Microsoft said the extended deal - the two firms first decided to work more closely together in 2006 - will mean a stronger bridge between open source and proprietary software, to deliver interoperability and intellectual property (IP) peace of mind for organisations operating mixed-source IT environments.
The deal focuses on enhanced programmes from Novell to provide tools, support, training and resources for customers seeking an enterprise-class Linux platform, and specifically, an optimal interoperability solution between Microsoft Windows Server and Suse Linux Enterprise Server.
It also includes Microsoft's commitment to purchase up to £50m in certificates that its customers can use to redeem for expanded support from Novell, that includes Suse Linux Enterprise Server support and support for moving toward an enterprise-class Linux platform.
The investments will take effect from 1 November, and between now and then Microsoft and Novell will solicit customer input and identify aspects of the support programs that will be most useful to organisations running mixed-source environments.
Customers who have already used the Windows/Novell Linux integration programme since 2006 include Wal-Mart Stores, HSBC, Renault, Southwest Airlines, and BMW.