Early this morning, Novell and VMware announced a deal for VMware to distribute and support the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server OS and for VMware to standardize its virtual appliance offerings on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Interesting news.

To be clear, this announcement won't change Microsoft's commitment to helping customers be successful in today's heterogeneous technology world, nor does it change the partnership with Novell to deliver customer value through interoperability solutions and technical support.

So what does today's news mean for the industry and enterprise IT customers? Microsoft has posted its first impressions of the deal here.