Lenovo Stops Offering Desktop Linux

Lenovo laptop - source http://www.sxc.hu/photo/532824

Recently, many larger OEM system builders have started offering a selection of their models with Linux distributions pre-installed. Really big names such as Dell and Lenovo have offered this service.

Unfortunately, DesktopLinux.com reports that Lenovo have pulled out and will no longer offer Linux pre-installs on any of their home-oriented systems.

Lenovo does offer four high-end ThinkStation workstation models without any commercial operating system software, but all of its other systems now carry the "Microsoft Tax," it appears. That is, in order to purchase one of the systems, you have to pay for a Microsoft Windows operating system license.

Lenovo's executive director of external communications, Ray Gorman, denied in vague terms that the current situation marks a strategic shift, though he did admit the company is "refining its Linux strategy." He added, "Lenovo is not abandoning its commitment to choice of operating system, and actually is increasing the role of the Linux operating system in Lenovo's product portfolio."

What they will continue with, however, is offering Linux on a new line of 'netbooks', subcompact notebooks similar to the ubiquitous ASUS Eee PC.

This new netbook form factor will clearly be an important vector for desktop Linux to get to the masses, but this does potentially mean that other manufacturers will follow suit; dropping desktop Linux on traditional desktop and notebook systems to focus on netbooks.

Is it necessary to be pushing desktop Linux to 'real' machines with traditional desktop distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora and the like? Or should we just be glad as a community that the netbook phenomenon will get Linux greater exposure, even if it is only for more cut-down and lightweight systems?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

[via Linux.com, Google Alerts] [image source]

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold - http://peter.upfold.org.uk/

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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Discussion: Lenovo Stops Offering Desktop Linux

  1. Al (guest)

    # Posted on 11 September 2008 at 01:13 PM

    Interesting question. I think it's a case of market forces, if enough people want Linux preinstalled or OS free computers manufacturers will provide them. I imagine they'd be just as happy to get out of Windows licences as we are.

    This works for servers, I can buy one with Linux installed or just bare metal. Personally I think Linux is an excellent fit for the netbook market and the eeePCs and other tiddly devices are very cool. It's been the first sector of the market where Linux has really gone mainstream.

    To be honest, I think we should just be grateful that Linux has had this opportunity to mainstream and enjoy it!

  2. Ben (guest)

    # Posted on 11 September 2008 at 02:31 PM

    Someone should start a petition... and tell me where to sign.

    Having Linux pre-installed usually guarantees that all the hardware works with Linux - something that can be hit and miss otherwise.

  3. Sam (guest)

    # Posted on 12 September 2008 at 03:05 PM

    I can see why a linux preinstall can be a pain, I think linux creates its own problems to mess with you. I don't see why hardware manufacturers cant just offer a "clean" pc, without any operating system or recovery partion or any of the other crap they come with. Just an empty hard drive.

    If they're afraid of idiots getting them and complaining, just make an idiot quiz before they can buy or something.

  4. # Posted on 13 September 2008 at 04:51 AM

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