Two companies will attempt to change the face of Linux forever – or at least the interface – at LinuxWorld in San Jose this week. Eazel will demonstrate its Nautilus Linux desktop and file management system for the first time. The Nautilus desktop environment features a fresh, intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) based on the popular GNOME desktop environment, and is easily customized to fit users' tastes and levels of Linux knowledge. For instance, users can specify if they want to be able to access the Linux command line from the desktop. Nautilus also includes features that allow users to share and manage files across a network. Software inventory management, Web-based software notification and auto-update tools are included to keep Linux boxes running Nautilus operating smoothly with the latest open source security and operating system patches. A beta version of Nautilus will be available for download later this week at the company’s Web site. The final release available for free in the fall. Lots of industry buzz has circulated around Eazel since it was announced last fall. The fact that the company was founded by Andy Hertzfeld and Michael Boich, architects of the break-through Apple Macintosh user interface, has helped to boost expectations of anti-Microsoft users for a PC desktop saviour. Helix Code is another Linux desktop developer looking to make a splash at LinuxWorld. Helix Code will debut Helix Code Version 1.0 featuring the GNOME desktop environment along with several tools aimed at making the Linux PCs more accessible to the masses. "This is a desktop aimed at all end users," from the most skilful Linux hacker to someone new to computers in general, Friedman says. The package includes a simple installation program and the GNOME Updater tool which lets users update their GNOME desktop and Linux operating system from the Web. The company also will announce a partnership with IBM to put Helix Code 1.0 on Linux-based IBM laptops. The startup has offered its Helix Code GNOME Desktop since April. The system is bundled with open source spreadsheet, image editing and its Evolution package, which includes an email client, calendar and contact management software. Helix Code 1.0 will include all the features of the earlier GNOME Desktop and will run on all Linux distributions. It will be available for free, but users will have to pay for support.
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