from the because-it-wasn't-already-there dept.
Bibek Paudel writes "In a move to tap the growing market of free and open source-softwares in developing economies, Microsoft and Novell have announced they were expanding their alliance into the Chinese market. Microsoft and Novell believe big enterprises in China are willing to pay to have the US firms keep hybrid systems updated and running and for assurances that there is permission to use patented software involved. The companies are marketing 'supported Linux' in which they take a fee to maintain software systems blending the open-source programs with Microsoft products such as Vista, Office, Excel and Outlook.The longtime US computer software rivals unveiled their alliance in late 2006, saying their engineers were 'building a bridge' between Microsoft's proprietary software and Novell programs based on the Linux operating system. Sunday was the first time the firms publicly targeted a specific country with their effort."