Microsoft has extended its SUSE licensing and interoperability partnership with Novell for another four years, and bought another $100m worth of licences.
Microsoft signed a deal with Novell in 2006 to co-operate on sales and support for Novell's Linux systems and, controversially, for Novell to be indemnified against any future intellectual property cases Microsoft might bring against Linux.
The case led to the revision of the rules for open source software and the development of the General Public Licence version 3.
Under the new four-year deal Microsoft will purchase $100m in new SUSE Linux licences for its customers and support the 725 current licences signed up since 2007.
The two companies will also co-operate on technical development to smooth operations between the two platforms.
"As this relationship continues, Microsoft and SUSE plan to continue to innovate in areas that support customers with mixed source, heterogeneous environments, including virtualisation," a Microsoft spokesperson told V3.
"While we expect new focus to be placed on manageability and cloud adoption, we are evaluating technical direction now and plan to share more information before the end of the year."
Microsoft and Novell have concentrated on streamlining the management and hosting of Windows Server 2008 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server in Microsoft Virtual Server, Hyper-V and Novell Xen.
The partnership arrangement now extends until 1 January 2016, but Microsoft stressed that it is not excluding other Linux vendors. The company already offers subscription support to open source systems such as Red Hat.
"We're pleased to extend our long-term relationship with Microsoft," said Michael Miller, vice president of global alliances at SUSE.
"We will continue to work with Microsoft to deliver solutions that enable our joint customers to manage critical workloads in mixed source environments across a wide range of computing models, including private, hybrid and full-cloud implementations."
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