Microsoft, Novell Discuss Interoperability at BrainShare

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-03-19 Print this article Print

Reporter's Notebook: Novell CTO Jeff Jaffee and Craig Mundie, the chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft, take the stage at BrainShare to talk about the recent, controversial deal between them.

SALT LAKE CITY—In a first for a Novell BrainShare conference, the company held a fireside chat between its own CTO Jeff Jaffee and Craig Mundie, the chief research and strategy office at Microsoft, the companys latest and most controversial partner, as part of the opening keynote address March 19. But the two steered clear of any discussion about their patent pact, the most controversial aspect of that deal.
Interestingly, when Mundie was introduced by chat moderator, Novell Chief Marketing Officer John Dragoon, he received more applause than did Jaffee, who told the opening keynote crowd that the IT industry was going to consolidate on two platforms, Linux and Windows, with Novell now well positioned to support both of these, but leading with Linux.
Click here to read more about how Microsoft and Novell have made peace over Linux. Mundie agreed that consolidation would result in two platforms, with customers having mixed environments. "Customers want interoperability as well as innovation, and Microsoft wants to build bridges with the broad software community," he said, noting that the industry is behind where customers want it to be with regard to reducing costs. There are also misconceptions about the viability of interoperability between products from Microsoft and Novell, and the recent deal between them showed that "it is possible to build bridges between these two environments and allow them to coexist within a customers environment," he said. To read more about how Microsoft and Novell have expanded their technical collaboration plans, click here. Jaffee also pointed out that interoperability is by no means a new challenge for Novell, and has been an issue that it has been dealing with for years. Asked about how the data center will change over the next three years, Jaffee said those changes will be around consolidation, virtualization and the management of physical and virtual resources. Mundie said its absolutely clear that a heterogeneous environment will exist in the data center and that interoperability is key, while management of the environment is also very important and there needs to be a more natural coexistence of all this between these environments. It has been five months since the agreement between Microsoft and Novell, which was very well received by their joint customers, and all is going well on that front, he said. Microsoft and Novell have much to prove. Click here to read more. From Novells perspective, Jaffee said its driven to the deal after listening to customers. Ongoing innovation is also essential, and Novell wants to make Linux critical to the enterprise. "We are going to host applications from multiple operating systems and we will be hosting those on top of Linux, while Microsoft wants to host those on top of Windows," he said. To Mundie, one of the core tenets of the agreement for customers is that it "brings together another level of choice for customers," he said. After the chat, Novells Dragoon said, "I guess pigs do fly." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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