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Red Hat Microsoft virtualization deal is a win-win

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From the 'while you were on vacation' files:

Red Hat and Microsoft have entered into a support and certification deal for each others virtualization technologies. Red Hat Enterprise Linux will now be a supported guest on Windows Server 2008 running Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization. Microsoft Windows Server on the other side will now be a supported guest on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Both sides in the deal, which was announced yesterday (President's Day), noted the deal was one dimensional and did not include any revenues or patent rights. It's a very different deal than Microsoft Novell interoperability deal of November 2006. This deal is just about providing support for what users are already doing.

Red Hat's Mike Evans VP corporate development at Red Hat explained to me how the deal actually works from a practical point of view.
"You call the first company that you think you have the problem with, and if it can not be solved, Microsoft or Red Hat will work with the other vendor to come to a resolution for the mutual customer,"
Evans explained.

I see this as a win-win for Microsoft, Red Hat and even Novell.

Red Hat can now claim that it can support Microsoft without having had to 'sell its soul' as it were, like Novell did. Red Hat did not yield on the patent issues that make the Novell Microsoft deal what it is.

For Microsoft they can now offer a wider choice to users, claiming that Hyper-V supports both major enterprise Linux operating systems.

For Novell, they now have certified competition in the Windows virtualization space. Competition and choice is always a good thing. Instead of just telling customers that they are the only ones support by Microsoft for virtualization, they can now try and compete on features, functionality, performance and yes even patent protections.

Choice is always a good thing and that's what this new Red Hat Microsoft deal provides.  

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