16. August 2006, 18:25 | by WD Milner | Full Article |

Lenovo, the new owner of the ThinkPad line of ntoebooks, announced plans to release two high-end ThinkPad notebooks that will support Novell SuSE Enterprise Desktop (SLED) 10. While this is a drastic reversal of the statement of a Lenovo executive this spring that the company would not be supporting Linux on the ThinkPad, it is still not quite as good as it sounds.

What’s the catch? The operating system won’'t be preloaded on the notebooks.

The ThinkPad T60p Linux Mobile Workstations, will ship without an operating system at all, including Microsoft. Copies of Novell’s SuSE and licenses can be acquired from Novell separately and then installed. After the backlash from the “no Linux support” comments of the spring, this sounds more like throwing the dog a bone so he’ll shut up rather than a real support for Linux.

According to Raj Aggarwal, product manager for Lenovo, “What we’re trying to do here is release a Linux-enabled solution on a ThinkPad T60p, a mobile workstation that we feel fits current demand and market requirements out there today . . . Let me be clear: We are not preloading, what we’re giving the customer is more choice in the ability to go to Novell and get the license and the operating system. We’re providing the drivers and the utilities . . . For the first time, though, Lenovo will provide Linux help-desk support for the new ThinkPads running Novell SuSE Enterprise Desktop 10, including support for ThinkVantage technology, drivers, and some Linux configuration and hardware issues. ”

While Linux users are grateful for whatever hardware support they can get, this seems more or less a half hearted carrot so that Lenovo can recoup a public relations faux pas, while at the same time trying not offend Microsoft - who has been known in the past to refuse to deal with companies that preloaded other operating systems on their machines.

The ThinkPad T60p Linux Mobile Workstation comes in two versions: a 14-inch display model with a list price of $3,099, and a 15-inch model is priced at $3,199. Seems rather pricey for no operating system bundle.

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Categories: ,
Keywords: Lenovo,ThinkPad,Linux,Microsoft,Novell,SuSE



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