Feeds

Novell reaches out to Microsoft Office users

Takes a number, gets in line

New hybrid storage solutions

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.