Feeds

Novell reaches out to Microsoft Office users

Takes a number, gets in line

Build a business case: developing custom apps

It's open season on the Windows/Office desktop again, with Novell the latest trying to lure away customers unhappy with the price Microsoft charges for "bloatware".

Novell said it's targeting specific types of information worker with its SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, launched in July.

Novell's previous desktop found favor in point of sale, thin client, and fixed transactional scenarios, the company said. Novell hopes to raise the bar this time around by targeting information workers, excluding power users, and home users, excluding gamers and multimedia fans.

The company's strategy is to encourage IT organizations to get a flavor for its desktop by undertaking pilots consisting of "several hundreds of users" during the next year - so far nobody has signed up for a pilot with Novell. There have been 155,000 downloads of SLES Desktop 10 compared to 170,000 for the server product.

"Our advice over the next six months is this is an opportunity for IT organizations to do significant pilots and try out our desktop that gives the technology at one tenth of the cost of what Vista will be for them," chief technology officer Jeffrey Jafffe said.

According to Novell, SLES Desktop 10 combines low-cost with Windows and Office interoperability, meaning businesses can deploy to selected groups of users without completely ditching Office. Novell's desktop uses OpenOffice 2.0, meaning support for many Visual Basic macros.

Novell is not the first, and won't be the last, to try and chip away at the Windows/Office hegemony. Novell follows in the recent footsteps of Sun Microsystems, which has tried to pick off segments of users instead of launching an information worker broadside against Microsoft. IBM and Red Hat also offer desktop and productivity stacks featuring OpenOffice, while Corel has been pecking at Office for years.

Encapsulating the situation, Jaffee observed: "The battle of the desktop has taken many years and will continue to take many years."

Novell, meanwhile, insisted the Xen hypervisor is ready for users, as the company is shipping Xen as part of SLES. One Red Hat executive recently cast doubt on Xen's reliability, especially for enterprise customers, with Red Hat subsequently issuing a statement that – reading between the lines – appeared to confirm doubts over Red Hat.

Novell chief marketing officer John Dragoon said: "We do think it's ready for primetime." Red Hat is due to ship Xen with its Linux distribution later this year. Dragoon said Novell had worked "intensely" with the community to make Xen stable. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.