There are lots of Linux distros being touted as great desktop operating systems for PCs. However, there’s only one that I can wholeheartedly recommend to business owners as a Windows replacement: Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 (SLED).
SLED 11, which was released on March 24, stands above its competitors because it works and plays well with existing Windows business networks, data files and application servers. You can, of course, add this functionality to other Linux distributions — if you’re willing to do it manually. SLED gives you pretty much the full deal out of the box.
This new desktop is based on openSUSE 11.1. If you’ve already used openSUSE, you might think at first glance that SLED 11 is little more than openSUSE with a $120 annual service contract. It’s more than that, though. Here’s what I found in my recent run with it.