If you're hoping that your next laptop will be running Linux, don't look towards Lenovo.
The laptop manufacturer, best known for producing the ex-IBM range of ThinkPad laptops beloved of executives the world over, has apparently ceased offering pre-installed Linux just one year after introducing Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop as an option.
First spotted by Desktop Linux
, the news means that if you're looking for a Linux based ThinkPad you'll be left with no choice except to pay for a Microsoft Windows licence – money which will be straight down the drain should you format the system and install an alternative operating system.
With many companies – including rival notebook manufacturer Dell – increasing the use of Linux on both consumer and business computers and the growing herd of 'netbook' ultra low-cost PCs popularising the open source OS with the masses, it seems strange timing for Lenovo to be leaving a growing market. Nevertheless, that's exactly what the company appears to be doing.
Surprisingly, this includes Lenovo's own netbook range – the IdeaPad S9 and S10. While the IdeaPad S9 was announced with Linux, the company will only be launching the Windows XP-based S10 model to the public. The S9 is
available, but only for “overseas education markets
” – which is to say bulk orders from large governments.
With Lenovo's most famous product – the ThinkPad – being a popular choice among Linux aficionados, the company is keen to point out that the two main commercial Linux systems, RedHat and SuSE, will continue to be certified for use on ThinkPad systems – it's just that you'll have to pay off Microsoft first.
Do you believe that Lenovo is making a mistake in not offering Linux as a consumer-level option, or is the market for Linux on the desktop just too small for anyone to worry about at the moment? Share your thoughts over in the forums