Lenovo Hinting At Ubuntu Notebook Offering

In the wake of the Dell/Ubuntu deal it seems other manufacturers are keen to test the Linux waters out. There have been strong rumours that HP is thinking of a Linux offering for some time but no real evidence as yet. Now it seems Lenovo, the IBM notebook division is keen to try out Ubuntu Linux on it’s machines. The company already offers SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) on it’s ThinkPad machines but now they are hinting heavily at a possible Ubuntu offering for the home market in the near future. Matt Kohut, worldwide competitive analyst for the company recently posted about this on one of the official Lenovo blog’s called Inside The Box.

Matt Kohut of Lenovo: “I need to try Ubuntu. One of our competitors [Dell] has done so and it seems to be working out for them.” – “We’re not anti-Linux and I’m not anti-Linux. Like other vendors we’re trying to figure out what our strategy should be. You all know that I can never comment on anything unannounced, so I took an extreme [anti-Linux laptop] stance to stimulate discussion.”

Checkout the full story on DesktopLinux.com

Sounds like it could be good news then, there’s a poll up on the site at the moment asking users to vote for which Linux distribution they would most like to see on Lenovo machines next. At the time of writing the clear leader is Ubuntu with 15986 votes and the nearest competitor is Debian with 3898. A pretty clear message so far but things could change.


It seems this move has been prompted by a feeling that Lenovo has focused too much time and attention on business users in the past and neglected the consumer market. Kohut says Enterprises have been, and will continue to be, slow to adopt Linux for some of the reasons I outlined, but there are nonetheless a LOT of people running Linux out there, especially on their ThinkPads.

As a Linux user it’s great to have the option to buy a machine with the OS on-board instead of having to do the traditional dance of buying a machine with Windows, deleting it and then trying to get a refund. Hopefully this trend of Linux enthusiasm will continue among the large hardware vendors but we shouldn’t forget the little guys who’ve been here trying to help us penguin lovers for much longer than the corporate latecomers. I often mention System76 here and I reiterate my point that if they made their machines available in Europe I would be typing this on one of them right now, we also shouldn’t forget Efficient PC and the Linux Emporium for UK customers.

So to sum up, this is indeed great news for Linux fans everywhere as the international muscle, marketing power and distribution capacity of the large manufacturers can only help up us in the long run but don’t forget about the little guys who’ve had our backs from day one.

So this could be a sign of the future, who will be next into the consumer Linux market? HP I’m looking in your direction 😉


  1. Check on LinuxCertified, Inc. http://www.linuxcertified.com/ they sell laptops with Ubuntu and other flavors of Linux. They have been selling Lenovo ThinkPads with Ubuntu for long.

  2. Thanks I’ll certainly check that out 🙂 I know Linux Emporium sell ThinkPads with Linux too. I just hope this interest from large companies can drive it into the mainstream. We’ll see

  3. Hey Dan, Great article as always You know what this says to me; If the market for personal computing starts to shift in the relm of Linux there is going to be a higher demand for competent customer service. Now as for current Linux users get most of there support through forums and documentation the masses over here in the US are not used to such self sufficiency… this may get interesting for the already established Linux User , thats what I say.

  4. Yeah I think you’re right Butch, the vast majority of people do not want to have to find information and fix things themselves, that’s understandable. I don’t want to fix my own car, I could learn how to but I’m not interested, same thing 🙂

    I tell everyone who asks me now to learn Linux and Unix if they really want to give themselves an edge in the job market. There are millions of Microsoft trained engineers out there but good Unix sysadmins are worth much more I think. That’s just my opinion.

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