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Why you should switch to SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop

Mar 14, 20063 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinux

* Is it worthwhile switching from Windows to SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop?

I know many of you are still reluctant to phase out your NetWare servers in favor of Open Enterprise Server (OES) or SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES). So we won’t talk about that today. Rather, I’m going to ask you to take a look at the systems on your users’ desktops. More than likely, they’re running some version of Windows. Is that really the best use of your (always limited) licensing dollars?

Last week, Novell announced the new Linux desktop, SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED), which the company is calling “a comprehensive, full-function desktop containing technology innovations and usability breakthroughs including enhanced power management, integrated desktop search, high-performance graphical interfaces and numerous application improvements based on open source innovation.” The company claims that SLED “sets a new standard for business desktops, delivering the market-leading usability, powerful integrated office functionality and rock-solid stability needed to drive productivity at a fraction of the cost of current Microsoft desktop offerings.”

What does “fraction of the cost” mean? Well, an annual maintenance agreement for SLED will cost you $50 for one desktop with quantity discounts. It’ll be $68 if you combine this with ZENworks in the Novell Linux Desktop/ZENworks Linux Management Suite. What are you paying for Windows?

Oh, and there’s also the cost of media for SLED – $35 for a CD or DVD, $15 for an electronic download. That’s a one-time charge for all of your desktops. You can forego the maintenance if you’re willing to pay the media fee every time a new version is released. How’s that compare to your Windows costs?

But how easy is it to migrate from Windows to SLED? To simplify migration to Linux, SLED is designed to work with Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Exchange. SLED supports all standard network and printing protocols and integrates easily into existing Active Directory environments (of course, you’re using eDirectory, right?). OpenOffice 2.0 (included in SLED) reads and writes Microsoft document formats, and the Novell Evolution e-mail client includes an integrated connector for Microsoft Exchange. Lotus Notes and Domino users will be able to access Notes applications, databases and e-mail using IBM’s planned Lotus Notes Application plug-in for the IBM Workplace Client Technology. Novell GroupWise, of course, is completely supported on SLED.

So put aside for the moment the decision as to what to do with your servers. Spend some time working with Linux on the desktop, fully integrated in your NetWare/Windows/OES network. Get all the details here and while you’re waiting for SLED to ship (it’s coming this summer) download the eval version of Novell Linux Desktop 9 to get a taste of what’s in store.