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Justin Steinman, Novell director of product marketing for Linux and open source, has dismissed Microsoft’s claims that there are infringements of Microsoft intellectual property, in the Linux operating system.

Justin Steinman, Novell director of product marketing for Linux and open source, has dismissed Microsoft’s claims that there are infringements of Microsoft intellectual property, in the Linux operating system.

Novell has an arrangement with Microsoft in which the two vendors agree never to sue each other's customers over patent infringement, but Steinman was adamant. "I want to make it extremely clear. We do not think there are any IP violations in Linux," he declared

The two vendors last November signed an agreement to collaborate in the areas of virtualising Windows on top of Novell's Suse Linux and vice versa. Also covered were arrangements to manage Windows or Suse from a common management platform and the ability to federate identifies across the two platforms.

Also, the companies agreed to build connectors between the open source OpenOffice platform and Microsoft's Office productivity software, which have different document formats.

As part of that agreement, Microsoft has been steering customers to Novell for support of Suse Linux. This support arrangement has prompted Linux deployments at customers such as Wal-Mart, Steinman said.

Microsoft has in the past displayed animosity toward the open source movement. Its Shared Source Initiative, however, allows some users to look at selected pieces of its code. Microsoft also maintains a Web site called Codex that hosts open source projects.

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