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SuSE reaps open development rewards in 10.0

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Novell is claiming gains in management and ease of use for SuSE Linux as a result of its decision to throw open the doors to its development process.

The company bragged Wednesday that the forthcoming SuSE Linux 10.0 will establish benchmarks in ease of installation, configuration and use thanks to feedback from developers that has been culled using the recently launched openSuSE Project.

OpenSuSE, announced at LinuxWorld in August, saw Novell accept external bug fixes and code changes for the first time during the SuSE development process.

Novell has been particularly keen to encourage the development of features that help users of Windows migrate. Customers can run SuSE 10.0 on their computers alongside their existing operating system while in trial mode. Novell is bolstering this with 90 days of installation support.

The company's eagerness in pushing SuSE and challenging Windows is understandable, given that its latest quarterly results saw a massive drop in net income and sales. One reason has been the continued decline in Novell’s traditional NetWare business combined with the on-going transition to a fully Linux-based business.

David Patrick, Novell's vice president and general manager for Linux, open source platforms and services, said in a statement: "The new features and numerous usability improvements in SuSE Linux 10.0 will make it easier than ever for users to deploy and use Linux successfully... the Linux community is helping us extend the usability of the SuSE Linux distribution."

SuSE 10.0, due on October 6 according to the openSuSE web site, introduces 1,500 open source applications and packages for functions including web hosting, application development and home networking.

Desktop users get the latest distribution of Firefox, the OpenOffice.org 2.0 office suite, e-mail and instant messaging, security tools that include spam blockers and firewalls, the Beagle desktop search engine and MP3 support.®

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