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Computer makers to pre-install Linux OS

Deal with Novell seen as sign of open source coming of age on desktop

OPEN SOURCE software developer Novell has signed agreements with four white-box PC manufacturers who will globally distribute computers pre-loaded with its SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 operating system.

European PC manufacturers ETegro Technologies, Maxdata and Transtec, along with R Cubed Technologies in the US will sell notebook and desktops with SUSE Linux pre-installed.

The deal has been viewed as further evidence that Linux is now becoming a viable alternative to Microsoft’s Windows platform, with major vendors, including IBM and Sun Microsystems, putting a focus on the Linux desktop OS.

Novell said the deal will give customers around the world simplified access to a complete desktop computing solution that reduces costs, improves end-user security and increases workforce productivity.

“Market demand for desktop operating system alternatives is really starting to take off, and these new partnerships will help meet that demand. White-box builders sell millions of PCs and are a crucial part of the growing spread of Linux on the desktop,” said Roger Levy, Novell vice president and general manager of Open Platform Solutions.

“We’re very pleased with our new partners, and we’re working with more than a dozen others to further expand the availability of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 and bring the benefits of desktop Linux to the widest possible market.”

Nathan Rockhold, president of R Cubed Technologies, commented: “We share a commitment with Novell to give our customers the right options to help them meet their business objectives.

He added: “Pre-loading SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 on our PCs and laptops is a natural move, as the market recognises the advantages of Linux on the desktop and businesses decide to migrate to those advantages.”

The deal follows an agreement with Lenovo in August to sell and support Linux-based ThinkPad mobile workstations and Novell said it was in discussions with other major hardware vendors about further deals to pre-install SUSE Linux on PCs.

Earlier this year IBM announced the availability of Lotus Notes on the Linux operating system for PCs. It said the openness and flexibility of the Linux desktop and widespread availability of Linux server software had increased demand for desktop applications.

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