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Novell is planning to introduce improvements to its Zenworks system management tool to simplify the management of desktop PCs running Ximian software.

The company is attempting to address the problem users face in managing a desktop and server environment comprising Windows, Linux, mainframes and various flavours of Unix.

Steve Gaines, technical director at Novell, said that by using Ximian "Red Carpet" technology, any flavour of Windows, Linux and Unix could be managed.

Red Carpet offers software distribution technology to help roll out patches across Linux desktop infrastructures. Gaines said, "One of the big problems with Linux is that it comprises 3,000 or so interdependent packages."

This means that when the IT director needs to issue a patch, all the software components that will be affected must be checked. "Red Carpet ensures the dependencies are resolved automatically," Gaines said.

The technology is expected to be introduced in the next version of Zenworks later this year.

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