Novell Shows Off New Linux Desktop

Novell unveiled at the CeBIT Electronics Show in Germany Thursday its next-generation operating system, called SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. The release is the successor to Novell Desktop Linux, and the company has hopes it will lead to more widespread adoption of the platform.

Advanced power management, integrated desktop search, and GUI and application improvements are all central to the new release. Novell says that these enhancements also make the Linux platform a much more viable alternative to Microsoft at a tenth of the price.

Novell unveiled at the CeBIT Electronics Show in Germany Thursday its next-generation operating system, called SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. The release is the successor to Novell Desktop Linux, and the company has hopes it will lead to more widespread adoption of the platform.

Advanced power management, integrated desktop search, and GUI and application improvements are all central to the new release. Novell says that these enhancements also make the Linux platform a much more viable alternative to Microsoft at a tenth of the price.
“Novell is keeping a promise it made last year to invest in delivering a desktop that is designed for the business user, rather than for experienced Linux users,” Ovum research director Gary Barnett said of the new release.

Novell sees the upcoming launch of Windows Vista as a possible boon to sales. When Software Assurance first surfaced from Microsoft four years ago, Linux received a bump in both interest and adoption. As IT administrators will soon be faced with an upgrade decision concerning Vista, Novell thinks Linux could receive a similar boost.

“This desktop is already generating great interest in businesses of all sizes, and it represents a tremendous new opportunity for Novell,” said the company’s executive vice president and CTO Jeff Jaffe.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop would also include a Novell version of OpenOffice.org 2.0, the popular open source productivity suite. The company’s version adds support for Visual Basic macros, which it says puts it in better competition with Microsoft Office.

As well as being compatible with Microsoft Windows products, Novell pointed out that it is also compatible with IBM’s Lotus Notes and Domino, as well as the company’s own GroupWise product.

“When we started work on SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, we didn’t want to build the best Linux desktop for business, we wanted to build the best desktop for business, period,” vice president of Linux desktop engineering Nat Friedman said. “By listening to users, we believe we have created a business desktop that leapfrogs the market.”

The company said it had conducted hundreds of usability tests as well as shooting some 1,500 hours of user interaction video during the platform’s development phase.

Novell expects to deliver the new SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.0 in the summer of this year.

News source: betanews

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