Customer-focused approach to enabling interoperability : Chris Levanes, Platform Strategy Manager, Microsoft, Asia Pacific Region

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1.       What is the impact of the recent collaboration between Microsoft and Novell on Windows and Linux Interoperability and support on the open source movement?


Microsoft takes a customer-focused approach to enabling interoperability and is committed to meeting customer and market needs by designing interoperable products and services.  Whether it is sharing data between applications written in different programming languages or trying to log on across multiple systems, Microsoft is focused on delivering innovative interoperable solutions that connect people, data and diverse systems. The Microsoft-Novell collaboration agreement improves interoperability and enables choice. This agreement forges a new model to enhance interoperability between Windows and Linux.


This agreement also provides each company’s customers with patent coverage for their respective products.  As a result of this broad collaboration, customers will realize increased efficiencies, greater choice and flexibility. The industry, including the open source community, will also benefit through increased intellectual property (IP), peace of mind and innovative and competitive products.      

By working together, Novell and Microsoft enable customers to choose the operating system that best fits their applications and business needs.


2.       How will this collaboration impact the government, especially in Asian countries, who find deploying open source and propriety software/interoperability a huge challenge?


Today, businesses and governments are increasingly meeting their IT needs by selecting the best software from multiple vendors, including proprietary and open source vendors.  Because they are operating mixed computing environments, improved interoperability continues to be a desired feature.  Similarly, customers are increasingly concerned about the IP issues associated with the software they deploy, especially open source software.  Microsoft and Novell are focused on aligning our interests with those customers, and we have come together to address these two areas of concern.  We believe this will create new and exciting technology and business opportunities for our companies, customers, and the software industry.

Briefly, here is an overview of how we see this aspect of the overall collaboration benefiting customers, both in the public and private sector:

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