Novell delivers Linux package to home PCs

Bundle for tech-savvy consumers includes several of the best-known Linux products plus resources for going beyond simple PC use.

Matt Hines Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Matt Hines
covers business software, with a particular focus on enterprise applications.
Matt Hines
Novell has shipped its latest bundle of Linux software for tech-savvy home PC owners.

The SuSE Linux Professional 9.3 package includes an operating system, desktop applications and networking tools, built using the open-source software model, Novell said Wednesday. Designed for experienced home computer users, the release promises deeper functionality, improved security and easier installation than its predecessors.

In the bundle are several of the best-known Linux products, including the OpenOffice desktop software, from OpenOffice.org, and the Firefox Web browser, made by the Mozilla Foundation. The package includes e-mail software and instant messaging tools, digital photo editors, multimedia viewers, mobile device support and basic networking capabilities.

In addition, the Linux package gives more advanced users better resources for setting up home networks, running Web servers and developing their own applications, Novell said. SuSE Linux Professional 9.3 also brings newer open-source community efforts into the fold, incorporating virtualization technology made by Xen, the Beagle desktop search tool and voice over Internet Protocol applications made by Linphone.

The package will retail for $99.95, said Novell, which is based in Waltham, Mass.

The launch is the latest in a string of new product announcements from Novell in the past month. Last week, the company took the wraps off of its Point of Service 9 Linux package, which is aimed at retailers. In late March, Novell released a collection of Linux-based products geared for small business.