Microsoft Corp. is entering into an agreement with Novell Inc. that will allow open-source Linux software to work with the company’s Windows software, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
Novell and Microsoft will work together to develop technologies to allow users to run both Windows and Suse Linux, a version of the operating system sold by Novell, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the companies.
Unlike proprietary software, open-source software lets developers share code and add functions. Users pay for custom features, maintenance and technical support. Linux is the most popular variant of open-source software.
Microsoft plans to make a major announcement later on Thursday, but declined to comment on the article.
Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, spent years trying to defeat open-source software, but Linux now represents a large portion of the server market and its customers are increasingly asking to be able to run both technologies.
Shares of Novell rose 15.84 percent, or 93 cents, to $6.80 on the news, while open-source rival Red Hat Inc. shares fell 4.02 percent, or 66 cents, to $15.77 in afternoon Nasdaq trade. Microsoft shares fell 1 cents to $26.80.
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