Although it appears to strictly be from a server point of view, HP is expanding it's support of Linux distributions to include Debian based on customer demand. The announcement is clearly time to coincide with the start of LinuxWorld in San Francisco. HP already supports distros from Red Hat and Novell. According to News.com's Stephen Shankland:
Debian is a steadfastly noncommercial version of Linux. But Hewlett-Packard will give it a big corporate hug Monday with the announcement of a plan to provide support for the open-source operating system... HP's offer will apply to the current "Sarge" version 3 of Debian and to version 4, "Etch," due in December. ..Debian won't be on the same level as Red Hat or Novell.....HP won't market it, and customers will have to download the software on their own. Software combinations with partners such as BEA Systems or Oracle won't be available with Debian. And HP won't formally certify Debian for its servers.
Of particular interest to me is a statement by Jeffrey Wade, HP's worldwide marketing manager for open source and Linux that seems to echo what I've heard elsewhere regarding Red Hat slipping out of touch with its initially passionate base of followers:
Sophisticated HP Linux customers requested the Debian support, after wondering if they could get "a better value with a distribution that doesn't require a subscription fee and subsequent renewals for that subscription," Wade said.