Some time ago, I wrote about Dell answering to consumer wishes by selling computers pre-installed with Ubuntu. Recently, Dell announced that it will also start offering Linux computers to UK customers in response to feedback from open-source enthusiasts. Now, Acer and Lenovo are looking set to join in on the game.
Acer has already started offering Acer Aspire computers loaded with Ubuntu in Singapore and is considering offering it in the UK as well. Meanwhile, Lenovo will start offering Suse-loaded versions of their T-series Thinkpad notebooks which are aimed at business users. Lenovo has had a long working relationship with Novell in the past, and has Linux-certified its notebook PC line for years now. Lenovo will also start offering Linux on select Thinkpads in Australia.
Why has demand for Linux risen enough for these big, highly-respectable companies to even consider adding Linux-powered desktops to their line-up? It just means that more and more consumers are learning that there exists another viable alternative to Windows.
Actually, it may have been Microsoft’s own undoing by releasing Vista. Windows XP was a tough OS to shake, but loyal Windows XP users themselves may have very little incentive to “upgrade” to Vista. As one writer put it, “When something is good enough, its successor or replacement has to be a whole lot better to succeed”. The auther also cited other reasons why he believes that Vista is “broken”. Some are even calling Vista Windows ME 2. XP users wary of the end of the XP lifecycle and customers looking to buy an XP- powered PC may find out they have no choice but to upgrade. Which is also why Dell brought back its Windows XP desktop offerings. DRM, its implications, performance impact is also a hot-topic causing consumers to think twice about Vista, but that’s a whole different story altogether.
In the end, it may seem that Linux is finally coming out as a mature and viable alternative to the predominant operating system, while Microsoft, on the other hand, seems to be steering a bit off course.