March 13th, 2006 08:41 AM
Novell launches next-generation Linux desktop
Quotes from all over:
Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 (SLED 10), launched at the CeBIT conference in Hanover, Germany, is the first version of Novell's desktop Linux that is "good enough" for enterprises to replace Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system in more than just limited deployments, Jaffe said.
"Our new SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop now meets the needs of the basic office worker," he said.
Jaffe acknowledged that desktop Linux has barely made a dent in the enterprise, though a migration from Windows to Linux on enterprise desktops has been predicted for years. However, he said that he expects enterprise pilots of SLED 10 to begin in earnest late this year.
Once companies realize how painlessly they can integrate a Linux desktop into an enterprise dominated by Windows, the trend to use Linux alongside or to replace Windows in the enterprise should catch fire by 2008, Jaffe said.
"I don’t think mass migrations will come until 2007, maybe 2008, but this is the year to really prepare for it," he said.
Nat Friedman, vice president of Linux desktop engineering at Novell, demonstrated SLED 10, which appears to share many of the same features as early test versions of Windows Vista. Vista is the next major upgrade to the Windows operating system and is expected to ship at the end of the year.
Novell created a 3-D graphical user interface for SLED 10, which is similar in appearance to the interface Microsoft has demonstrated in Vista in that it allows for 3-D maneuvering of Windows on the desktop. It also allows users to make windows transparent so they can see what is in the background while working on another application in the full screen.
Novell also created new features to fix some of the common problems Linux on the desktop has had in the past, Friedman said. For instance, the company created a new plug-and-play mechanism for SLED 10 that immediately recognizes hardware devices and allows users to work with them much in the same way that Windows does.
Novell also created its own music player software for SLED 10 with the help of RealNetworks Inc. The software, called Banshee, looks somewhat like Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes. It allows users to listen to MP3s legally on Linux, something that previously was not available in mainstream open-source software because of the complexities of licensing the patented MP3 codec for use in open-source software, Friedman said.
"Linux users used to download an MP3 player from some site in Russia," he said, not entirely joking. "This gives you the out-of-the-box experience."
Jaffe said it has not lined up any hardware partners yet to ship SLED 10 on their PCs and laptops, but he expects those will come once the system is available.
"Part of [hardware vendor adoption] is to get the message out that the Linux desktop is going to happen," he said. "All the hardware OEMs are going to listen carefully to that message."
So, for example, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop integrates seamlessly with existing Active Directory networks. It will also include support for Lotus Notes applications, databases, and email via IBM's planned Lotus Notes Application plug-in for the IBM Workplace Client Technology.
In addition, Novell has worked on OpenOffice.org 2.02's interoperability with Microsoft Office. The Novell version will support many Visual Basic macros and Excel pivot tables.
There are other improvements. I'll doubtlessly be reviewing them in beta once I get my hands on a copy. These include -- take that Vista Aero -- Xgl-based 3-D graphics support. Those features are almost beside the point. The real goal of this release is to beat Vista to the office.
Even if you think I'm dead wrong about Vista's technical defects, I think anyone who knows office IT has to conclude that Novell is on to something.
Let's look at the facts. The new Novell desktop is an inexpensive -- less than 10 percent of the cost of XP and Office combined -- modern business operating system and office suite that will run on existing hardware and work with existing Microsoft Office documents, and can drop right in on existing W2K or Server 2003-based networks.
I don't know about you, but I think any office IT decision maker must take the SUSE Enterprise Linux Desktop seriously when it comes time to put the XP, W2K, and older desktop operating systems out to pasture. It just makes too much dollars and cents sense to ignore.
In Novell's favor is the fact that the SUSE desktop will be out and in the market long before Windows Vista is released. It also has integrated search, good usability and rich technology solutions like its F-Spot photo-management tool, which will have more functionality than the photo-management tool in Windows, Mancusi-Ungaro said.
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is an all-in-one desktop solution that helps organizations better address the challenges of increasing competition, spiraling costs, growing security threats and demanding customers.
Its technology innovations and usability breakthroughs-including integrated desktop searches, accelerated graphical interfaces and numerous application improvements-make SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop easy to learn and easy to use.
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop delivers market-leading usability plus an exceptional end-user experience. Seamless interoperability and standards support allow SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop to readily coexist with Windows, Mac, UNIX and other operating systems. Dozens of productivity applications provide all necessary functions for the basic office worker.
The SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop can be deployed in a variety of environments, including thick- and thin-client settings. It can also be tailored to fit fixed-function or special-purpose roles such as shared workstations and kiosks.
Don't forget screen shots:
March 13th, 2006 08:43 AM
Hrmm.. indeed. Will be released before Windows Vista, eh? Nice stuff, it looks like.. especially the screenshots. Definitely a cool looking desktop..
Thanks for the article/information, gore!
March 13th, 2006 08:48 AM
One word can only describe this next installment.. WOOOOOOHOOOOOOO
I know i'm gonna get this new installment as soon as it's released..
March 13th, 2006 02:00 PM
I remember your Xgl thread - and I remember thinking 'that looks good'. But, this just looks bloody brilliant!
I can't wait to test it out.. although I'm sure you'll let us know when it's released
March 13th, 2006 04:57 PM
Wow, this next SUSE has everything! Even Solitare! (check the last screen in the link gore posted if you don't believe me)
Is Xgl novells own desktop environment or is it a (seriously) modded KDE or Gnome?
Hopefully there are two options, "The windows person that wants everything automated" and "The guy who wants to do everything him/herself".
But damn, that is one nice linux distro.
Whats the word on access compatibility? I'm interning at a rather large corporation (and by rather large I mean MONSTEROUS, most of you have heard of us probably) and this place is literally held together by access DBs (those and telnet apps, which telnet to local UNIX boxes =X ).
I would love to migrate to a *NIX network (and it would probably be easier then the XP one was now we have Altiris, which I don't think we had when we did the XP move). Although it would put all the windows admins out of a job and the help-desk would be even more useless.
March 13th, 2006 07:40 PM
As far as I know XGL isn't a moded KDE or GNOME, but is something Novell made because they know that Linux GUIs are lacking the features of some of the yet to be released new ones like Vista. And then they beat them to market with it
The price is going to be quite low, I think the article pointed out if you buy XP and Office, that this is going to be 10% of that cost. I think it turned out to be around 100 dollars or less.
To me it looks good. Heh I remember two years ago "SUSE Desktop" you don't see that much anymore but they support it anyway