Novell has announced their Novell Linux Desktop. A continuation of SuSE’s Linux distribution, merged with Ximian’s Desktop 2 and some of Novell’s custom made software. Novell became big in the network scene with their Netware product, that is still used a lot to power Windows networks. More recently Novell made big turn-around and decided to focus nearly exclusively on Linux.
They did this by first buying “SuSE Linux”:http://www.suse.com, a German company and with that the most popular Linux distribution in Europe. Then Novell bought “Ximian”:http://www.ximian.com. One of the major companies working on the “GNOME”:http://www.gnome.org window managers and developers of projects like “Evolution”:http://www.novell.com/products/evolution/, “Red Carpet”:http://www.novell.com/products/desktop/update.html and “Mono”:http://www.mono-project.com/about/index.html.
Personally, when it comes to Linux, I’m a big supporter of “Open Office”:http://www.openoffice.org, “GNOME”:http://www.gnome.org, easy to use package tools like APT/APT-RPM/Red Carpet and, of course, “Mono”:http://www.mono-project.com. One of the guys that started Ximian, Miguel de Icaza, is also the guy behind the GNOME and Mono project. Believe me, if you want one open source guy to work for you, it’s Miguel. The amount of impressive work he’s been pulling off in the last years is quite amazing. Not that he did it all himself, not at all. But he’s the guy that initiated a lot of it, and somehow got people in the game to help him. And, having some open source project experience myself, I can tell you that it’s not easy. The group of people Novell has gathered is not at all bad.
Today Novell announced “Novell Linux Desktop 9”:http://www.novell.com/products/desktop/index.html?sourceidint=homepage_announcement1. It’s their take on an easy to use, well integrated and complete desktop environment. And it’s looking good:
* The desktop’s based on the Ximian Desktop 2, an adapted GNOME version which is tidied up a bit and look really clean.
* It comes with an adapted version of Open Office (Open Office: Novell Edition), which is said to better integrate into the Novell Desktop and Evolution, has more fonts and is more compatible with Microsoft Office.
* The default browser is Firefox.
* Default mail client is Evolution.
* Default instant messenger is GAIM.
* Software updates can be done using Red Carpet, which is a really nice package management system building on top of RPM.
I assume it also comes with Mono, but I couldn’t find that much software information on the “Novell Linux Desktop”:http://www.novell.com/products/desktop/ website.
If I understand the — fairly confusing — “price list”:http://www.novell.com/products/desktop/pricing.html, NLD9 will be priced at $35 which isn’t all that much. It’s cheaper than previous editions of SuSE Linux.
There is one thing that confuses me, though. Why does an open-source advocate, like Chris Stone, “leave Novell”:http://www.computerworld.com/softwaretopics/software/story/0,10801,97278,00.html so suddenly?