updated 09:10 am EDT, Mon August 6, 2007
Lenovo ThinkPad Linux
Lenovo today became only the second major computer builder in the US after Dell to introduce systems with preloaded Linux, adding the free and open-source OS as an option for its ThinkPads. Systems will optionally have the choice of Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10; the addition not only gives users a viable alternative to Windows but includes OpenOffice for producing Office-compatible work without having to pay for a separate office suite. Unlike Dell, however, Lenovo will provide full support for Linux as well as the underlying hardware. Novell is only involved in providing software updates, Lenovo says.
The exact models and pricing for Linux-equipped ThinkPads were not revealed as part of the introduction, though Lenovo promised that at least the T-series would receive the option. Systems go on sale in the fall for volume purchases but will also be available for individual buyers during or soon after the same timeframe.
Lenovo did not say whether Microsoft's patent deals with Novell that offer protection against lawsuits for alleged infringement were responsible for the choice of Novell's Linux over Ubuntu or similar distributions.