Odd bedfellows: Dell, Novell, Microsft; Red Hat, IBM

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First, the Dell thing. From SeekingAlpha we learn that Dell announced this week that it will buy SUSE Linux Enterprise Server certificates from Microsoft. Dell joins AIG, Deutsche Bank, Wal-Mart, and others. Though the Novell/Microsoft relationship is born out of claims by Microsoft that Novell stole intellectual property, the spin is quite different as we see from HSBC’s announcement earlier this year

…Under the agreement, Microsoft will deliver to HSBC certificates for three-year priority support subscriptions to SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server from Novell®, as HSBC moves to standardize its Linux* deployments on one distribution. By reducing the diversity of its Linux environment, HSBC will be able to reduce its total cost of ownership (TCO) for Linux, and improve interoperability with its existing Microsoft® Windows® infrastructure.

Now we hear that IBM is moving away from Novell to Red Hat in an announcement yesterday:

Red Hat Inc. and IBM formed a partnership to develop, sell and support Red Hat’s Linux software for IBM’s mainframe computers, people familiar with the arrangement said on Tuesday.

The agreement, which the companies plan to announce at a Red Hat users conference that begins on Wednesday, applies to Linux software for International Business Machine Corp.’s System z mainframe computer systems, the sources said.

…Red Hat already works closely with IBM to market its software on the computer maker’s smaller systems. But until now Novell has enjoyed preferred status when it comes to selling software for IBM’s mainframe computers, analysts said.