When Novell's Linux desktop arrives at the end of this year it will be stripped down to avoid integration problems and to keep it simple for users.
The desktop combines functionality from Ximian and SuSE Linux, both acquired by Novell last year.
Nat Friedman, Novell vice president of R&D for desktop development, told vnunet.com that this was what enterprise customers wanted.
"Large organisations tell us they want a well-integrated and supported product, not [things such as] text editors," said Friedman, one of Ximian's founders.
He was also bullish about demand for the product, adding: "We have a strategic belief in the desktop. When we asked [our] sales [department] for customers for a closed beta we were overwhelmed. So we know this is going to roll."
Out of around 6,000 customers who showed interest in the beta, about 40 were selected. These have now been running the desktop for two months.
The new desktop will be called SuSE Linux Desktop 9, the version matching the recently released SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 which incorporates the Linux 2.6 kernel.
It will for the most part have only one option for any specific component, but the Gnome and KDE graphical user interfaces will both be offered.
Other functionality includes Firefox (Mozilla) browser, OpenOffice office suite with some Ximian 'theming', and Evolution 2.0 as the groupware client.
Mono, the software that enables Microsoft .Net applications to run on Linux, will also be provided as standard.
Friedman said he did not see the other Linux desktops as competition. "We have a Linux abundance mentality. There is only one obvious enemy. With Red Hat we share some core technologies. It is in our interest to work together," he said.
He also confirmed that Novell's longer-term strategy was to make all its desktop software open source.
Among future inclusions are RealPlayer's media player, following Novell's agreement with RealPlayer. There will also be a special search engine codenamed Beagle, and information management codenamed Dashboard.
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