In another victory for the open source software movement, Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) announced Wednesday it will soon begin selling desktop computers that run on SUSE Linux from Novell ( NOVL). Novell shares soared on the news, recently up $1.23, or 13%, to $10.69 helped by news of the H-P deal and an upbeat report from rival Red Hat ( RHAT). H-P shares were recently up 28 cents, or 1.3%, to $21.67. On a conference call Wednesday, Martin Fink, H-P's vice president of Linux, insisted the move won't affect the company's relationship with Microsoft ( MSFT), which will continue to provide the vast majority of software for H-P desktop PCs. "We have a multi-operating systems strategy and this is an extension of that," he said. "Our Microsoft relationship is good, strong, powerful," Fink continued. "When 155 million of our 160 million computer hardware systems out there ship with Microsoft, we need to maintain a very, very strong relationship with them." However, Fink also said the Linux desktop offering stands to lower the total cost of ownership for H-P's clients -- a development that, if true, would appear to put some pricing pressure on Microsoft. He declined to give pricing details. Microsoft stock was recently up 25 cents, or 1%, to $24.40, although the European Union's fine was also affecting Mr. Softee's shares. H-P will begin offering SUSE-Linux-based desktops in the second half of 2004. It already offers SUSE-Linux-based servers. Novell SUSE Linux will become H-P's standard Linux distribution across its business desktop and notebook PCs, starting in North America and rolling out across the globe later.