HP to offer Suse desktop Linux to small businesses

The company will offer Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop to business and education customers, and will expand its virtualised browsing software

HP said on Wednesday that it will offer Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop to business and education customers.

Suse's desktop software will be carried on the HP Compaq dc5850. The desktop will be available in the US from 15 December, for $519 (£346). A spokeperson for HP said that the OS is only being pre-loaded in the US and "there are no current plans to introduce this in the UK".

In a statement, HP said it will offer Suse's desktop Linux with "a tightly integrated suite of essential applications, including OpenOffice.org, web browser, multimedia tools, and email, collaboration and instant-messaging software."

On the education front, HP said it's working with Novell to develop and maintain 40 learning applications.

HP also announced that it will expand its virtualised browsing software.

HP said: "The first-of-its-kind Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions was developed with Symantec and Mozilla for HP customers. The solution uses the standard release of Mozilla Firefox with a Symantec Software Virtualization Solution layer that allows customers to use the internet productively while keeping business PCs stable and easier to support."

As customers surf the web, changes made to the PC are contained in a "virtual layer", separate from the operating system, and do not permanently alter the machine. Customers can, therefore, reset the browser as needed, instantly returning the PC to its last-known good state.

The software was initially offered on the HP Compaq dc7900 business desktop, but now will be expanded to other models.

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