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Lenovo says yes to Linux
Jun. 06, 2006

Opinion -- Last week, the world's #3 computer vendor, Lenovo, was saying "We will not have models available for Linux, and we do not have custom order, either. What you see is what you get. And at this point, it's Windows." Whoops! Lenovo is now reversing its stance.

In an interview with John Spooner of eWEEK, Godin Marc, vice president of marketing for notebooks at Lenovo said, "Lenovo's Linux strategy has not changed compared to what the IBM Linux-related strategy, related to the PC environment, was."

In fact, Marc insisted, "We're about to reinforce that strategy and go beyond what IBM [Personal Computer Division] or Lenovo, until now, was doing in terms of its commitments to the Linux community and to our business partners who want to use Linux."

That doesn't mean you can get Linux pre-loaded -- unless you're an enterprise sized company. But, what it does mean is that Lenovo will be offering more technical support for users running particular versions of Linux on ThinkPads and ThinkCentre desktops, In particular, Lenovo has been working with Novell on support for its latest version of SUSE Linux.

Don't be surprised if, sometime soon, when you order a couple of hundred ThinkPads or ThinkCentre desktops, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 is one of your choices.

The company is also seeking third-party Linux certification for its Lenovo 3000 PC line. While it has no plans to offer Linux on this line, it would be more than happy to have some of its resellers offer a selection of certified Linuxes on the 3000s.

In short, Lenovo has returned to IBM's old pro-Linux position, but with a little more support for Linux. I, for one, find it interesting that they're encouraging resellers to offer Linux on its SMB (small-to-medium businesses) 3000 line.

It will be interesting to see how Lenovo's born-again Linux conversion works out. Still, for now, it's good to see the company back in the Linux flock.

-- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

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