Novell released the gold master the week of July 3 to its partners, and the server version, SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server), based on the same code, is also almost ready for release.
This is an early review of the new version of SLED 10 (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop).
The first thing users of the older NLD (Novell Linux Desktop) will notice is that the new desktop is no stripped-down thin-client style Linux desktop like NLD.
SLED is a full, rip-out-XP desktop replacement system.
In 2004, then-CEO Jack Messman positioned NLD as not being "about the wholesale replacement of your Windows systems, but rather its about identifying where and when an open-source desktop can be a sensible, cost-effective alternative."
Things have changed.
The new official Novell enterprise desktop comes with all the business applications any office would need. These include:
- OpenOffice.org 2.02
- Firefox Web browser 1.504
- GAIM 1.5 instant messaging client
- Beagle desktop search
- Evolution 2.6
For its user interface, the new SLED 10 defaults to Gnome 2.12, but KDE 3.5.1 is also available. It also includes the Freedesktop.org projects OpenGL-driven X Server, Xgl.
With Xgl and Novells 3-D compositing window manager, Compiz, users can switch among 3-D virtual desktops with translucency and all the other hot, desktop interface prettiness.