updated 02:05 pm EDT, Mon July 25, 2011
Allows continued access to SUSE's Linux software
Microsoft has extended its agreement with SUSE to work on continued interoperability between Windows and Linux. The initial arrangement began almost five years ago, and the new deal will continue until the start of 2016. Microsoft will invest $100 million in new SUSE Linux Enterprise certificates for customers receiving Linux support from SUSE.
SUSE was founded in 1992 to help companies deploy enterprise wide Linux solutions. It was acquired by Novell in 2004. Novell was acquired by Attachmate in April of this year. During the acquisition process, CPTN Holdings, a holding company owned by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and EMC, had sought to buy some of Novell's patents. Fearing that this might threaten the continued ability of Linux to be developed as open source code, the Department of Justice stepped in.
Ultimately, CPTN agreed to sell back to Attachemate the Novell patents CPTN had intended to purchase in return for a license that will allow it to use those particular patents.
This agreement extension appears to ensure that Microsoft will still have access to those patents.