Home  |  News  |  Articles  |  Forum  |  Polls  |  Blogs  |  Videos  |  Resource Library

Keywords: Match:
Lenovo opening the door for Ubuntu ThinkPads?
Sep. 09, 2007

Lenovo finally started shipping SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop on its T-Series ThinkPads for its mainstream business users. Now, the company appears to be considering offering another Linux, very possibly Ubuntu, for the enthusiast market.

In a recent Lenovo Inside the Box blog posting by Matt Kohut, Lenovo's worldwide competitive analyst, Kohut said he'd been following recent discussions on Lenovo and Linux. From what he's observed, Lenovo's users believe "that we're spending way too much time on the enterprise market and not enough on the enthusiast market. Enterprises have been, and will continue to be, slow to adopt Linux for some of the reasons I outlined, but there are nonetheless a LOT of people running Linux out there, especially on their ThinkPads."

Historically, Lenovo, and IBM before it, has marketed the ThinkPad laptop line to higher-end business customers.

Kohut went on to write, "I need to try Ubuntu. One of our competitors [Dell] has done so and it seems to be working out for them." In addition, Kohut said, "We're not anti-Linux and I'm not anti-Linux. Like other vendors we're trying to figure out what our strategy should be. You all know that I can never comment on anything unannounced, so I took an extreme [anti-Linux laptop] stance to stimulate discussion."

Kohut concluded by opening up a survey to see which desktop Linux ThinkPad customers would like Lenovo to offer. The survey, which began on Sept. 7, has in approximately 48 hours already tallied 13,402 votes.

Of these votes, the majority (7,196) are for Ubuntu. Trailing far behind Ubuntu is Debian with 1,443 supporters. Third place currently goes to a user suggestion of any Linux "that refuses to carry binary-only drivers, so that all others will also benefit, as it will require documented hardware."

After that, the business Linux desktops finally start appearing. Red Hat, if you combine Red Hat and Fedora votes, comes in at 913 votes. SUSE, which Lenovo already offers in the form of SLED 10.1, lags at 686 votes if you combine all the votes for SLED, openSUSE and SUSE. After that come more than a dozen other distributions, including a smattering of votes for OpenSolaris and FreeBSD.

Is Lenovo planning on offering another Linux for its ThinkPads? We don't know yet. We do know that Dell's similar user polling preceded its launch of its Ubuntu-powered PCs.

Based on the survey results, Ubuntu is clearly the Linux that the enthusiasts want to see from Lenovo. If Lenovo does decide to pursue this market, it is possible that it could offer Ubuntu on either its inexpensive 3000 Family notebooks N Series, which are already designed for home or small-business users, or its low-end ThinkPad line, the R Series, as early as the 2007 holiday season.

While it's by no means a slam dunk that Lenovo will be offering a Linux-powered laptop for home Linux users, it does seem unlikely that the company would be stirring up excitement for such an offering unless it was giving the matter serious consideration.

Steven J. Vaughan Nichols

Do you have comments on this story?

Talkback here

NOTE: Please post your comments regarding our articles using the above link. Be sure to use this article's title as the "Subject" in your posts. Before you create a new thread, please check to see if a discussion thread is already running on the article you plan to comment on. Thanks!

Related Stories:

(Click here for further information)

Home  |  News  |  Articles  |  Forum  |  Polls  |  About  |  Contact

Ziff Davis Enterprise Home | Contact Us | Advertise | Link to Us | Reprints | Magazine Subscriptions | Newsletters
Tech RSS Feeds | ROI Calculators | Tech Podcasts | Tech Video | VARs | Channel News

Baseline | Careers | Channel Insider | CIO Insight | DesktopLinux | DeviceForge | DevSource | eSeminars |
eWEEK | Enterprise Network Security | LinuxDevices | Linux Watch | Microsoft Watch | Mid-market | Networking | PDF Zone |
Publish | Security IT Hub | Strategic Partner | Web Buyer's Guide | Windows for Devices

Developer Shed | Dev Shed | ASP Free | Dev Articles | Dev Hardware | SEO Chat | Tutorialized | Scripts |
Code Walkers | Web Hosters | Dev Mechanic | Dev Archives | igrep

Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Except where otherwise specified, the contents of this site are copyright © 1999-2011 Ziff Davis Enterprise Holdings Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Ziff Davis Enterprise is prohibited. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.