Coming Soon to Centrino Notebooks—Linux

By Sebastian Rupley  |  Posted 2004-02-24 Email Print this article Print


System makers will ship low-cost Linux notebooks in the coming weeks. has announced a new version of its Linux operating system with support for portable computers based on the Intel Centrino platform. Although few observers see an immediate threat to Microsoft's operating system franchise, according to officials, making Linux available on cost-effective notebooks has been a big request from PC manufacturers. The first Centrino systems with LindowsOS Laptop Edition will begin shipping in the late-March to early-April time frame.

The new operating system is the first flavor of Linux to become available for Centrino notebooks. Michael Robertson, founder and CEO of, says manufacturers will offer $199 desktop PCs and $799 notebook systems preloaded with LindowsOS. While several hardware makers have agreed to ship Centrino-based LindowsOS notebooks in coming weeks, no names will be announced until early March. introduced LindowsOS Laptop Edition at the beginning of the year, and several notebooks now ship with the operating system. A Wi-Fi notebook based on an AMD 1400+ processor is available from Elitegroup Computer Systems for $699 for example. But the first version of LindowsOS Laptop Edition didn't support the Centrino platform, which has become a leading force in notebook systems.

"For manufacturers, the issue isn't just paying for putting Windows XP on a notebook and then asking users to pay," says Robertson. "The system makers also engage in contracts with Microsoft where they have to agree to purchase a certain number of operating systems whether or not they're able to sell that many systems. We don't require that, and that's one reason why OEMs asked us for Centrino support."

The jury is still out on how users will take to Linux-based notebooks.

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