Aggravation that is Novell March 14, 2006Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.
Novell is starting to aggravate the hell out of me. Its not because Im a Windows fanboy, but my aggravation comes from their products. I recently got ahold of their SLED beta (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) I like it. Do I think it will beat out Windows Vista? Nope, while Novell has done a lot of copying from Windows Vista, integrated search and integrated applications like F-Spot and Beagle, those applications are incomplete beta/alpha quality applications. Beagle does not index my system properly and it crashes all the time, F-Spot works somewhat well. Their new system menu seems dyslexic and really is as bad as it looks. In fact the only thing I have been able to get working right is iFolder. One thing I will say excluding the system menu the layout of the system is pretty good. Yeah it even beats Windows Vista in some areas. The eye candy really needs to be toned down in the Novell desktop, its very obtrusive. I think this is one area where they tried too hard to mimic an upcoming OS relase from everyones favorite company. When talking to Novell I found out this is the version they plan to introduce at BrainShare. If it is, they are in deep trouble but whats so aggravating is that they are building this distribution off of beta software and this shows me that the Linux community still doesnt get it. I want my system to just work from the time of install to the user experience. I want my applications to work, I dont want to be having to run down error logs and having to correct errors that are evident at the time of RTM. This is why Windows Vista and even Mac OS X succeed while bugs exist, yeah they do, at least the software is functional and shows some quality was put into it. From what I have seen I think Novell will fall on their face with this distribution but I have been promised the full version and when I get it I will do a full review. Novell has improved usability alot, you can tell that they put a lot of work into it. The quality needs to be improved quite a bit before I would consider this release. Will it leapfrog Windows? Nope, but it will stand on its own two feet. From my initial look see, Im not impressed and Novell needs to take certain aspects of the system back to the drawing board. If you are an existing Linux customer, get it and deploy it but iof you are a Windows user and a Mac user I dont see any compelling reason to migrate.