We Have Opened the Box
Mind-bending Innovation and Usability Included in Today’s Next-Generation Desktop OS
by Nathan Conger
Novell Connection Magazine – Q3 2006
Here’s an excerpt:
Since the dawn of the new millennium, the coming of a next generation Desktop OS has been foretold. The folks in Redmond promised their own innovative and timely release that included enhanced usability, integrated search, new graphical effects–and an obligatory hardware upgrade. Wait a second; that was 2003; what happened? That question merits another article altogether–one that mentions viruses, malware, trustworthy computing, software assurance and integration issues among other things.
So without further adieu, let me introduce you to the next generation desktop OS: SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, and all the great open source software that accompanies it.
Released in July 2006, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 delivers on the promise of enhanced usability, integrated search, stunning new graphical effects, a comprehensive office productivity environment and more–all without having to upgrade your hardware.
How has so much innovation been achieved on the Linux platform in such short order? Two words: the Community. Because of the openness and flexibility of the Linux platform, thousands of individuals and organizations have contributed to Linux and to the many applications that leverage it up the stack. (We’ll explore many of these in this article, so keep reading!)
As an active member of the open source community, Novell realizes several benefits. It has leveraged the development efforts of like-minded organizations and individuals to bring these benefits to end users. Novell products enjoy greater interoperability with a wide variety of platforms and applications because of the community’s adherence to open standards.
Novell, in turn, demonstrates its good citizenship in the open source community by actively contributing to and maintaining a number of open source projects, including: GNOME, OpenOffice and the Linux kernel. (See Linux and Open Source Leadership in this article as well as Enjoy the Sensation! in this issue.)
Novell also sits on the board of Open Source Development Labs and is a member of the following three organizations:
- Open Document Format Alliance
- Open Invention Network
- Apache Foundation
Since the release of the 2.4 kernel (circa 2000), Linux has been on a steady march from the edge of the network, to a reference application
platform, to the core of the data center. Linux has become a de facto standard on the server, shipping preinstalled from several hardware vendors and system integrators. Linux server shipments alone grew 20.5 percent from 2004-2005, compared to 15.3 percent for Windows servers for the same time period. (http://lwn.net/Articles/161433/)
Is Linux a viable platform for your desktops today? YES! To understand the best-use cases for Linux on the desktop, it’s helpful to segment users into categories. Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) has identified five key user categories:
- fixed function
- transactional worker
- technical workstation
- basic office
- power user desktop