Novell has released SuSE Linux 10, aimed mainly at the consumer enthusiast market – but also providing enterprise customers with a look at the technologies Novell could introduce in the next rev of the hardened enterprise-level OS. Novell was handing out copies of the new OS at the Novell love-in, Brainshare, this week.

Technologies that corporate evaluators can get a preview of include virtualisation, with the incorporation into Linux 10 of the open source hypervisor Xen; OpenOffice 2.0; desktop search engine Beagle; and Mono, the long-awaited open source development environment. However, Novell made no absolute promises that any of these technologies will reach the next enterprise version.

Other, consumer-level features include a new 3D rendering engine, improved support for Excel macros and for multimedia work.

The key differences between this and Novell’s enterprise product are similar to those of between Red Hat’s enterprise product and Fedora Core: there’s little support for this product, with users expected to be capable of installing and managing the OS and associated components themselves. This even includes complex features such as Xen, which requires installation of the Linux kernel. Xen allows multiple versions of the OS on the same machine but, so far, it offers Linux-only support.

Novell’s move follows Red Hat’s unveiling of a similar features list in the next rev of its consumer/enthusiast-grade product, Fedora Core 5.