Microsoft and Novell's announcement of collaboration agreements for greater interoperability between their products marks a milestone in the evolution of open source software's (OSS) place in the corporate data center, says Info-Tech Research Group. The partnership serves to legitimize Novell's Linux solution as an enterprise-grade platform and recognizes that businesses are already using a mixed Windows/Linux approach.

"Proponents of OSS in the enterprise can celebrate the validation of Linux as a viable solution," said Carmi Levy, senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group. "And it's a smart move for Microsoft because they know the industry is moving this way, so why not capitalize on the opportunity to sell additional products and services?"

"Longer term, it opens the door for more effective server architectures. Efficiencies through interoperability in the data center will be critical to cost-saving improvements like virtualization," Levy added.

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