Feeds

Novell reaches out to Microsoft Office users

Takes a number, gets in line

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.