There’s a saying that goes something like, “Love, sex and politics makes strange bedfellows.” Well it’s time to add technology – and more specifically virtualization – to that list. Today’s headline says it all:

 Microsoft and Novell Announce Broad Collaboration on Windows and Linux Interoperability and Support

Here’s an excerpt:

Under the business collaboration agreement, the companies will pursue a variety of joint marketing activities to promote the adoption of the technologies they are collaborating on. In addition, Microsoft will purchase a quantity of coupons from Novell that entitle the recipient to a one-year subscription for maintenance and updates to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Microsoft will annually make available approximately 70,000 of these coupons to customers, with a mix of priority and standard support services. By providing its customers with these coupons, Microsoft is enabling companies to benefit from the use of the new software solutions developed through the collaborative research effort, as well as a version of Linux that is covered with respect to Microsoft’s intellectual property rights.

For context, according to IDC’s forecasts, for 2006-2009, 70k coupons per year represents 0.2% (two-tenths of one percent) of total server OS shipments. This equates to less than 1.5% of total forecasted Linux server OS shipments during that period.

I can already hear the reverberations coming out of Raleigh, NC and Palo Alto, CA. I can’t wait to hear what Diane Greene has to say next week at VMworld.