SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop slated for June

SuSE Linux AG now plans to ship its SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop operating system in June, a delay from original plans to ship it during the just-ended first quarter of 2003.

SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, which is in beta testing phase now, will cost US$129 per desktop, although discounts would apply to high-volume purchases, said Rafael Laguna, SuSE’s marketing vice-president said Tuesday.

SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop would be the company’s third desktop operating system, joining SuSE Linux, the entry-level member of the family aimed at individual users, and SuSE Linux Office Desktop, aimed at small offices with its networking and disk-partitioning capabilities, Laguna said.

With many companies using Microsoft Corp.’s Windows as a client to SuSE Linux’s server operating system, SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop will offer those companies an option to run SuSE software on the desktop as well, Laguna said.

SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop will share the code base with SuSE’s other desktop and server operating systems, which gives users a high degree of compatibility across the company’s line of operating systems, Laguna added.

SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop will be tuned for companies and government agencies of all sizes that have from as little as 10 users to as many as over 100,000 users, Laguna said. Consequently, it will be engineered for easy, automated, centralized large-scale deployment and management through administration and installation tools from SuSE, such as YaST (Yet another Setup Tool) and AutoYaST, and from third-party vendors, such as Ximian Inc.’s Red Carpet Enterprise.

It will also feature fonts that are metric-compatible with Microsoft Corp. fonts, which will make it easier to import Microsoft Office documents, Laguna said. The product will ship standard with one year of maintenance and support, which gives users access to patches, product updates and security fixes; buyers can opt to pay extra for additional years of maintenance and support, he said.

The company plans to provide more details about the product when it announces it officially in May, a spokesperson said Wednesday.