At last week's CeBIT show in Hannover, Novell said SuSE Linux 9.1 would enable customers to run Linux on 32-bit and 64-bit platforms, using processors from Intel or AMD.
The software, due for release in May, will include a package called Samba 3, which will enable the integration of Linux hosts in Windows domains and allow access to Active Directory. With the single sign-on, authentication on a Samba server will not require any further changes for a Windows XP client, Novell said.
Dan Kusnetzky, vice-president of systems software at analyst company IDC, said the product will include a number of incremental improvements that are not significant on their own, but when put together, will lead to performance and reliability improvements.
Red Hat, Novell's major open source competitor, plans to include the 2.6 kernel in its enterprise product in early 2005. The kernel is designed to boost the efficiency of the distribution of hardware resources and improve power management.