Ximian uncorks new Linux desktop

Renewing its push to plant Linux on corporate desktops, Ximian Inc. has rolled out a new version of its environment designed to help administrators better integrate and manage Linux in mixed environments.

Ximian's Desktop 2 is bundled with the desktop suite. It features one-click Windows network navigation, an improved interface, and file compatibility with Microsoft Office applications, all designed to make the product less expensive to deploy and manage, officials said.

"One of the issues holding up enterprise adoption of Linux is the lack of a complete set of productivity applications that can be tightly integrated to do documents, e-mail, and collaboration," said Jon Perr, vice president of product marketing at Ximian in Boston.

Included in Desktop 2 is Evolution 1.4, an e-mail and PIM (personal information management) tool that integrates with Exchange 2000, a new version of Connector for Microsoft Exchange, a Mozilla-based browser, and Version 2.0 of its Red Carpet software updating package.

Ximian Desktop 2 Professional Edition includes Adobe Acrobat Reader, Macromedia Flash, Real Player, and a Java 2.0 run-time environment.

One user said integration with Microsoft Office is key to the technology's appeal.

"If I can get (desktop) applications that work transparently with Office and they come as part of the suite, that's a big plus for us economically and functionally," said Tom Wilson, senior LAN administrator at a regional insurance company in Deerfield, Mich.

Ximian's Desktop 2 is available the week commencing June 9, 2003.