willdavid writes "The deal between Microsoft and Novell was announced a little more than a year ago, and it's hard to judge what impact the deal has really had on the marketplace (if any). The two groups claim to have signed up 30 new customers (including heavyweights like Costco and Southwest Airlines), but it will still be some time before any real changes will be felt. 'Regardless of what impact the deal has triggered in the marketplace over the past year, ultimately it's about meeting market requirements. "The fact is that the vast majority of businesses do not want homogeneous IT infrastructures," Pund-IT analyst King said. "Instead, they want to be able to better and more easily manage their IT assets no matter what hardware or OS platforms they buy. Microsoft and Novell deserve congratulations on their one-year anniversary, but the needs of Linux and Windows customers are as much responsible for the partnership as the companies themselves."'"