Novell boxes iPod-friendly SUSE 9.3

Novell has finally boxed up SUSE 9.3 ready for use.

It describes the latest version as the ‘richest’ ever release. What is certain is that a lot of work has been done on making it as consumer friendly as possible.

Installation has been pared down to a three-click process. Neat touches have been added such as OpenOffice saving documents in Microsoft formats by default so that when they are emailed, Windows users will be able to open them. Even iPods are recognised as devices when plugged in to a system running 9.3.

It’s also up to date with the current darlings of IT fashion. Search giants Google, Yahoo! et al may offer desktop searches for Windows, but SUSE is not letting Linux be outdone, including Beagle as its answer. Similarly Linphone is included for Voice over IP calls – although note that Skype, too, has a Linux version.

There is also an array of essential applications: Firefox browser, email and instant messaging clients, anti-spam and anti-virus software, a firewall, digital photo and video editing and player software and improved support for wireless networking and mobile computing.

For advanced users it is possible to dig deeper, with suites for application development, implementing virtualisation, running web servers and more.

SUSE 9.3 costs £64.99 inc VAT and includes 32bit and 64bit versions and as well as comprehensive documentation. An upgrade from a previous version will set you back a penny less than £40.

It is available from PC World on the high street and Amazon online, among others. We were also told that SUSE is in talks with local UK computer vendors to preload the system on PCs.

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