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Novell enters the UMPC Linux Market


In case there’s anyone left out there who doesn’t get that the UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC) is a big deal for the Linux desktop consider that arguably the most important business Linux desktop, Novell’s SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) 10 SP2) is now available on MSI’s (Micro-Star International) new Wind Notebook.

The Wind NB-Linux is what Intel would have us call a NetBook. It uses a 1.6-GHz Intel Atom microprocessor and comes with 512MBs of RAM and an 80-GB hard drive. For networking it uses 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and conventional Ethernet.

This new SLED-powered UMPC also has a 10” wide (1024×600 resolution) LCD screen and a built-in 1.3-Megapixel Webcam. MSI and SLED support this, and the built-in microphone, with Skype for on-the-go video conferencing.

MSI has certified their PCs for SLED since 2006, but this is the first time MSI has preloaded SLED on one of its computers. Unlike SLED’s most noteworthy pre-load, on the Lenovo ThinkPad, which is a business laptop, this is also SLED’s first important consumer Linux desktop pre-load.

“Novell is excited to partner with MSI to pre-install SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop on its low-cost notebooks powered by Intel’s Atom processor,” said Roger Levy, Novell’s senior VP and general manager of Open Platform Solutions in a statement. “The market is primed for desktop Linux, and by combining MSI’s highly-mobile, full-featured notebooks with Novell’s enterprise-ready desktop operating system, customers now have the best of both worlds *a comprehensive and easy-to-use solution at a very affordable price.”

The Wind will be available in the United States in July with SLED for $399. There will also be a $499 model with Windows XP Home.