Microsoft handed over massive payout to Novell

Novell raked in more than USD 350 million in 2007 from Microsoft in a partnership that has attracted a number of criticisms over the last months.

Microsoft, a long time critic of the Open Source movement, has been accused of "buying out" Novell, which markets Suse Linux and a host of other open source solutions.

Microsoft’s payment accounts for more than a third of Novell's revenues for 2007.

Jeff Jaffe, the CTO of Novell, posted a blog on December 31st where he touched upon the special relationship that the company has with Microsoft,

"When we announced with Microsoft, we committed to create technical interoperability. In 2007, our two companies came through! Here's the substance. We published our joint interoperability roadmap" which received analyst acclaim. We've been executing against it since February. And four months ago, we took the partnership to the next level.

After Microsoft saw Miguel de Icaza create the Moonlight technology in record time, Microsoft asked us to bring their multimedia Silverlight framework to the Linux desktop. Can you imagine that Microsoft is a Linux desktop ISV? We are turning the flywheel on interoperability!"

Microsoft has had a long story of investing into competitors for a number of reasons - Microsoft owns 150,000 non-voting shares of Apple stock and once held USD 150 million worth of Apple stock.

Back in 2000, the company invested more than USD 135 million in Corel which was Microsoft's main business application competitor.