Novell executives are telling folks that HP will soon preload Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) on laptops and desktops.
Novell executives have been quite chatty about the win at Novel's Brainshare conference. According to Computerworld, Roger Levy, vice president for open platform solutions with Novell, said the HP deal is significant. EWeek's Peter Galli quoted Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian saying the following:
"We are really excited by this deal because of the power that the HP distribution channel brings, the reach they have and their commitment to interoperability. I am very enthusiastic about what this relationship could bring."
In both reports, HP wasn't around for comment. We have calls and emails in.
See Adrian Kingsley-Hughes desktop Linux experiments.Update: HP has commented. Here's the statement:
HP continues to build on its dedication to the use of open source software while executing a worldwide multi-operating system (OS) strategy in order to address customer needs and preferences. While we have no specific product plans to share at this time, we continue to explore opportunities to expand OS support with leading vendors in the industry. We have an ongoing relationship with Novell to explore options and will make announcements as appropriate.
That statement sounds like Novell execs jumped the gun. Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop (Suse Linux resources) already is preloaded on Dell and Lenovo PCs so adding HP wouldn't be a massive stretch. A few larger questions: If SLED does get distribution will it make a dent in rival Linux desktop operating systems like Ubuntu? If yes, does desktop Linux have a chance against entrenched alternatives like Windows? What needs to happen for desktop Linux to gain traction?