Novell has announced the impending local launch of version 10 of its Linux desktop, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop.
The move follows the unveiling of the operating system at CeBIT in Hannover, Germany, last month.
Novell COO and president Ronald W Hovesepian said the company was optimistic about the growing demand for Linux-based OSs and applications.
“I think we have passed the excitement of Linux being free," he said. "Now people want the reliability, affordability and security that enterprise systems have.”
“The trained environment does have a Microsoft heritage but people want an environment that is easier to use, but there will be some intellectual migration needed.”
Hovsepian said Novell had shot around 1500 hours of user interaction video and conducted hundreds of usability tests in an effort to aid in creating a user-friendly OS.
Citing IDC US figures, Hovsepian said Linux was growing in credibility amongst business users. Linux revenues were forecast to grow 27.5 percent a year for the next few years.
“We are beginning to see enterprises sit business critical applications such as SAP on top of SUSE platforms,” he said.
Hovsepian was coy on Novell’s intentions around taking Enterprise Desktop into the consumer market up against rivals such as Ubuntu.
“Initially we will go for a corporate launch with educational institutions being the first to adopt this,” he said. “Building a retail sales channel costs a lot of money so it will take some time.”
APAC president William M Hewitt said one possible strategy for raising consumer adoption would be to convince corporations to let employees use the OS on home, as well as work, notebooks and PCs.
Hovsepian would not rule out the possibility of a direct OS download from Novell’s website onto Windows-based consumer systems to create dual-boot environments.
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is slated for a June/July commercial release with a price tag of about $US50 per user.
Novell launches latest Enterprise Desktop offering
By Tim Lohman on Apr 11, 2006 1:46PM