The KDE community's new tablet project, meanwhile--dubbed Plasma Active--is not yet an integral part of the openSUSE, but with version 12.1 it is available to tablet users. The project aims to integrate that component in the distribution's next release.
Last but not least, openSUSE 12.1 users can also choose to use the lightweight Xfce or LXDE desktops, if they prefer. The screenshot below depicts openSUSE 12.1's GNOME desktop running the Totem movie player.
2. Power-Packed Software
As always, openSUSE 12.1 comes with a powerful array of bundled software, including Firefox 7, Thunderbird 7, LibreOffice 3.4.3, Scribus 1.4, Banshee 2.2, GIMP, and much more. Brand-new in this release is the introduction of Chromium 17 to the standard repositories.
3. Underlying Technologies
OpenSUSE's underlying technologies have been updated as well, of course, and a few notable firsts for the distribution include the new Snapper tool for file versioning, the systemd init system--resulting in a faster boot process--and Google's Go programming language.
Meanwhile, openSUSE 12.1 is built with GCC 4.6.2 and link-time optimization for a boost to overall performance, the project team says.
4. Cloud Innovations
Based on Linux kernel 3.1, openSUSE 12.1 is now ready to run directly on the Amazon EC2 cloud and can support mixed IT environments including public and private clouds. Tools are included for managing virtualization technologies such as Xen 4.1, KVM, and VirtualBox, and openSUSE is the first Linux distribution to ship OwnCloud integrated into the desktop, the project says.
The openSUSE Virtualization and Cloud repository, meanwhile, offers the latest versions of Eucalyptus, OpenNebula, and OpenStack for openSUSE 12.1.