Volume 4, Number 34 -- September 18, 2007

Microsoft Bags Two More Big Linux Customers

Published: September 18, 2007

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

Microsoft has announced that it has inked two more SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 licensing deals, this time with two German industrial giants, as part of its distribution agreement with Novell.

Specifically, BMW, the luxury car maker, and Siemens, the indigenous industrial conglomerate and one of the biggest IT and communications players in Europe, have both inked deals to get their SLES 10 licenses activated through the deal that Novell and Microsoft brokered in November 2006. Both companies are activating three-year support contracts for SLES 10. BMW says that it has chosen a dual-platform IT strategy, which includes Windows and Linux platforms to support marketing, financial, and human resources applications. Siemens Enterprise Communications group, which makes various PBX, VoIP, and call center equipment and software, has a customer base with a mix of Windows and Linux platforms. So the IT Services and Enterprise Communications division, within this Siemens group that is activating the SUSE Linux licenses and support through Microsoft, is keen on getting interoperability and unified support for Linux and Windows for the call center products it delivers to customers.

With these two announcements, Microsoft now has a number of big Global 1000 customers who have activated Linux and admitted it, including Wal-Mart, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, and AIG. Microsoft and Novell signed a $240 million deal in November 2006 that allowed Microsoft to distribute up to 70,000 SUSE Linux support licenses, and at the conclusion of Novell's fiscal third quarter ended July 31, $105 million of those licenses have already been activated in less than one year. But the activation rate, as measured by revenues to Novell, have slowed in the past quarter. The licensing rate could pick up again, since it is not really driven by a product technology cycle, but rather the propensity for Windows shops to want to use Linux in their data centers.


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Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik, Kevin Vandever,
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