posted by Eugenia Loli on Wed 10th Nov 2004 06:45 UTC
IconToday, we feature an interview with Ted Haeger, director of marketing for Novell Linux Desktop.

1. Please tell us about the integration of the software in Novell Linux Desktop 9. Are the changes found in Gaim are now part of the official Gaim? And what about OOo?

Ted Haeger: Yes. We contribute innovations back to the various open source projects we use.

2. How is iFolder compared with existing VPN or other solutions found today in the Windows land? What are its advantages over Microsoft's solutions and what those over Red Hat Enterprise?

Ted Haeger: Novell iFolder 2 is a completely different thing from a VPN. iFolder is for file synchronization service. It is implemented as a client-side application that synchronizes files from a Windows or Linux desktop to a back-end server. The server is hosted as an Apache application, so it uses standard web protocols and ports, encrypted or not, which means that this service is one that does not require a VPN. Novell iFolder 2 gets a user two beneifits: first, their data is synchronized to a back-end service so it can be backed up by standard datacenter processes; second is that a user can synchronize their local data to another client (through the server), allowing them to have a home machine and a work machine and a laptop (Windows or Linux) all remain in synch with each other.

3. Apparently the Novell Desktop uses kernel 2.6.5 while the recent SuSE release employs a more recent kernel. How did this happen?

Ted Haeger: The "recent SuSE" to which you refer must be SUSE LINUX Professional 9.2, which is a product Novell produces for Linux enthusiasts and makes available through retail channels. Novell Linux Desktop 9 is based on SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9, both of which Novell produces for business use, and neither of which are available through retail channels.

4. We hear that there is no default GUI for Novell Desktop (gnome or kde). Do you find it difficult to focus on two user interfaces at the same time, do you believe that it would be easier if development would gear towards the one or the other?

Ted Haeger: It is definitely an added effort to ensure that our contributions are put forward on both environments, and that both stay on par with each other. However, neither desktop has enough market dominance for Novell to force a choice at this point. We have many longstanding SUSE customers in Europe who currently use KDE. Likewise, in North America, GNOME tends to be preferred. Because of that, we have decided that it's in our customers' interest to continue supporting both for the time being.

5. How far away is Beagle from entering a Novell product release?

Ted Haeger: TBD

6. I read about your wireless applet, but I see no major support for recent PocketPC/PalmOS devices, neither Bluetooth/phone support, even if such technologies/devices are very common in the Enterprise. Any comments on this?

Ted Haeger: Novell Evolution definitely supports PalmOS devices. But we have to get back to the current market segments that we are targeting: the wireless applet is a cool feature, and we included it as an accommodation for those who want to use Novell Linux Desktop outside of our target markets. Bluetooth, phones, and those kind of things will follow as we expand our target segments. But we need to execute first in the target spaces we have set for this release.

7. What are the main technical differences between SuSE's Linux and Novell Desktop? Is YaST the same as in SuSE's latest release?

Ted Haeger: Technical and feature differentiators are not really strategic in open source products. Yes, YaST is a differentiator from many other distributions, but it's now in open source, and any other distribution can include it. That's the open source way--technical differentiators are community property, and only differentiate from proprietary systems. We consider our major differentiators to be qualities about our offering, not features. That is, "Powered by SUSE LINUX" means that Novell Linux Desktop has been tested and refined to have the known reliability and securability (yes, we made that word up) for which SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server has been recognized for years.

8. ZENworks (ex-RedCarpet) is now the update manager for Novell Desktop. Please tell us what kind of updates are going to be part of the Novell Desktop: security updates or also bug fixed versions of packages?

Ted Haeger: ZENworks Linux Management, to be precise. Through update.novell.com, Novell will provide security updates as well as other patches and fixes. This is available to customers who choose to purchase Novell Linux Desktop yearly entitlements from Novell. Also included is updates to any newer version of Novell Linux Desktop.

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