Next Major PC Company to Go Linux Will Be HP

Opinion: It's a good bet that HP will soon offer a Linux desktop, and here's why. (

People used to think the very idea that a major PC vendor would offer desktop Linux was beyond a joke. It was, as Vizzini from The Princess Bride would have said, "Inconceivable!"

But, as events turned out, to quote Inigo Montoya from the same movie, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

HP will soon be joining Dell in offering at least one Linux desktop line in its SKU sales listing. Heres why I believe this.

First, Dell successfully broke the Windows-only wall when it added Ubuntu Linux 7.04 to three systems in its consumer line in May.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read about Hewlett-Packards move to buy a Linux thin-client desktop company.

While Dell hasnt released any sales numbers, its Linux sales must be doing well. You dont start offering Ubuntu on another brand-new laptop line and announce that youll soon be selling Ubuntu to SMBs (small to midsize businesses) and internationally unless youre making money from it.

Offering Linux once could have just been a good PR move. Expanding the Linux offering means Dell must actually be selling units.

The other PC companies arent idiots. Many of them, like Lenovo, have been toying with desktop Linux for years.

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