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MS deal done for users says Novell

Novell's decision to partner with Microsoft was done with its customers in mind, CEO Ron Hovsepian told delegates to the firm's annual BrainShare conference last week.

Novell's decision to partner with Microsoft was done with its customers in mind, CEO Ron Hovsepian told delegates to the firm's annual BrainShare conference last week.

"I will tell you, as the CEO of this corporation, it was done for one reason and that was for the customers," Hovsepian told delegates at the conference in Salt Lake City, US. "This was all about driving customers to make their lives easier, and about interoperability. This is a customer-driven move and we will remain customer-focused," he said.

After years of hostility between the two companies, this year's event saw Microsoft make its first ever appearance - as a platinum sponsor - with its chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie and Novell's chief technology officer Jeff Jaffe taking the stage to answer questions.

Unsurprisingly, not all members of the open source community were willing to agree with Hovsepian's argument that the deal is beneficial to all customers. Since the two software firms teamed up last year, Novell has been forced to defend the agreement on numerous occasions, with some opponents of the deal claiming it breached the Free Software Foundation's General Public License (GPL).

The Free Software Foundation's leader, Richard Stallman, claimed in a statement at Brainshare that the deal, and any other like it, made "a mockery of the freedom of free software".

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