Novell has demonstrated the next version of Novell Linux Desktop 10, with a host of new consumer and business features.
Novell used the Solutions Linux conference in Paris to demonstrate the forthcoming platform easily supporting integration with an Apple iPod and a digital camera for playing multimedia applications.
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In addition, the new Linux distribution also includes business features, such as allowing users to translate Visual Basic macros in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet documents into StarBasic.
StarBasic is the macro language used by the open source Open Office.org collaboration suite, which Novell supports.
Most home users find Linux hard to use when trying to carry out common tasks like playing music and viewing pictures and videos.
This is partly down to the fact that the MP3 encoding system is patented, and its licensing is not compatible with the GPL open source licence used for Linux distributions.
Novell has therefore developed its own MP3 player software called Banshee, which is licensed to use the MP3 encoding software. Banshee will be open source, but will not be distributed under the GPL.
Novell has also developed F-Spot, which can be used to easily connect a digital camera to a PC running Novell Linux Desktop 10.
Novell Linux Desktop 10 is expected to be available in the next few months.