SuSE Desktop Brings Linux to SMBs

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-10-31 Print this article Print

New desktop product, targeted at small to medium-sized businesses, lets users run some Microsoft applications.

SuSE Linux will release, in January 2003, a desktop product specifically designed to help small to medium-sized businesses migrate to Linux on their workstations. The new product, SuSE Linux Office Desktop, will be available from SuSE Linux resellers at a recommended retail price of $129 per workstation, which includes user manuals and 90 days of installation support. SuSE officials, in Oakland, Calif., say the product will let users continue processing existing data from such applications as Sun Microsystem Inc.s StarOffice 6 desktop productivity suite as well as Microsoft Office, since it will include CrossOver Office 1.2, from CodeWeavers, Inc.
CrossOver will let applications the likes of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio 2000 and IBMs Lotus Notes run on the SuSE desktop.
SuSEs announcement comes hot on the heels of a similar move by Xandros, Inc., which also signed a deal to integrate CodeWeavers CrossOver technology into the Xandros Desktop 1.0 operating system, which is now shipping. Both KDE 3.0.3 and GNOME 2.0 are available as graphical desktop environments with SuSE Linux Office Desktop, which also includes the Ximian Evolution e-mail client. The product also provides the tools necessary for office clients in a small- to medium scale network. SuSE officials say they hope the product will encourage small- to medium-scale enterprises to migrate to Linux on their desktops and cite the fact that the upcoming product combines the technology and user-friendliness of SuSE Linux 8.1 with proven tools that facilitate the migration from Windows operating systems and applications. During the installation, SuSEs system assistant YaST2 (Yet another Setup Tool) automatically detects the existing Windows 95/98/ME installation and, using the Acronis Operating System Selector partitioning tool, submits a suitable proposal for the rearrangement of existing hardware space and the installation of the Linux software.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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