There have been reports that, following the successful interoperability agreement between Microsoft and Novell, the Redmond Company is shopping for yet another Linux partner. In this
context, speculations are pointing to Red Hat as a new Microsoft partner for Windows-Linux interoperability. The fact of the matter is that the Microsoft and Novell partnership is just an aspect of a greater vision made public by the Redmond Company that aims to drive interoperability and intellectual property responsibility.
"We have had ongoing discussions with Red Hat for a long time," said Tom Robertson, Microsoft's general manager of interoperability and standards. "We are vendors in the same marketplace. We have made it clear that we would love to have a deal similar to the Novell deal in multiple respects. Microsoft would very much like to do a deal with Red Hat."
And while Microsoft has stated that Novell-type deals are opened to additional companies, Red Hat has not exactly jumped at the opportunity. In fact, Red Hat has done just the opposite and denied that it is negotiating with Microsoft a Novell-type agreement.
"While we are engaged in activities around interoperability with Microsoft, those activities only involve technology development. All announcements with respect to those activities have already been made public," Red Hat Associate Deputy Counsel, Mark Webbink said to Mary Jo Foley
The past week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has praised the interoperability agreement with Novell as an example that there is respect for intellectual property even in the open source world.