Novell Inc might have signed a patent and interoperability deal with Microsoft Corp but it is not about to give up competing with the software giant and last week released a study that suggests its Linux desktop product is better value than Windows Vista.
The Waltham, Massachusetts-based company’s competitive guide compares SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop with Windows Vista and claims that the Linux product provides 90% of Vista’s functionality and 10% of the price. The figures are based on a subscription fee of $50 for SLED, compared to $299 for a Windows Vista license, as well as additional maintenance fees of $86 for Vista Business. SLED costs $50 for one year and $125 for three years, compared to Vista’s $385 for one year and $557 for three years.
Add in the fact that Novell’s SLED contains a version of the OpenOffice.org productivity suite while Microsoft Office costs an additional $400 to $500, and Novell calculates that the cost of SLED could be in the region of 10%.
Novell’s report also insists that there are other savings to be had, such as retaining older hardware, and improved security via its AppArmor application security framework.
“In the past you were forced to spend much more for desktops than you should have because you were buying them from Microsoft,” the report states, indicating that the recent peace deal between the two companies has not limited Novell’s desire to compete.
Novell has broken down the desktop user base into three categories: those with one or more applications, those who need browser, email and productivity tools, and those who also need further enterprise applications.
“SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop satisfies the needs of most desktop users in the first and second categories and several of them in the third category,” the report stated.
As well as the competitive report, Novell has also launched a Vista comparison web site with product presentations, demos, a Q&A, customer references and further reading.
January 22, 2007
Novell says desktop Linux costs 10% of Microsoft’s Vista
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