Microsoft-Novell Pact Is Already in Dispute

Less than three weeks after they reached an accord hailed as proof that rival software companies could work together, the chief executives of Novell and Microsoft are engaged in an unusual public dispute.

The pact was seen as an affirmation of the importance of Linux, an open-source competitor to Microsoft’s Windows operating system, and of the need to satisfy corporate customers who want to run both Windows and Novell’s variety of Linux in their data centers.