Novell Ups Linux Marketing To Dim Vista - InformationWeek

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Novell Ups Linux Marketing To Dim Vista

SUSE Linux promoted as an alternative for companies looking to avoid the expense of a Windows upgrade

In anticipation of the Vista rollout at the end of the month, Novell on Friday launched a Web site marketing SUSE Linux as the "compelling alternative" for companies looking to avoid the expense of a Windows upgrade.

With Vista drawing so much attention, Novell felt the time was right to remind companies that SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 is available at a cheaper price. "There's a lot of focus on Vista because of the impending launch, so we thought it was timely to do this," Novell spokesman Bruce Lowry said.

Vista has been available to businesses since November. On Jan. 30, Microsoft is scheduled to release the major Windows upgrade to consumers.

The Novell site offers a white paper, demos and product presentation comparing the two offerings. Novell makes the case that because SUSE Linux ships with OpenOffice.org, the operating system is ready for use by general-purpose office workers. OpenOffice.org is the open source competitor to Microsoft's Office productivity suite, which is sold separately from Windows.

Desktop versions of Linux have been available for years, but have failed to make a dent in Windows as the dominating OS in the office. Even Novell acknowledges desktop Linux is a tough sell. "We're the first to say that it is a very small market -- a nascent market," Lowry said.

At the very least, the site shows that Novell remains a spunky rival, despite a recent partnership with Microsoft. The two companies in November said they would work together on providing virtualization technology to run Windows and Linux on the same machine, and datacenter interoperability between the two platforms.

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