March 19, 2004

HP ships business PCs preloaded with Linux

Hewlett-Packard has released business desktop PCs running Mandrake Linux. Neither of HP's big competitors - Dell and IBM - have similar offerings,
although IBM is one of Linux's biggest advocates.

"Over the last few months, a number of companies such as HP, who have been publicly lukewarm over desktop Linux have suddenly had their interest
piqued considerably - particularly overseas," said Illuminata senior analyst Gordon Haff.

"Sun in particular has won some pretty good deals overseas and a number of companies like HP and IBM, whose Linux desktop plans were on the
backburner, have suddenly leapt to the front.

"IBM doesn't have anything like the size of the PC division that HP has," Haff added. "IBM's PC division is smaller and more focused on relatively
high-value enterprise sales. IBM is in a relatively weak position from a PC hardware perspective to really make a huge, near-term push on desktop

Haff said it would not be too difficulat for Dell to move into the Linux desktop market either.



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