Novell Ships Desktop Linux for the Enterprise

November 8, 2004

Novell today announced the availability of its next-generation Linux desktop for enterprise customers


  • Novell Linux Desktop 9 readies Linux for business desktop roles, bringing together the operating environment with a complete set of office applications
  • Built on proven SUSE Linux technology and backed by enterprise-level support, consulting, training and Novell's extensive partner network, Novell's desktop lets businesses deploy Linux with confidence
  • Now is the time for specific users such as transaction workers, technical workers and software engineers to reap the benefits of open source on the desktop

Novell today announced the availability of its next-generation Linux desktop for enterprise customers: Novell® Linux Desktop 9, Powered by SUSE® LINUX. Backed by Novell's extensive enterprise-level support, training and consulting services, Novell Linux Desktop 9 provides an end-user desktop platform designed specifically to help businesses leverage Linux* and open source software with confidence. Novell's partner network is also prepared to assist customers in adopting Novell Linux Desktop. Built on the same enterprise-proven software as SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, Novell Linux Desktop features the same first-rate security and reliability as Novell's server products.

“In recent years, the IT industry has been asking when Linux will be ready to take on the desktop,” said Jack Messman, Novell chairman and CEO. “Novell is focusing its enterprise desktop efforts on Linux deployments where users can gain the most benefit. Novell Linux Desktop is not about the wholesale replacement of your Windows systems, but rather it's about identifying where and when an open source desktop can be a sensible, cost-effective alternative. In our pragmatic view, the time is now for specific desktop users to reap the benefits of open source.”

While Novell Linux Desktop is an excellent general-purpose desktop platform, Novell Linux Desktop beta testers have been successfully testing the software with their transaction workers, such as call center operators and service counter personnel. Novell Linux Desktop is also particularly adept in other special-purpose roles such as information kiosks and stations for intermittent PC users. Desktop Linux has also attracted significant interest as a replacement for traditionally high-cost UNIX-based technical workstations.

Novell's entry into the desktop Linux space changes the market dynamics by introducing a long-trusted player experienced in providing the services enterprises demand. Novell has the necessary credentials to do this with its Linux software, expertise and proven innovation obtained through its acquisition of open source software leaders SUSE Linux and Ximian®. Novell is ready to meet all the computing needs of many enterprise users today.

Tools for a Productive Workforce

Novell Linux Desktop 9 comes ready to use, complete with an end-user operating system, office applications and productivity tools that support users with capabilities they are used to. This gives customers additional savings as they don't need to purchase an operating system license and then pay for expensive office applications on top, as they would with Windows.

Novell Linux Desktop includes:

  • The Novell Edition of, providing a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation suite compatible with Microsoft* Office file formats.
  • Mozilla Firefox, a fast, full-featured browser that adheres to Internet standards and features innovations such as tabbed browsing and pop-up blocking.
  • Novell Evolution™, the most complete and widely used collaboration client for Linux. Evolution seamlessly integrates e-mail, calendaring, contact management, and task lists into one easy-to-use application.
  • Integration with Novell ZENworks® Linux Management, allowing administrators to easily deploy, configure and manage Linux desktops from a central location, providing enterprise-level IT control over software deployment, remote management, and updates and patches across the entire organization.

Novell Linux Desktop 9 eliminates the need for customers to pay much higher desktop license fees charged by other vendors. Novell wants to expand the benefits of open source software to more users. Therefore, Novell and the open source community will continue to add applications and functionality to the Linux desktop to attract enterprise customers seeking lower cost, more choice, increased security and top-end performance.

Novell does not rule out general replacement of Windows* and other proprietary operating systems with Novell Linux Desktop. Novell expects government and education customers will be active early adopters because many of these organizations are seeking to avoid single-vendor lock-in of their desktop systems. While some are exploring their options to simplify their desktop infrastructure with a complete move to Linux, others are investigating an appropriate blend of proprietary and open source desktop systems.

Partner Support for Novell Linux Desktop

Intel Channel Software Operation Vice President Shane Wall: “Intel-based systems are the platforms for the next generation of software innovation, enterprise solutions and new computing models. Novell Linux Desktop combined with Intel-based personal computers provides IT professionals the opportunity to deploy Linux for demanding users in enterprises worldwide.”

AMD Vice President of the Enterprise and Server/Workstation Business of AMD's Microprocessor Business Unit Ben Williams: “AMD has always been an advocate of choice and supports Novell Linux Desktop 9, which empowers businesses to leverage open source solutions with confidence. As Linux deployment becomes more pervasive, AMD is working with Novell to lead the industry to extremely powerful computing for desktop enterprise users. Novell Linux Desktop 9 and the AMD64 platform with Direct Connect Architecture can help build an incredibly strong foundation for a highly productive workforce.”

IBM Vice President of Worldwide Linux Scott Handy: “As part of IBM's client strategy to enable Linux on a range of devices for customers, IBM supports Novell's vision of offering customers choice based on Linux and open source. IBM enjoys a strong business relationship with Novell and is pleased to share in Novell's Linux Desktop launch. Novell Linux Desktop is aligned with IBM's industry focus and is designed to interoperate both within or outside of a customer's organization.”

Macromedia Vice President of Product Management Jeff Whatcott: “Macromedia is committed to ensuring that Linux users can experience Flash Player, the leading rich Internet client, on their platform of choice. Novell Linux Desktop enables users, out of the box, to experience widely distributed and rich Flash content and applications on the Web within a leading end-user productivity environment.”

RealNetworks General Manager of Desktop Players Jeff Chasen: “Increasingly, employees are requiring access to digital media applications such as 'Employee Training' and 'Executive Presentations' to continue to be successful. With Novell Linux Desktop 9, employees now can benefit from such workplace applications. The inclusion of Real's award-winning RealPlayer 10 with Novell Linux Desktop 9 fills out the application suite that organizations need to switch from high-cost proprietary end-user operating systems.”

Pricing and Availability

Novell Linux Desktop 9, Powered by SUSE Linux, will be available Nov. 12 through Novell channel partners for a suggested price of $50 per system, which includes upgrades and updates for one year. For more information, visit For more on Novell's Linux strategy and complete line of Linux offerings, see

About Novell
Novell, Inc. is a leading provider of information solutions that deliver secure identity management (Novell® Nsure™), Web application development (Novell exteNd™) and cross-platform networking services (Novell Nterprise™), all supported by strategic consulting and professional services (Novell NgageSM). Active in the open source community with its Ximian and SUSE Linux brands, Novell is firmly committed to open source and offers comprehensive Linux products and services for the enterprise, from the desktop to the server. Novell's vision of one Net - a world without information boundaries - helps customers realize the value of their information securely and economically. For more information, call Novell's Customer Response Center at (888) 321-4CRC (4272) or visit Press should visit

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