So what differentiates openSUSE from Novell's other distributions, namely SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)? To quote from the openSUSE FAQ:
"openSUSE, created and maintained by the openSUSE project, is a stable, integrated Linux operating system that includes the latest open source packages for desktop productivity, multimedia, Web-hosting, networking infrastructure and application development. It contains everything you need to get started with Linux and is ideal for individuals who wish to use Linux on their personal workstations or to drive their home networks."
"Novell refines and enhances openSUSE to create a hardened and supported suite of enterprise Linux products suitable for data center deployments, edge server deployments, business desktops, and business infrastructure deployment."
Novell markets the SLED and SLES products at organizations looking for a fully hardened and supported Linux distribution. They also include some products that can't be shipped with the openSUSE distribution. Novell chose the GNOME desktop to base its SLED product around for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the influence of Miguel de Icaza and Nat Friedman. The Mono project is also tightly coupled with GNOME and gives Novell a strong application development and porting base to offer enterprise customers.