Microsoft courts Red Hat

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Microsoft courts Red Hat

Quest to improve Windows/Linux interoperability continues.

Microsoft is to form a partnership with Red Hat to improve the interoperability of Windows and Linux, according to Tom Robertson, Microsoft's general manager of interoperability and standards.

"We have had ongoing discussions with Red Hat for a long time," Robertson told in an interview last week.

"We are vendors in the same marketplace. We have made it clear that we would love to have a deal similar to the Novell deal in multiple respects. Microsoft would very much like to do a deal with Red Hat."

Robertson stressed that Redmond is committed to improving interoperability between its software and other applications used by its customers.

Microsoft has already signed interoperability agreements with long-time enemies, such as last year's partnership with Novell and the 2004 truce with Sun Microsystems.  

The Novell deal included a marketing partnership, an interoperability pledge and an intellectual property cross-licensing deal.

The latter has been the target of harsh criticism from open source parties including Red Hat because they view it as an endorsement of Microsoft's software patent portfolio.

Microsoft indicated that it sees the Novell deal as a model for a potential Red Hat partnership.

Mark Webbink, deputy general counsel at Red Hat, said in an emailed statement to that the company is "engaged on a technical level in a number of interoperability and standards projects with Microsoft".

Webbink declined to offer further comment.
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