Novell's agreement to acquire SuSE Linux for $210m is good news for the Linux community, showing that the firm is not worried about the uncertainty surrounding Linux following SCO Group's legal action against IBM.
And IBM's $50m investment in Novell as part of the deal means the distribution and support gap SCO left in the United Linux consortium is filled.
"This really is very, very good news for Linux," said Gary Barnett, principal analyst at Ovum. "It will change the landscape of the world of Linux."
Gartner analyst Andy Butler said: "Novell must convince the more evangelical elements of the Linux community that what it is doing with SuSE is nothing like what happened with Caldera. Novell has made it clear it is part of the anti-SCO lobby."
Nigel Wright, managing director of Linux reseller Abtec, said the move was surprising. "All the indications from Novell recently have been that it is struggling," he explained.
"However, this is also a fairly well-respected name in the market buying into Linux. I think we'll have to wait and see how the market reacts to it."
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