Novell's Next-Generation Linux Desktop Redefines Desktop Market

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop now the benchmark for basic office productivity and usability

9 March 2006

At CeBIT 2006 in Hannover, Germany, Novell today unveiled its next-generation enterprise Linux* desktop, delivering technology and design improvements that establish the Linux desktop as a benchmark for basic office productivity and usability. The new Linux desktop, SUSE® Linux Enterprise Desktop, is a comprehensive, full-function desktop containing technology innovations and usability breakthroughs including enhanced power management, integrated desktop search, high-performance graphical interfaces and numerous application improvements based on open source innovation. As a result, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop sets a new standard for business desktops, delivering the market-leading usability, powerful integrated office functionality and rock-solid stability needed to drive productivity at a fraction of the cost of current Microsoft* desktop offerings.

“Although the momentum behind Linux continues to be strong, until today, general business users have not really been a part of the story,” said Gary Barnett, research director at Ovum. “With today's introduction of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, 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. Novell deserves credit for addressing the issue of usability head-on, by delivering a desktop that really can meet the needs of the basic knowledge worker.”

Novell conducted hundreds of distinct usability tests and shot almost 1,500 hours of user interaction video that it used to aid the design of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. Each feature of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, such as setting desktop preferences, finding files, launching applications, using external devices like USB memory sticks, working with the Internet, and connecting to local and wireless networks, was rigorously tested and refined for usability to ensure the best possible performance in a business environment.

“With Novell Linux Desktop 9, Novell delivered an outstanding solution for transactional and fixed-function desktops,” said Jeff Jaffe, executive vice president and chief technology officer for Novell. “With its successor, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, we are now positioned to serve the sweet spot of the market, the general office worker. This desktop is already generating great interest in businesses of all sizes, and it represents a tremendous new opportunity for Novell.”

Powerful Desktop Capabilities
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is the first fully supported enterprise desktop to deliver 2.0, the leading open source office suite. OpenOffice includes a powerful spreadsheet program, business presentations tool and word processor. The Novell® edition of will support many Visual Basic macros, closing one of the chief compatibility gaps between and Microsoft Office. 2.0 can save and open documents created in Microsoft Office formats including Excel pivot tables, and it is the only office suite available today that fully supports the OpenDocument file format, the new public standard for document files. Because OpenDocument is a public standard maintained by the open source community, it eliminates vendor lock-in by ensuring information saved in spreadsheets, documents and presentations is freely accessible to any OpenDocument-supporting application.

To simplify migration to Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is designed to work with Microsoft Windows*, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Exchange. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop supports all standard network and printing protocols and integrates seamlessly in existing Active Directory environments. 2.0 reads and writes Microsoft document formats, and the Novell EvolutionTM e-mail client includes an integrated connector for Microsoft Exchange. Lotus Notes* and Domino* users will be able to access Notes applications, databases and e-mail using IBM's planned Lotus Notes Application plug-in for the IBM* Workplace Client Technology. Novell GroupWise®, of course, is completely supported on SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop.

With file and content searching completely integrated into the user experience, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop frees business users from the perils of navigating the file system, allowing immediate access to documents, graphics, e-mail messages, chat sessions, Web pages and other content by typing just a keyword. In Novell's usability tests, respondents overwhelmingly preferred the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop search capabilities to Windows.

Nat Friedman, vice president of Linux desktop engineering for Novell, said, “Every IT administrator in the world should be eager to evaluate the improvements and functionality in this Linux desktop, and the cost savings that come with it. 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. By listening to users, we believe we have created a business desktop that leapfrogs the market.”

Complete Customer Solution
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is designed to be easy for businesses to deploy and maintain. During the term of their subscription, users receive full access to the Novell Customer Center, an online portal that provides instant, automated access to new software releases, patches and technical updates. For large deployments, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is fully integrated with Novell ZENworks® Linux Management.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop features fast boot technology, improved power management and suspend, enhanced wireless device integration, Bluetooth* support and better application security with Novell AppArmor. Unlike Windows, which requires additional software purchases to create a desktop with equivalent features, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is complete, delivering a secure operating system, office suite, Web browser, instant messenger client, file management, integrated desktop search and automated software management tools in one solution.

The comprehensive nature of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop eliminates many IT costs typically associated with the deployment of Windows desktops. Based on MSRP, a subscription for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop will be less than 10 percent of the combined cost of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is scheduled to be available in the summer of 2006. For more information, visit

About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) delivers Software for the Open Enterprise™. With more than 50,000 customers in 43 countries, Novell helps customers manage, simplify, secure and integrate their technology environments by leveraging best-of-breed, open standards-based software. With over 20 years of experience, more than 5,000 employees, 5,000 partners and support centers around the world, Novell helps customers gain control over their IT operating environment while reducing cost. More information about Novell can be found at

Novell, GroupWise, SUSE and ZENworks are registered trademarks, and Evolution and Software for the Open Enterprise are trademarks of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. *Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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