SUSE first offered a business desktop version in 2002; this was the SUSE Linux Desktop (SLD), which was based on the code of SLES 8. It was essentially similar to SUSE Personal/Professional 8.1, but had some extra features including a bundled licensed version of CrossOver Office (a commercial version of the Wine Windows emulation software discussed in Chapter 28) and a Citrix client. Take-up was not particularly strong, despite the good publicity that came out of the Munich announcement. There was also a very sensible caution on the part of the SUSE marketing team who did not want to over-hype the product, leading to unfulfilled expectations or disappointment. The explicit statement was made that SLD was not for everyone, and then, as now, the market sectors most suited to the product were identified and clearly stated.
Following the release of SLES 9, Novell Linux Desktop (NLD) 9 was released. It was based on the SLES 9 code base, but with recent versions of the KDE and GNOME desktops included, and a great deal of attention paid to usability issues. In particular, the version of OpenOffice.org included with NLD 9 (OpenOffice.org Novell edition) was set up to take on the native appearance of whichever desktop environment it was running in. NLD 9 included support for Novell's ZENworks Linux Management (ZLM) and one or two Novell-specific tools including an iFolder client.
SLES 10 and SLED 10 were released at the same time. SLED 10 marked a big step forward in terms of usability for naive users, and also generated a great deal of interest because it included XGL and the "desktop effects.'' SLES 10 and SLED 10 are built on a common code base and updates for common packages are issued for them simultaneously. Naturally they have different package sets befitting their different purposes, but binary compatibility ensures that packages from SLES 10 can run on SLED and vice versa.
SLED's installation is essentially similar to any other SUSE Linux version. There is a choice at the start of the installation between a GNOME and a KDE desktop. The default is GNOME, and the GNOME desktop is slightly more polished and integrated with the system than KDE.
The distinguishing feature of SLED (as with SLES) is the long-term support. SLED 10 was introduced in July 2006 and will be supported by Novell until July 2011, with extended support for another two years after that.
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