updated 10:50 am EST, Thu December 11, 2008
HP Desktop with Linux
HP on Thursday broke new ground for itself by introducing its first-ever Linux desktop aimed at small offices and schools. The HP Compaq dc5850 now has the option of SUSE Linux preinstalled rather than having to choose FreeDOS and install the open-source software afterwards. It also comes preloaded with multiple similarly open-source apps such as OpenOffice as well as its web browser, e-mail and IM suites; schools also get access to about 40 educational games and learning tools.
Unlike some rival Ubuntu Linux offerings from Dell, HP plans to sell the Linux variants at a significant discount over standard Windows versions; a base Linux version of the dc5850 will cost $519, or about $52 less than its Windows equivalent. Specifications for the new model haven't been revealed but should start with hardware similar to the most basic Windows system, with a 2.2GHz AMD Sempron, 512MB of memory, an 80GB hard drive and no optical drive.
HP starts taking orders for the new models on December 15th.