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Novell Returns to the SUSE Name 170

soren42 writes "It appears that Novell has decided to rename their enterprise desktop line SUSE, once again. According to an announcement at CeBIT, Novell will be releasing the next version of their desktop product under the name SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop - ditching the moniker Novell Linux Desktop. Naming aside, it looks like the features will be there to make it a strong desktop competitor."
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Novell Returns to the SUSE Name

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  • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:52PM (#14887551) Homepage Journal
    SUSE is a better choice than Novell.

    When you hear the word Novell, the image that pops up in your mind is "Old and Busted"

    SUSE on the other hand, sounds vaguely of "New Sweetness"
    • Re:Name matters (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mtenhagen ( 450608 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:59PM (#14887600) Homepage
      In my mind an image popups of of powerfull, reliable and secure software. Not the best looking but something you can build your business on.

      With SUSE I think about some guys who decide to package a bunch of free software.

      I think most of the "older" IT decision makers still remember the old novell software as being pretty stable.
      • Re:Name matters (Score:4, Informative)

        by SpinyNorman ( 33776 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @09:36PM (#14887800)
        As someone who remember using Novell Btrieve (B-tree index file library) way back when, the last thing I associate with Novell is quality. This simple library had dozens of new errata every few months.

        • Re:Name matters (Score:3, Interesting)

          by gregarican ( 694358 )
          No doubt. I recall back in the day manually loading NLM's on one of my company's servers. Simply misspelling something could abend the server. No autoreboot either. Just the BSOD (black screen o' death).
          • It's amusing how you thought that expanding the BSOD abbreviation is nessecery, and keeping the NLM abbreviated is fine.

            I for one, have no idea what "NLM" is.
            • Netware Loadable Module. If you didn't use old Netware and you didn't know how it could suck then the comment isn't applicable anyway. And the BSOD is a different take of the Microsoft _Blue_ Screen of Death. Different shade, same fubar result.
      • Yes but it never did help Novell to appeal to the tech guys, now did it?
        They should have learned something from Microsoft 10 years, never mind the tech people having to work with it, but clever marketing directed at the suits (to which Novell sounds old).
        (And when you got them, THEN you can make a reliable product, but that is another story :D)
      • Re:Name matters (Score:4, Interesting)

        by 10Ghz ( 453478 ) on Friday March 10, 2006 @04:21AM (#14889198)
        In my mind an image popups of of powerfull, reliable and secure software. Not the best looking but something you can build your business on.

        True that. Whenever I hear someone say that "this piece of software is rock-solid", I always think "rock solid, eh? I wonder how it compares to Netware?"

        We moved from Netware to Active Directory some time ago. And comparing Windows-server with AD to Netware is.... Not nice. Everything seems to be more complex in with the MS-solution, we have all kinds of strange issues with it (nothing catastrophic, but things that make the whole system awkward to use, whereas Netware was a breeze). And while Windows has been reasonable stable, it's nowhere near as stable as Netware was. In the time I started working here, to the time we dumbed Netware (about three years), it went down once, and that was due to power-outage. During this year or so that we have been on Windows/AD, the server has been down... 3-4 times, due to patching, crashing, lockups and the like.

        If I had to choose between Netware and Windows, I would choose Netware, no questions asked. And that sentiment is shared by just about all techies here. But since it's the PHB's that call the shots, and Microsoft had shinier PowerPoint-presentations than Novell did, we are stuck with AD.
      • I think most of the "older" IT decision makers still remember the old novell software as being pretty stable.

        Would those be the same "older" IT decision makers who have abandoned Novell in droves for Windows networking?

    • Re:Name matters (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by Mattwolf7 ( 633112 )
      I'm sorry but the quote is as follows:

      Agent J: What are you doing?
      Kevin Brown/K: I always do the driving.
      Agent J: Oh, no.
      Kevin Brown/K: I remember that.
      Agent J: No, you drive that old busted joint. I drive... the new hotness.
      [pointing at K]
      Agent J: Old and busted.
      [pointing at himself]
      Agent J: New hotness.
    • More like old and "god I'm sick of looking at that nasty server won't that piece of crap ever die?"
    • Sovell? Nuse? Nah, their market share would REALLY crash thru the floor...
    • the image that pops up in your mind
      Not if you turn on the pop-up blocker!
  • Good idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by parasonic ( 699907 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:54PM (#14887561)
    From my experiences, I've noticed that it's never a good idea to change the name of a well-known product unless you have a GOOD grip on the market where people are forced to remember/figure out the new naming. Otherwise, a lot of times, mass confusion occurs when something's name is changed, and customers go and try to find another product because they haven't been told that the name changed and assume that it disappeared (or think that something else might change).

    Props to Novell. This was the right move.
    • ...I thought Inprise was a great name. :)
    • by ylikone ( 589264 )
      I love how distro's always have screenshots... when in fact they look the same as anything else running KDE or Gnome. It's ridiculous.
      • Don't you want to know what colour the Novell icons are ?

        What kind of geek are you ?
    • Re:Some screenshots (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MrDomino ( 799876 )
      Ew. Just look at the Qt theme in that YaST screenshot. Maybe that'll get cleaned up before release, but I somehow doubt it, as themes take a while to create and there's no Qt equivalent of gtk-engine-qt. Could somebody please explain to me why Novell decided to ditch SuSE's long history of innovative KDE hacking altogether and hop on the GNOME bandwagon?
    • What's up with the Gnome desktop on SuSE Linux? Gnome might have been ok for Novell Linux Desktop but once you switch the name to SuSE it better default to KDE.

      SuSE == KDE
      KDE == SuSE

      enough said!

      BSD Podcasts @ []
    • This screenshot [] seems to indicate SUSE has copied the concept of the "phenomenally confusing start menu" from Windows XP. That new start menu in XP is the first thing I turn off. How is it possible that the folks at Novell decided to just chase Microsoft, bad ideas and all, "in the name of user familiarity" rather than make good design decisions on their own? This is one aspect I hope stays in the dumpster. Meanwhile, I'm happy with SUSE 9.2, which runs well on my PIII 555 Mhz Compaq (bought in 2000), s
  • by LardBrattish ( 703549 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:55PM (#14887570) Homepage
    Just ask Borland/Inprise/Borland...
  • Honestly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WebHostingGuy ( 825421 ) * on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:59PM (#14887598) Homepage Journal
    I didn't even know they dropped the SUSE name. I guess maybe they didn't market the other name very well. (They might want to try to brand SUSE a little better).

    • Hopefully when they go back to the SuSe name they will also go back to being a bit more user friendly and drop the whole corporate attitude. Ubuntu was looking by far the more desirable choice. Perhaps Novell's lack of fiscal performance had a lot to do with running with the wrong kind of attitude and alienating a lot of potential customers and annoying actual customers.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have been a RedHat, practioner...since 4.2 and through Fedora Core 4.

    I just installed OpenSUSE 10.0 and am really enjoying it. I had to live with NLD 9 ona job last year, and it was OK. I preferred CentOS however.

    But, SUSE 10 is solid, quick (once you turn off Beagle indexing in GNOME) and full featured.

    Novell fails to inspire confidence. But, if they use the SUSE name, I can almost forget it is from Novell. I like that.
  • Go ahead Novell, kill it. You know that's what you are really good at. It is inevitable. RIP SUSE.
  • Brand recognision (Score:4, Insightful)

    by themushroom ( 197365 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @09:04PM (#14887637) Homepage
    To be kinder than a previous post (but the "old and busted" sentiment remains, hee hee!), brand name recognision is there:

    SuSE is the name of a Linux distro. People know it's a Linux distro. Calling it "Novelle" makes it sound like it's not a Linux distro.

    Novelle is a networking systeme. Networking, not a desktop environment. SuSE may be able to be used in a networking environment but it's not a network environment in itself like Novelle.

    Corporate vanity failed. The world is on the way to being right again. It'll be better when Earthlink spins off its dialup service, renames it back to Mindspring, and hires Americans to take the tech calls since the reason why the two merged was for Earthlink [good brand, lousy cust service] to obtain the customer service skillz of Mindspring [unknown brand, JD Powers-praised cust service].
  • To be expected. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jd ( 1658 ) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {kapimi}> on Thursday March 09, 2006 @09:10PM (#14887661) Homepage Journal
    Brand Recognition Good, Brand Confusion Bad.

    The big danger is that chopping and changing the brand name again will worsen the confusion, rather than clarify things. Those who have grown used to the Novell name may not be so happy with the SuSE name and may even reach the (incorrect) conclusion that it's a distribution fork. Remember, the enterprise market has been pumped up with the FUD that Linux is going to fork "some day".

    The name-change to Novell was a Bad Idea (apologies to 1066 And All That), so it would seem that switching back to SuSE would be a Good Idea. There is also strong evidence that the Solaris/SunOS name-switching by Sun didn't kill the product line - although it definitely didn't help and was such a farce that it is still clearly remembered to this day.

    Red Hat's method (Red Hat for the Enterprise, Fedora Core for the Real Users) is acceptable, though certainly not brilliant. It's one way of leveraging brand recognition for multiple brands. Works better in the car industry than the software industry, I suspect.

    • Re:To be expected. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LardBrattish ( 703549 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @10:30PM (#14888060) Homepage
      Red Hat's method (Red Hat for the Enterprise, Fedora Core for the Real Users) is acceptable, though certainly not brilliant.

      That's a marketing disaster for Red Hat IMHO.

      They had the undisputed #1 dominant brand & split off the goodwill generating bit and forced most of their loyal users to switch to a different distro and - get this - the users figured there were OTHER non Red Hat Linux distros and - shock horror - some of them did stuff better than Red Hat.

      Brilliant move morons. 5 years ago Red Hat was the shoo in no brainer distro for servers everywhere. Today Suse is the preferred supplier to the NSW govt.

      • I'd have to agree... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jd ( 1658 )
        ...that they would have done better to use a different name for the enterprise edition and keep the goodwill name for themselves. Fedora Core isn't really a different distro - they just used the fedora name.
    • Are you kidding me? Fedora was a bad joke on the opensource community which gave birth to, and continues to feed redhat.

      Fedora is throwing the scraps to the dogs. The whole reason why anyone would choose redhat or suse is theyre enterprise and have been well standardized. You can much more easily run Oracle, DB2, Domino, Websphere etc on these two (as certified) than on slackware, debian, knoppix, gentoo, mandrake. Say you own a company and need an oracle server. You pick up a cheap server with good raid di
  • OLD NEWS!! (Score:2, Informative)

    Errrr.... Weve been using the Novell SUSE enterprise desktop where I work for ages. Dunno where this "New Name" came from but they sold it to us awhile ago when we paid for SUSE Desktop and Zenworks... We paid a lot so i hope we didnt get bilked...
  • by StressGuy ( 472374 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @09:13PM (#14887682)
    While I use Ubuntu on my "home office" computer, I think SuSE is the current front-runner for the home computer desktop OS. I've got SuSE 9.1 on our home computer for the wife and kids to use, it's just a slick package.

    Given the choice, it's the first one I would recommend to relatives.

  • by dartarrow ( 930250 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @09:18PM (#14887702) Homepage
    I have a stuffed penguin with the name 'Novell' written on it's belly which I purchased from your staff at an IT conference. Now, due to the name change, my dear Novell Tux is considered worthless and damaged goods. As the damage is caused by your part, I expect to receive full compensation in form of one (1) stuffed penguin sized 100" by 40" which is 10 times the size of my Novell Tex(tm). The increase in size is requested to remind you that what seems like a simple change of name is in fact psychologically damaging to a nerd. Upon receiving the new Suse Tux, I will destroy my Novell Tux to eliminate the chance of any other geek suffering from the same trauma I have. I expect you to comply with my wishes within 30 days from today. Failing which you will hear from my whose amazing achievements can be seen here. []


    • I have a stuffed penguin with the name 'Novell' written on it's belly which I purchased from your staff at an IT conference. Now, due to the name change, my dear Novell Tux is considered worthless and damaged goods. As the damage is caused by your part, I expect to receive full compensation in form of one (1) stuffed penguin sized 100" by 40" which is 10 times the size of my Novell Tex(tm). The increase in size is requested to remind you that what seems like a simple change of name is in fact psychologicall

    • Now, due to the name change, my dear Novell Tux is considered worthless and damaged goods.
      I take it you are new to the software business.
  • People who want Linux will recognize the SUSE name.

    For people who want Novell, you can sell them "Novell Directory Server on SuSe Enterprise", or whatever.

    I think that they'll really get the best of both worlds with the new setup.

  • Misleading subject (Score:4, Informative)

    by houghi ( 78078 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @09:28PM (#14887760)
    The subject makes you believe that Novell had dropped the SUSE name and returns to it now. That is not completely acurate. The SUSE (Not SuSE anymore) name was always there as a distro and at no point was there any thought about dropping that name.

    SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is not the same as the SUSE Linux you can download for free. By naming it is does show, again, Novells comitment with Linux.

    Oh and just so you are all clear on names: SUSE is the distribution, openSUSE is the comunity. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server are the products they sell for real.
    • SUSE had a product they called SUSE Desktop 1.0, and it was for businesses. Novell released the next version and renamed it Novell Linux Desktop. Now the next name is SUSE once again.
  • Ha! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by recharged95 ( 782975 )
    A light went off in the company. Someone must have said, "Why do we have OpenSuSE and NLD and OES, SLES instead of just SuSE Linux?

    At least MS (Windows ) and Apple (OSX ) got it right. And I mean the cute code name stuff in all Linux distros is starting to get out of hand.

    Aside from RedHat, you guys got to admit SuSE has a lot of potential (i.e. OpenSuSE and SuperSuSE specifically).

    • At least MS (Windows ) and Apple (OSX ) got it right.

      I'm not sure if MS did get it right. At first, they used letters (NT) for business OS and years (95, 98) for home OS. Then it switched to year (2000) for business OS and letters (ME) for home OS. Then MS combined the business and home OSes into a single codebase (which I think was a good idea) and called it XP, but kept their server OSes in year naming format.
    • Re:Ha! (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yeah... The cute codenames in all Linux distros are getting to me, too. I mean, what's up with Slackware 10.2? When will it end?
  • If you knew SUSE like I know Novell....*

    *After coming up with 12 different endings for this joke I leave it open for debate.

  • ... in the same sentence just seems not right.
  • Novell Linux Desktop was their attempt at an enterprise-grade desktop OS.

    SuSE Linux was them continuing the SuSE distro. While it *could* be used in the enterprise, that's not how they were pushing it.

    SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) was their server.

    They never offered a Linux server OS w/ the Novell name on it. Now it appears they're trying to be a bit more consistant with the naming scheme. NLD and SuSE Linux were two different beasts all together. I had much luck with SuSE 9 while NLD 9
    • "They never offered a Linux server OS w/ the Novell name on it."

      Feel free to take a look a NOVELL OPEN ENTERPRISE SERVER.

      "Maybe they're simply dropping the Novell Linux Desktop distro?"

      No they're not dropping it, this whole friggin article was about them CHANGING THE NAME of said distro.
    • SUSE Desktop 1.0 was renamed Novell Linux Desktop, now being renamed back to SUSE. It was not an incredibly popular product, which is probably why you don't remember it.
    • OpenSuSE aside, will they actually call anything SuSE Linux 10?

      Products seem to jump away from version numbers right around the time they hit that second digit. Red Hat renamed their main distro as Fedora Core and started over at 1 rather than release a Red Hat 10. Mandrake and Conectiva got up to 10, merged, renamed themselves Mandriva, then switched over to yearly vintages.

      And let's not even get started on Mac OS X, which technically has a version number (two of them if you count "X"), but hides it in t
      • You must have been asleep, or hiding under a rock!

        10.0 was released last year already. They're currently in the beta phase for 10.1, and should start with RCs for it in a few weeks.

        They certainly don't appear to be shying away from using the number ten.

        -- Steve

  • Take a look... (Score:5, Informative)

    by soren42 ( 700305 ) * <> on Thursday March 09, 2006 @10:17PM (#14888002) Homepage Journal
    There's official Novell screenshots (a nice sneak preview) online at l [].
  • by jav1231 ( 539129 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @10:17PM (#14888003)
    "After discovering that our customers didn't know WTF Novell Desktop Linux was, but oddly enough had heard of SuSE, we're changing our Linux line back to SuSE!"
    • I agree with this.

      Novel does indeed have excellent name recognition: unfortunately the name recognition has been tainted over the last 12 years by people struggling to migrate AWAY from the platform and on to this rediculous microsoft BS.

      Thier memories do include Novel as being a necessary and integral part of their windows installs and such, and it was bomb-resistant and sturdy, it was not a happy happy taffy eating time.

      We've spent 10 years migrating away from this and now you want us to migrate back? WT
  • It doesn't even fit in a normal size mouth. "SUSE Linux Enterprise What"? I mean really, could the name be any more convoluted? From the other posts it is obvious there are plenty of Linux geeks supporting this, but to the lay user this is just garble. What is a SUSE, anyway? At least people KNOW the name Novell. Many have nostalgic feelings for those early network days. So what's wrong with "Novell Desktop" or if you insist on the lizard, "SUSE Desktop from Novell".

  • It's embarassing to be chatting with fellow geeks at the LUG meeting and mispronounce distro names - is it "Suzy/Susie" or "sooz" (rhymes with "muse")? And Ubuntu - is is "yew-bun-two" or "ooh-bun-two"?
  • Support Confusion (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Skewray ( 896393 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @10:42PM (#14888111)
    When I used to use SuSE, I went to the SuSE website for support, such as using bugzilla. With the switch to Novell, I had to wander around for hours in Novell's mazelike web pages to find, register, and use the same set of support utilities. Will I have migrate back to SuSE for the next distribution? Maybe half here and half there? What a mess they are making of this. Reminds me of Red Hat's mess when they stopped supporting the desktop, and then created Fedora some months later. A lot of users, myself included, switched to SuSE then.

    On the other hand, I have found SuSE/Novell/whatever much more pleasant to use than Red Hat. The Novell bugzilla response has been particularly good.

  • Novell has made a couple of choices which don't display a clear committment to formats one can play with FLOSS.

    Recently they started an audio show distributed online and this show is encoded exclusively in MP3 format. I wrote to them suggesting that they upload a WAV or FLAC file to and let make derivative files in a variety of formats including Ogg Vorbis, thus simultaneously offloading bandwidth and hosting resources while allowing people to hear their show without necessarily g

  • by theendlessnow ( 516149 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @11:43PM (#14888396)
    After coming out with:

    Red Hat Advanced Server

    Followed by:

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Server

    Red Hat proudly announces the availabity of:

    Red Hat Ultra Enterprise Linux Super Advanced Server Extra Value Edition

    Or RHUELSASEVE for short.

    You'll still be able get their workstation product as well:

    Red Hat Ultra Enterprise Linux Super Advanced Workstation Plus

    Or just say RHUELSAWP!!

  • Can somebody please tell me whether it's pronounced "Soos" or "SOO-zee" in English??? Just when I think I have it right, somebody comes along and corrects me. About ten times, now.

The world is coming to an end--save your buffers!