Waiting for Dell

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Print this article Print


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Opinion: I'm tired of waiting for the big PC vendors to really support desktop Linux.

In Samuel Beckett's masterpiece, "Waiting for Godot," Godot never arrives, and the play ends with our characters still waiting. I sometimes think Linux users are also stuck in a barren landscape endlessly waiting for Dell, HP, Lenovo, or another major vendor to finally deliver a mass-market Linux desktop.

The major desktop players keep flirting with the Linux community, but then they never go all the way. Take, for instance, Lenovo. Last summer, Lenovo agreed to preload Novell's SLED 10 (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) on its ThinkPad T60p mobile workstation.

Then, Lenovo started retreating and hemming that they really didn't mean that they would offer it preinstalled. No, no, it's just that you could install SLED on the T60p if you really wanted to. Today, if you look at the T60p listing, you'll find your only operating system choices are Microsoft's Windows Vista Business and XP Professional.

If you really dig around the Lenovo site, you'll eventually find the Linux for Personal Systems page. There, the company lists a motley collection of old and new laptops and desktops that have been certified for use with a hodgepodge of current and out-of-date Linux distributions from Novell/SUSE, Red Hat, and TurboLinux.

But, buy a Lenovo system with Linux preinstalled? If there's a way for Joe User to do it, I can't find it.

And, then there's Dell. Dell has been toying with the idea of offering a mass-market Linux desktop or laptop for years now. The Round Rock, Texas-based PC vendor does offer Linux-powered workstations and PCs without an operating system, but that's about it.

Read the full story on DesktopLinux.com: Waiting for Dell

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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor of eWEEK.com's Linux & Open Source Center and Ziff Davis Channel Zone. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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