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This is very interesting indeed. VMware and Novell just announced that VMware would sell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on VMware’s vSphere product (with full support by VMware) – and now there is a report by the Wall Street Journal that Novell’s Linux business could be bought by VMware. Talks are continuing, but this is intriguing to say the least.

The focus is on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, but Novell’s Linux “businesses” also include GNOME and Mono; it should be interesting to see what happens next.

Novell has been through some very rough times – first WordPerfect, then Netware, then UNIXware, and now SUSE. When SCO (not The SCO Group!) was split up, what was left was a shell of its former self; I hope that does not happen to Novell.

If VMware buys Novell’s Linux business, then SUSE would join Zimbra and SpringSource in the fold.

Let’s not forget, too, that VMware is owned by the storage company EMC. This could make itself felt in superior support for EMC products in SUSE Linux.

Personally, I feel better about SUSE being in the hands of VMware than I ever did thinking about Sun (and Solaris) in the hands of Oracle. I would also be surprised if some other company got SUSE instead; with the recent cooperation between the two companies VMware is the natural choice.

There was also the rumor that Attachmate would take on some of Novell’s other businesses. Attachmate has been good to the Reflection Suite for X that I like and recommend; perhaps Attachmate could be a good match as well.

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