It's pretty clear why VMware would be interested in Novell's Linux business; not only does this include the SUSE Linux distribution and associated assets, but also software for managing virtualised operating systems - right up VMware's alley, obviously.
The talks are still under way, and while pretty far on, they could still break down with no deal made. The Wall Street Journal's sources say that the three companies are still discussing how to divide the sales force, and more importantly, how to handle Novell's patent portfolio and other intellectual property.
It'll be interesting to see how VMware is going to handle SUSE. I think SUSE lost most of its shine due to the rather schizophrenic approach by Novell (pushing GNOME so hard), so hopefully, VMware will be able to polish it up a bit.