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SUSE Gets New Name, Logo Prior to New Product Release

Sep 30, 2003, 13:00 (19 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)

By Brian Proffitt,
Managing Editor

SUSE LINUX has unveiled what the company calls "an irreverent new advertising campaign," as well as a new corporate logo and design for their Web site.

The changes come in anticipation of the company's soon-to-be-released SUSE LINUX 9.0.

According to a press statement issued this morning, SUSE felt it needed a corporate identity to broaden it's appeal to a business audience. Its new slogan, "Simply Change," is "on one hand a challenge to switch from monopolistic software to the flexibility of SUSE and on the other signifies how simple this shift can be," the statement said.

The new all-caps look of the company name is a delibrate move as well. Joseph Eckert, VP of Corporate Communications, was asked if the upper casing was meant to make the name more English-friendly to help penetrate the North American and Australian markets. Eckert indicated that this was not the reason for the change. "As part of the overall effort to update our look, it was felt that upper casing all of SUSE LINUX brought more attention to the name," Eckert said.

"SUSE was looking to more effectively reach our business audience--capitalizing on our strengths as the pioneer in commercial Linux as well as our reputation as the Linux engineering experts," said Dr. Uwe Schmid, vice president, Marketing and Business Development, SUSE LINUX. "At the same time, we wanted to maintain the irreverence, creativity, and innovation inherent in the open source movement."

J. Walter Thompson worked with SUSE to bring new dynamics to the SUSE logo, consistency to its corporate design and to develop the new advertising campaign, which will have testimonials depicting people "sticking out their tongues in a gesture that says goodbye to expensive proprietary systems that sometimes lock users into an unwelcome dependency."

The changes have been added to the company's Web site, though some evidence of the old SuSE brand still remains.

The announcement of the name change was accompanied by the formal announcement of October 24 as the release date for SUSE LINUX 9.0.

SUSE LINUX 9.0 is designed to enable easier Windows migration by supporting NTFS file systems, according to the announcement. The company also indicated that the new offering will give experienced users a sneak peek at the enhanced capabilities of the 2.6 Linux kernel--with many of those capabilities back-ported into the 2.4 default kernel as well.

Some of the new features include support for 32-bit and 64-bit platforms (specifically the AMD Athlon 64 processor), as well as WinModem support, and advanced auto-detection of DSL connections.

Software included with SUSE LINUX 9.0 will be KDE 3.1.4 and OpenOffice.org 1.1, as well as the KDE instant messenger Kopete, which now supports all common services such as AOL, MSN, IRC, ICQ, and Yahoo Messenger.

The improved graphical user interface of k3b, the Linux-based burning application, will enable DVD creation as well as CD burning. Several audio packages will also be included in the new consumer offering.

SUSE's system assistant YaST will include a new module which, along with Samba 2.2.8a, enables inexperienced Linux users to network Linux and Windows systems. DNS, DHCP, and web servers for the home network can be configured by means of graphical dialogs. The new XNTP module allows the host to be synchronized with an atomic clock time server. Apart from the widespread Internet protocol IPv4, the next generation IPv6 is also supported.

SUSE LINUX 9.0 now includes User Mode Linux (UML). This systems enables users to host one or more complete Linux instances simultaneously. Experienced users can perform tasks like kernel debugging, virtual hosting, and security environments in SUSE LINUX without endangering their running system.

SUSE LINUX 9.0 will be available at the SUSE online shop and software retailers from October 24. The recommended retail price for SUSE LINUX 9.0 Personal (three CDs, User Guide, 60 days of installation support) is $39.95. The price for SUSE LINUX 9.0 Professional (five CDs, one double DVD, User Guide and Administration Guide, 90 days of installation support) is $79.95. SUSE LINUX 9.0 Professional for AMD64 is $119.95.

Related Story:
NewsForge: New SuSE Version Coming Next Month(Sep 29, 2003)