Thanks for the solid coverage on your blog. I'd like to respond with a couple details as something of a response or extension to your post, if you don't mind.
The screenshots aren't mockups–they came from live, working code. I captured them straight from my laptop running a beta of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10. If you cannot tell from my ongoing write-ups, I really dig this distribution.
A colleague of mine and I just ordered 7,500 DVD's copies of the 10.1 release of openSUSE. Novell does hand them out freely, but mostly at events. We also make openSUSE freely available for download from openSUSE.org.
With regard to free access, the thing Ubuntu has over openSUSE is their fulfillment program. Ubuntu's no-charge mailing program is nothing other than excellent execution on Canonical's part. You're right to admire that about Ubuntu. I'm sure that when Novell (and most likely, this ultimately means me) actually implement something similar, we will suffer the accusations of copycatting Ubuntu. Nevertheless, I'd like to make it happen. (Which is no guarantee that it will happen, since we still maintain shelf space in a lot of retail stores, and they may not appreciate us distributing openSUSE freely while asking them to sell it. Especially since we made a choice not to do pull out of retail, as Red Hat did when they launched Fedora.)
You said that you suspect that Novell is exclusively interested in the enterprise space. I hope that over time, the openSUSE project will demonstrate that, while Novell places a hard focus on enterprise Linux, Novell is a significant contributor to the community. Certainly the aresenal of open source developers (Jeremy Allison, Robert Love, Aaron Bockover, Joe Shaw, David Reveman, Miguel de Icaza, to name just a couple well known names) that Novell employs makes a strong proof point. My point is that a company probably cannot succeed at selling Linux without being a serious contributor of the community, and Novell is certainly that. In fact, many of the cool things that Ubuntu users now enjoy (such as Banshee, Xgl, and Beagle) are overseen by maintainers who work at Novell. Unfortunately, that often gets overlooked.
Anyway, thanks for the write up, and for following some of what Novell is working on lately.