3. Microsoft’s partnership with Novell actually works for customers–everyone else hates it. Say what you will about the nuances and motivation of the Microsoft and Novell Linux pact, but it does touch on a key theme–mixed source environments are here to stay. Proprietary code such as Microsoft’s is going to coexist with Linux. No CIO is going to rip out years of infrastructure for open source religion. The reality: CIOs want some reassurance open source software and proprietary code will play nice. Microsoft’s deal with Novell plays to that need. If Novell gains any business–I’m doubtful since Novell has more lifelines than I can count–perhaps Red Hat and Microsoft also do some sort of interoperability agreement.