microsoft's 'seal of approval' is just what is needed to get Linux into more businesses. µ
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