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Competitive Advantage Case Study

Case Title:

Microsoft – Novell Alignment: The Future of Linux

Publication Year : 2007

Authors: Saravanan. I.B

Industry: Information Technology and IT Enabled Services

Region:US Europe

Case Code: CCA0046C

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Microsoft entered into a working agreement with Novell on November 2nd 2006 to build, market and support a series of new solutions to make both their products to work together. Both had their versions of OS and other server software, but Microsoft was proprietary software whereas Novell dealt with Linux, free software developed over years of research and contributions by millions of software enthusiasts. As they were principally opposing each other, the alignment to co-promote their software was intriguing to many

The case describes how free software movement evolved over years and how Linus Torvalds developed Linux, a Unix-like OS on Linux Kernel which was freely available and openly editable. The well documented rivalry between Microsoft and Open Source software was presented by the case and it compares both Linux and Windows – as operating software. The efficiency derived by the Microsoft-Novell alignment by way of virtualization, interoperability, patent coverage and web services for managing physical and virtual servers for the users of Microsoft Windows and Novell’s Linux seemed to be immense. The case also outlines the possibility of Novell being dissolved into the Microsoft amalgam, as many industry analysts have pointed to such earlier partnerships and deals

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • Competitive strategies in software industry
  • Dynamics in Operating and Server network software Industry
  • Ethics in software industry
  • Development of Proprietary and Free operating software

Keywords : Microsoft-Novell alignment; Microsoft; Novell; Linus OS; Windows OS; FOSS; GNU – Free OS project; Halloween documents; OpenSUSE; Core Competency & Competitive Advantage Case Study; Virtualisation; Interoperability

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