Novell used its annual BrainShare conference last week to detail future desktop OS and middleware products that beef up its open source strategy.
Fleshing out the blueprint it introduced in November, Novell previewed features in the next version of Linux Desktop.
“We are outpacing Microsoft on the desktop. The Linux desktop has been in development for less time than Windows, and we are already surpassing them,” said Nat Friedman, vice president of desktop and collaboration engineering at Novell.
Linux Desktop 10 will lift the OS and application suite from its current role in workgroups to mainstream enterprise deployment, Friedman added.
New features will include a desktop search tool dubbed Beagle, note-taking technology called Tomboy, and F-Spot, a personal photo management application. Beagle searches and filters documents, e-mail, IMs, Web history, applications and source code.
One of the biggest challenges for establishing Linux on the desktop is porting applications to run on Linux. To that end, Novell is pushing the Mono Project development environment and is working to cultivate ISV relationships to get more applications on Linux.
Getting its NetWare user base to migrate to Linux is another linchpin in Novell’s overall strategy; OES (Open Enterprise Server), which the company shipped earlier this month, is how customers get there, said David Patrick, vice president and general manager of open source platforms at Novell.
With OES, “NetWare users can run NetWare or the Linux kernel, and the decision to migrate to Linux is left to them. The rate of innovation on Linux will dramatically outpace a proprietary platform like NetWare,” Patrick said.
Delta Air Lines subsidiary Comair is migrating from NetWare to OES.
“We see [OES] as a path for the future with a newer hardware architecture,” said Roger Fenner, infrastructure services manager at Comair.
Tightening its relationship with JBoss, Novell announced plans to co-develop the JEMS (JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite) of open source software and to ship a number of the suite’s components in the next major release of Novell’s exteNd application suite, expected in 2006. Those components include JBoss Portal Server, jBPM (Java business process management) workflow engine, JBoss enterprise service bus, Hibernate query software, JGroups communications software, and an open source implementation of Java Management Extensions. Novell will begin contributing source code to a number of JEMS projects, beginning with JBoss Portal Server 2.0.
At the show, Novell also detailed Linux Small Business Suite 9, designed to ease the move to Linux.