By the end of the week, Novell Inc.s new Linux desktop for enterprise customers, Novell Linux Desktop 9, Powered by SuSE Linux, will be available for purchase through Novell channel partners for a suggested price of $50 per system.
"Novell is focusing its enterprise desktop efforts on Linux deployments where users can gain the most benefit," Jack Messman, Novells chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
"Novell Linux Desktop is not 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," Messman said. "In our pragmatic view, the time is now for specific desktop users to reap the benefits of open source."
Specifically, while Messman believes that while the NLD (Novell Linux Desktop) will make an excellent replacement for the Windows desktop, that is not Novells focus for its latest desktop. Instead, the company foresees three major markets for the NLD: transaction workers, such as call center operators and service counter personnel; special-purpose roles such as information kiosks and stations for intermittent PC users; and replacements for traditionally high-cost Unix-based technical workstations.
Novells other Linux desktop offering, SuSE Linux Pro, is targeted to the Linux enthusiast/retail market. Novell spokesperson Kevan Barney has assured SuSE Linux desktop users that the company is "going to continue to develop, support, etc., SuSE Linux Pro for that market, as we, and SuSE before, have always done."
NLD requires little from a PC. Its rock-bottom system configuration is a Pentium II or better running at least 266MHz with 256MB of RAM, 800MB of disk space and 800-by-600 or higher display resolution. Resolution of 1,024 by 768 or higher, however, would be better.
The desktop is based on the Linux 2.6 kernel and offers users a choice of the KDE 3.3 and GNOME 2.6 desktops.