SUSE Linux is maintained by a company called SUSE LINUX AG. Established in 1992, this Nurnberg, Germany-based company
released the first distribution of SUSE Linux in 1993. Early distributions had their roots in
American company Novell completed its acquisition of SUSE LINUX AG
in January of 2004.
Until recently, "SUSE" was spelled "SuSE" or "S.u.S.E." which stood for "System und Software Entwicklung", which is German for "System and Software Development" (more here, also pronunciation). Aparently it doesn't really stand for anything now.
SUSE Linux is probably best known for its system of managing software, known as YaST (Yet another Software Tool), which strives to make managing and updating of a SUSE distribution as simple as possible. Among the larger Linux community, SUSE seems to be considered a "well-balanced" distribution in the sense that it is considered "easy" enough for new Linux users to use while still maintaining the freedom for more experienced users to harness the (often complex) power of Linux. SUSE is also very well suited for both desktop and file/web server applications.
In August of 2005, Novell announced the openSUSE project. This is the "community-based" branch of the SUSE distribution. Community members have a much greater voice in the direction of SUSE. Just to clarify a common misconception: the operating system is called "SUSE Linux", the community behind it is called "openSUSE".
As far as "cool factor" goes, a SUSE user is not mocked as much as a
Mandrake or Linspire (Lindows) user, but we're aparently inferior to Debian or Slackware users (and certainly subordinate to the guys who shun distributions all together and build their own package). So if you're the kind of person who thinks your operating system says something about you, there you go.
SUSE's Press Page