SJV-N Opinion: HP Will Soon Offer Linux PCs

That’s Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols, of course! Our ol’ buddy from DesktopLinux.com. He sees a future in which Dell isn’t the only major PC manufacturer that is selling desktop Linux on PCs in their lineup.

Next major PC company to go Linux will be HP

“Opinion — People used to think the very idea that a major PC vendor would offer desktop Linux was beyond a joke. It was, as Vizzini from The Princess Bride would have said, ‘Inconceivable!’ But, as events turned out, to quote Inigo Montoya from the same movie, ‘You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.’ HP will soon be joining Dell in offering at least one Linux desktop line in its SKU sales listing. Here’s why I believe this. First, Dell successfully broke the Windows-only wall when it added Ubuntu Linux 7.04 to three systems in its consumer line in May. While Dell hasn’t released any sales numbers, its Linux sales must be doing well. You don’t start offering Ubuntu on another brand-new laptop line and announce that you’ll soon be selling Ubuntu to SMBs (small to midsize businesses) and internationally unless you’re making money from it. Offering Linux once could have just been a good PR move. Expanding the Linux offering means Dell must actually be selling units. The other PC companies aren’t idiots. Many of them, like Lenovo, have been toying with desktop Linux for years. Hewlett-Packard has been offering desktop Linux for enterprise customers willing to make special orders via its HP Factory Express service service for anywhere from several hundred to several thousand systems for years. These customized Linux desktops have been progressively selling better as the years go by. ‘We are involved in a number of massive deals for Linux desktops, and those are the kinds of things that are indicators of critical mass. So we are really looking at it very hard,’ said Doug Small, HP’s worldwide director of open-source and Linux marketing. How big is massive? Try thousands of Linux desktops in a single deal.”

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