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SuSE today gave the world a quick flash of its forthcoming SuSE Linux 9.0 operating systems, saying that the platform offers a "sneak peek at the enhanced capabilities" of the next generation 2.6 Linux kernel.

The OS, based on SuSE's Linux kernel 2.4.21, will ship in three flavours: Personal, Professional and Professional for AMD64. Each has been coded to incorporate some forthcoming 2.6 kernel features - including improved scheduling, Linux sound architecture and better support for power management. For test purposes the Linux firm has added a full version of the 2.6 kernel, which it recommends is "for technically skilled users".

The German Linux company went to great pains to stress that the Professional for AMD64 version of its OS will allow customers can to their 32-bit programs until they are ready to take full advantage of 64-bit architectures.

"We believe that 64-bit applications will rapidly become the standard," said Juergen Geck, chief technology officer.

The firm also boasted that the platform will boost Linux uptake because it offers easier Windows migration by supporting the NTFS file system so that users will be able to repartition NTFS hard disk space for dual boot configurations.

Holger Dyroff, general manager, Americas, SuSE Linux, modestly proclaimed that the OS "brings together the past, present and future of Linux."

For those of us who have been driven to the dark depths of despair by many Linux distros "support" for laptop WinModems, SuSE promises that its OS will actually support "a lager number" of WinModems.

The platform comes bundled with lots of software goodies including the latest versions of KDE 3.1.4 and OpenOffice.org 1.1. Also, the KDE instant messenger "Kopete", which now supports all services such as AOL, MSN, IRC, ICQ, and Yahoo Messenger, is included.

For Linux fans who look forward to curling up with a very large book, the firm’s already legendary printed documentation has been expanded to 1,050 pages.

SuSE Linux 9.0 will be available from the SuSE online shop and software retailers from October 24. Prices vary between $39.95 for the Personal edition to $119.95 for the Professional for AMD64 version. ®

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