Lenovo is to offer a Linux operating system pre-installed on its ThinkPad notebooks.
ThinkPad T Series notebooks will come pre-installed with Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 in the fourth quarter of this year. Lenovo will provide support for the operating system and its applications, which include the open-source application suite OpenOffice.
The announcement means Lenovo becomes the first major business-notebook manufacturer to offer Linux pre-installed.
Lenovo has been working closely with Novell for several years to ensure that Suse works successfully on its ThinkPad devices, but until now users had to install the operating system themselves.
"We have seen more customers utilising and requesting open-source notebook solutions in education, government and the enterprise since our ThinkPad T60p Linux announcement, and today's announcement expands upon our efforts by offering customers more Linux options," said Sam Dusi, vice president of product marketing for Lenovo's notebook business unit.
Dell is offering the Ubuntu Linux distribution pre-installed on some of its notebooks, but only in the US.
Acer resellers are offering the Ubuntu and Linpus operating systems on its notebooks, but only in Singapore.
No other mainstream manufacturers are offering an open-source operating system on their PCs, with some claiming there is no demand.