Novell has boasted that its newly released Linux Desktop 9 operating system (OS) will threaten Microsoft Windows on corporate desktops, but channel players disagree.
Novell, which started shipping the new OS last week through its partners, recently claimed its operating system contains as much security and reliability as Windows and is sufficiently developed to challenge the Microsoft platform.
Linux Desktop 9 is available under a pricing package that includes software upgrades and updates for one year. The OS also comes backed by Novell's support, training and consulting services.
Nick McGrath, head of platform strategy in the UK at Microsoft, claimed that the software giant is not worried by Novell's comments.
"I'm seeing very little adoption of open source in the market. Partners want to ensure they get a product that has a continuous life cycle, and that's what they get with Windows," he said.
McGrath added that according to various analysts, pricing is also an issue.
"Among a number of studies of open source on the desktop, a recent Gartner study revealed that Linux on the desktop can be between 25 and 28 per cent more expensive than Windows," he claimed.
Jack Messman, Novell chairman, defended the Novell product. "In recent years, the IT industry has been asking when Linux will be ready to take on the desktop," he said.
"Novell Linux Desktop 9 is not about the wholesale replacement of your Windows systems, but about identifying where and when an open-source desktop can be a sensible, cost-effective alternative."
However, Peter Dawes-Huish, sales director at VAR LinuxIT, said he thought Desktop 9 might not be up to the job.
"This offering is weak in some areas, and Novell does not have the network and expertise to support this push," he said.
"I would question its long-term view. It could be an attempt to bind users into the Novell architecture.
"There are certain environments where Linux is better than Windows, but Novell may be focusing too much on trying to take market share from Microsoft and not enough time on the product."
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