Microsoft today claimed that there is "strong customer support" for its recent alliance with Novell.
The Redmond giant said that a survey of IT decision makers it commissioned from market research firm Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates shows overwhelming support for the deal. Nearly all respondents were said to want to improve Windows/Linux interoperability and have tools that make it easier to manage mixed Windows and Linux environments.
Penn, Schoen & Berland conducted 201 interviews between November 17-20 with IT executives, managers or staff whose primary job is in a formalised IT department, or who perform IT functions in a non-IT department, but who have significant technology purchasing authority. Organisations had to have at least 500 PCs to participate in the survey.
Ninety-five per cent of respondents were said to approve of the collaboration between Novell and Microsoft. Some 87 per cent said that customers benefit if leading Linux distributors and Microsoft worked more closely with one another.
In addition, four out of five believe their organisation would consider doing more business with Linux dealers if Linux providers establish an alliance with Microsoft.
Interoperability was identified as the area where respondents want the most focus. Some 97 per cent said they wanted platform providers to improve interoperability of their systems and provide tools that make it easier for the end user to navigate both Linux and Windows environments.
"Microsoft and Novell entered into this agreement to make it easier for customers to deploy Windows Server and Linux together," said Susan Heystee, vice president of Global Strategic Alliances at Novell. "The results of this independent research show the majority of approval numbers over 80 and 90 per cent."
Susan Hauser, general manager of customer advocacy at Microsoft, added: " Customers who have mixed-source environments want their platform providers to work better together to tackle the complexity and cost of integration. Through our work with Novell, we're doing just that."
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