Last week, Microsoft and Novell announced a surprising deal that will have the two companies working to improve interoperability between SuSE Linux and Microsoft software. Perhaps more importantly, the deal also includes a patent cooperation agreement intended to protect users from SCO-style lawsuits should either Microsoft or Novell get litigious. In an interview with India’s Economic Times, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has taken things a step further and said Microsoft would “love” to make similar deals with other Linux vendors, such as Red Hat.
Ballmer also said he expects more software to be distributed electronically in the future, adding, “The next frontier for us is to embrace a new business model. And if we embrace it well, and that business model is subscription and advertising, we will be a market leader. If we do not embrace it well, there will be issues.” That said, Ballmer does believe “some software” will continue to be bought and sold in a more traditional way.