In January SuSE will launch, through its resellers, SuSE Linux Office Desktop, a distribution aimed at small to medium-size enterprises. The package includes SuSE Linux 8.1 and applications designed to ease Windows users' transition to Linux.
It uses the YaST2 setup tool for installation, Acronis OS Selector partitioning software and CodeWeavers CrossOver Office 1.2 for running Windows applications. CrossOver Office also recently made an appearance in a new desktop-friendly Linux distribution from Xandros, and CodeWeavers initially worked with Lindows.com on its consumer-oriented desktop.
"The time has come to carry (our) accumulated experience to the market in the form of desktop products tuned to the needs of our target groups," Petra Heinrich, a vice president at SuSE Linux, said in a statement. Heinrich cited a "clear increase in the customer demand for corporate Linux desktop solutions."
SuSE has included desktop software such as StarOffice in its previous distributions, but software like CrossOver Office must usually be purchased as an add-on. The company emphasized that SuSE Linux Desktop Office could be used out of the box to run familiar Windows applications such as Lotus Notes, process Windows Office files with CrossOver Office, StarOffice and other tools and connect to Exchange servers via Ximian's Evolution, an Outlook clone.
The software is the beginning of a new desktop push for SuSE, the company said. It will sell for a recommended $129, which includes 90 days of technical support.
SuSE Linux recently bundled e-mail and groupware applications with its server operating system in Openexchange Server, aimed at the business market.
ZDNet U.K.'s Matthew Broersma reported from London.