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This struck me as a very interesting figure, because after firing up XCalc, I figured out that if indeed just 475 customers have received these coupons, then Microsoft has essentially subsidized SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) deployments an average tune of US$505,263.16 per customer.
If you recall, Novell's former best friend for SUSE Linux was Microsoft. Microsoft and Novell have a partnership where the two parties had certificates that indemnified SUSE users from any intellectual property liability. In addition, Microsoft officially recommended SUSE Linux Enterprise for hybrid Windows/Linux shops.
Novell today is rolling out the newest edition of its flagship enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) 11. The new releases are the first major updates since the SLES and SLED 10 releases in July of 2006 and are the first enterprise Linux distro's to ever support Mono - .NET on Linux
The reduction of the support duration for openSUSE from 24 to 18 months has sparked a discussion among the openSUSE community about a free SUSE Linux version with long-term support. Several community members are of the opinion that reducing the openSUSE support has created a gap between the free openSUSE and the commercially supported SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES).
While HP was slow in supporting Linux on the desktop, HP has long supported Linux on the server. HP currently supports RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux), Novell's SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server), Oracle Enterprise Linux and even the community's own Linux, Debian on its server hardware. Now, HP is about to start supporting Ubuntu on its ProLiant server line.
Novell is offering a sneak preview of the forthcoming Suse Linux Enterprise 11 server (SLES) and desktop (SLED) versions to download. SLE 11 contains current software, including kernel version 2.6.27, X.org 7.4, Gnome 2.24 and KDE 4.1, Apache 2.2.10 and Samba 3.2.5, PHP 5.2.6, and Python 2.6.
Given the outcry in the open-source community over the coupon deal Novell struck with Microsoft, you can only begin to imagine the mother of all rumpuses that would ensue if SUSE actually ended up in the Redmond bed, but these things have a habit of dying down eventually. What happens if Microsoft doesn't buy Novell, and SUSE gets sold off to somebody else?