August 14, 2006 9:00 PM PDT

ThinkPad--now with Suse Linux

Engineers and designers in need of a mobile workstation now have the option for a preloaded version of Novell's Suse Linux on a ThinkPad laptop computer.

Lenovo and Novell plan to announce at the LinuxWorld conference Tuesday that the ThinkPad T60p will ship with Novell's new Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 (SLED). The Linux laptops will be geared toward engineers and other high-end users, but they will be available for purchase by anyone on Lenovo's Web site, said Bill Iori, worldwide segment manager for ThinkPad T Series.

In addition, Lenovo will provide Linux support for the laptop, including drivers and its ThinkVantage technologies found on ThinkPads loaded with Microsoft's Windows operating system, he said.

As the industry gathers for another Linuxworld this week in San Francisco, desktop Linux watchers have a reason to feel hopeful that this might be the year. Desktop Linux has yet to make much of an impact on the overall business PC market, although it has its corporate-based proponents for tasks like engineering, call centers or kiosks, said Justin Steinman, director of product marketing for Novell.

One reason Novell and Lenovo are more excited about the new T60p is that the Linux kernel now offers better support for notebook-friendly technologies such as sleep mode, Iori said. Novell and Lenovo did their own work on top of the kernel to ensure SLED would work well in a mobile environment and take advantage of ThinkVantage technologies such as RapidRestore for backup and recovery and Access Connections for discovering wireless networks, he said.

Customers who purchase the T60p with SLED will be able to call Lenovo for support, unlike in the past with other Linux deployments where users were basically on their own, Iori said. Two systems will be available in 14-inch and 15-inch display configurations, with many high-end components. Prices start at $3,099 for the 14-inch model.

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8 comments

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I wont buy it
In fact I probably wont buy from Lenovo again. Not because Im a Windows guy, I use multiple OS's inc;luding Linux, but because I dont support Novell, a company that screws it users just to satisfy the ego of a political group like the FSF. I wont buy from Novell or anyone associated with em so my last purchase of Lenovo hardware which took place in May of 2006 will be my last.
Posted by rjdohnert (16 comments )
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Those dollar signs must be fading fast...
When China was arm-twisted into requiring every PC manufacturer to ship their products with a licensed OS, the well-funded lobbyists probably didn't consider that the wily Chinese would start shipping their products with free OSs.

So now we have the largest PC OEMs promoting Linux and bundling them with their PCs.
Posted by Maccess (610 comments )
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Great news
Suse isn't my favorite distro - but it's great to hear that a company is offering an alternative to windows. News like this gives me hope that in the near future I won't have to pay a "Windows tax."
Posted by ImNeat (47 comments )
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Why spend that much though
"... Prices start at $3,099 for the 14-inch model. ..."

It's nice to see somebody shipping with Linux pre-installed but at that price forget it! I'll get something less expensive and still be able to install Linux (SLED, RedHat, Ubuntu, whoever!)

I just hope that the vendors don't say "hey, it isn't selling at that price, so nobody wants Linux pre-installed!". I will admit there won't be the same demand for Linux systems as there are for "any system with an OS", but this is something that is going to grow and especially now with the stunts Microsoft is pulling I think people will be happy with an alternative.

The other important feature of the story, though, is that the notebook will be supported which is probably bigger news than the actual laptop!
Posted by dragonbite (452 comments )
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Because it's not for average users!
As stated in the story: "The Linux laptops will be geared toward engineers and other high-end users..."

I too hope that companies like Lenovo start using Linux more regularly and with prices and configurations that fit for average users!
Posted by stupid_browner (24 comments )
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Nice, but starts at over $3,000?
Nice to see SLED 10 get bundled with a major OEM's laptop, but I have several questions about this:

1. How many people buy laptops that *start* at over $3,000? Very few I suspect - it would be nicer to see Linux pre-installed on lower-priced models.

2. Doesn't it cost $50 a year to get SLED 10 updates or does Lenovo throw those in for free (and if so, for how many years)?

3. What's the price difference between buying a SLED 10 Thinkpad vs. the same hardware spec'ed Windows XP Thinkpad?

4. Will there be an upgrade path for users (e.g. when SLED 11 comes out in 12-18 months, will there be a way to get it from Lenovo [or Novell] and will it be supported if installed over SLED 10)?
Posted by rklrkl (143 comments )
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glad you can buy a linux laptop glad you can buy a linux laptop
but $3000+ seems a bit steep if you want to sell
any!
Posted by dwhite25 (23 comments )
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Fedora Core 6 seems to work just fine ..
Finally got tired of the Windows XP maintenance circus (:eternal loading of security updates, constant rebooting, annoying pop-ups, e.t.c.) and installed FC6 on my Compaq Presario v3019us. So far, have had very few problems with this distribution: 1) Wireless still not working, and 2) some browser plugins still not ported to x86_X2, and 3) some ACPI functions still not fully supported. Would rather live with these shortcomings for a while than have to deal with the Windows security mess every day. Thumbs up for the Fedora developers - nice job guys :-)
Posted by piitaq (1 comment )
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