Is this a good or bad development for Microsoft? Novell? Linux?
Certainly it is a power grab for Microsoft. After years of discounting open-source alternatives, Microsoft finally admits Linux is not only for real, but that they need to work with it. And what better way than to align with one of the top corporate distributions? And as an added bonus, the two companies will work on compatibility, mentioning specifically Novell developing code to support Microsoft's Office Open XML in OpenOffice. Microsoft will push SUSE.
OK, so it is wonderful for Novell. This move instantly makes SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) the Linux of choice for any company that's already invested in Windows. On top of this, Microsoft, is expected to announce that it won't use its patents against any software incorporated into SUSE Linux.
The question of wether or not this is good for Linux, will have to be answered another day.
Read more here, here, and here... Also fellow HH'er, Gregory Sullivan, posted Rebel Alliance, Galactic Empire Pick Out Drapes Together For The Death Star earlier.