Novell buys SuSE Linux

The balance of Linux power shifted Tuesday, with Novell announcing an IBM-assisted plan to acquire SuSE Linux.


Longtime Microsoft foe Novell has signed an agreement to acquire SuSE Linux for $210 million in cash, while IBM, the most powerful backer of the Linux operating system, will make a $50 million investment in Novell.


The moves, announced Tuesday, could boost the fortunes of SuSE, the No. 2 seller of Linux, increase the competitive pressure on No. 1 Red Hat and provide a new direction for Novell’s rivalry with Microsoft.


The three-way action also highlights where much of the power in the Linux realm resides. “IBM was a very important broker in the deal. It’s prepared to be the kingmaker to counterbalance SuSE against Red Hat,” RedMonk analyst James Governor said.


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