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Lenovo To Shun Linux 462

dominique_cimafranca writes "CRN reports that Lenovo will not install or support the Linux operating system on any of its PCs. Lenovo is positioning itself as an exclusive partner of Microsoft, several weeks after the companies announced they were 'reaffirming' global market development and cooperation agreements." From the article: "A Lenovo spokesman later said the non-Linux strategy is also applicable for the company's Thinkpad brand of notebooks, although Lenovo will provide advice to customers who insist on deploying desktop Linux systems in some fashion. While Lenovo and Microsoft have had a long OEM relationship that pre-dates Lenovo's takeover last year of the former IBM PC Co., IBM had been supportive of Linux throughout its product line -- including preloading it on Thinkpads -- before the sale to Lenovo."
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Lenovo To Shun Linux

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  • their loss (Score:5, Insightful)

    by m874t232 ( 973431 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @03:36AM (#15465278)
    They have missed a big opportunity. They could have used this juncture to become a leading Linux supplier for the corporate desktop and server market. Instead, they're just handing more and more control over their business to Microsoft.

    And if they think they can always do that later, they're kidding themselves. People already don't trust their brand name and their ability to innovate, and shipping beige boxes to Microsoft specs is going to damage their brand even more.
  • by kaiwai ( 765866 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @03:37AM (#15465282)
    Linux like UNIX's in general (including *BSD) aren't, sad to say, in great demand by typical end users; if it isn't the hardware support issue, it'll be an issue of ISV's that provide their software on Linux.

    Some see this as "Microsoft strong arming", but Lenovo is simply asking, "where is the biggest market", and the biggest market is for machines loaded with Windows, and laden with software ontop.

    Is this a set back for Linux on the desktop (on any other UNIX), not really; given that the largest is Dell - who quite frankly, couldn't care less what is loaded onto their machines; start to worry when Dell snubs other operating systems.

    Also, lets remember that 40% of the computers shipped today are from small 'white box', local computer stores not the large mega corporations.

    Ultimately, however, the ball is in Linux's court; opensource is getting there; it just depends on how patient people are; if they're willing to wait (like me), in a few years time, you'll start to see commercial feature rich software opensource software with in the next couple of years - lets remember, the rate at which features are being added to commercial software is decreasing, companies ( Microsoft namely) have reached a point of diminishing returns - every new feature they're adding, is yielding less and less enthusiasm from the 'geek crowd' and their main customer base.

    Its just a matter of time; personally, its going to be the commercial companies who will suffer, they either make the port of their software to alternative operating systems, and gain customer loyalty, or shun these platforms, resulting in opensource software becoming the equal and defacto standard on said platforms.

    Yes, although this is slightly off topic, in the end it all ties back to *NIX/*BSD on the desktop, customer demand, and how that customer demand is derived from whether the operating system can provide the same level of software which they need at home, at the office or on the road.
  • by Araxen ( 561411 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @03:39AM (#15465288)
    They are really desperate to fit into the US market so they say "Hey, It's MS or nothing". If they really want to fit in they need to change their brand name.
  • by Umbral Blot ( 737704 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @03:41AM (#15465292) Homepage
    The article doesn't say that they are entering into a permenant relationship with Microsoft. All you have is "What you see is what you get. And at this point, it's Windows." And that doesn't mean much. Maybe they will go with BSD instead?
  • by StarKruzr ( 74642 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @03:47AM (#15465309) Journal
    but I agree. Vista has *not* impressed me so far. xgl is just as impressive (or at least, just as useful) as Aero Glass, and with Dapper being as gorgeous and capable as it is...

    By the time Vista comes out, Edgy will have been released. I'm seriously considering thoroughly forsaking Microsoft when Vista rolls around.
  • by nickgrieve ( 87668 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @03:55AM (#15465327) Journal

    What..? What..?!

    I thought car analogies were bad. Sheesh...

  • They don't have to (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kanzels ( 975208 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @03:57AM (#15465334) Homepage
    They don't have to support Linux, I don't remember other vendors really supporting Linux. It will just work as on other hardware...
  • by Rehdon ( 25434 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:02AM (#15465344)
    Linux users will shun Lenovo.

  • by mattcoug ( 873342 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:06AM (#15465357)
    Of course this would happen. Lenovo is trying to cut to costs as much as possible. IBM as a brand can for double what Dell sells for, but Lenovo can't. One big way to cut the price, is to make the deal with MS. Cut out Linux support and Windows is suddenly much cheaper....
  • slashdot analogy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sentientbrendan ( 316150 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:24AM (#15465409)
    need I say more?
  • by njdj ( 458173 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:39AM (#15465438)
    if you force everyone to take the wine, some of them throw it on the floor and fill the glass up with water.

    After paying Microsoft for the Windows XP that they delete.

    Seriously, this is the real problem. As long as Microsoft gets paid for Windows on every PC shipped, regardless of whether that PC will actually run Windows or not, Microsoft wins. It will use the money that you paid it to, among other things, buy more anti-Linux "studies".

    That's one of the reasons that the Lenovo decision is a genuine victory for Microsoft and a real defeat for Linux. Let's face the facts and not pretend otherwise.

  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <> on Sunday June 04, 2006 @05:54AM (#15465588) Homepage Journal
    Who gives a shit what impresses you? I don't mean that in a rabid, you're not important kind of way. I mean that in a you'll install what we tell you to install kind of way. Microsoft still calls the shots. You might like living in alternative land but the majority of people like the mainstream, that's a truism, and the mainstream is whatever the hell Microsoft says it is. Maybe one day that won't be the case, but until a good majority of the mainstream are more technically literate, that day won't be any time soon.

  • by simscitizen ( 696184 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @06:01AM (#15465603)
    I just installed dapper, and wasted the last 5 hours of my life on it. Let's try to do something simple, which I could do back in Windows _98SE_ in 1 minute: make my 2005fpw 20" lcd my primary monitor, and my t43's sxga+ screen a secondary monitor. In windows, this takes three-five clicks. Display Properties, enable secondary monitor, drag the secondary monitor to the position you'd like, set its resolution. Done. What's more, if you undock the laptop, windows will automatically detect the change, and revert you back down to only the LCD. Dock it back in, and the windows will shift back onto the primary LCD, with space on the secondary display. No logout/login or shutdown needed. Everything just WORKS automagically. Contrast this with Dapper (and FC5; I tried that too). 5 hours after playing with fglrx, and ati+mergedFB and i STILL could not get a correct dual-head setup. In any case, you shouldn't have to muck with a textfile to do something as simple as lighting up two displays at a time. This is 2006, for crying out loud. What's more, even if I COULD get the dual-display working, you can't even use 2 monitors in Linux with hot docking. "But it's as simple as startx --serverlayout_that_you_want!" No, I don't want to fucking close all my apps and restart my X server EVERY SINGLE TIME I dock or undock my laptop. That is not an acceptable solution. I'm not going to even bother talking about how Dapper mucked up /etc/fstab because I installed with an external USB drive attached. I'll stick to just ssh'ing into our linux cluster when I need linux tools. (Which is often, actually--perhaps that tells you how much I cannot stand Linux on the desktop.) I love the shell, but don't delude yourself into thinking Linux is "ready for the desktop". When you want to configure a GUI like X, you should be able to use the damn GUI to configure it. Apparently, those working on Linux distributions don't get this. I'll stick with Windows and Mac for my desktop until they do.
  • by camcorder ( 759720 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @06:13AM (#15465628)
    It's not the distro fault for not being able to dual heads with GUI. You better blame your card vendor for not supporting Linux, instead developing shitload of useless applications for Windows. Just send a mail to ATI and complain about the situation. If you were using NVIDIA chipset card btw, you would have GUI for dual head display, which is not very intuitive but still would do the work.

    Btw, for your peculier problems like dual heads, and sticked usb drives, you can't judge if linux (ie. dapper) not ready for desktop. Vast majority of desktop users do not have dual head display, and for vast majority of the desktop applications Ubuntu desktop is superior than Windows, like having ready ofiice suite, pdf reader, im client and powerful graphic editors etc. Besides these applications you also have a proven security.
  • Big Deal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @06:19AM (#15465640)
    My only two criteria for buying a notebook for Linux (aside from best value for money) is that the manufacturer publishes detailed hardware specifications (so that I can check how to get wireless, video, etc. cards working under Linux before I consider buying it) and that I'm not paying for an unwanted copy of Windows in with the cost (I'm not sure such a thing exists for notebooks).

    As it happens, I purchased a HP nx8220 notebook recently that works pretty much as I want it to - it had XP Pro pre-installed but that was okay because I wanted some mobile gaming capability and I dual boot it with Gentoo Linux where just about all the hardware works (with a bit of tweaking).

    Personally, the Lenovo issue is minor - Linux is ready for the "desktop" provided you choose your hardware relatively carefully and are prepared to devote some time to configuring it yourself. However, if you're nothing more than a "fad follower", you shouldn't be using Linux, full stop.

    People seem to forget the reasons for using Linux - don't go near it if you want fully compatibility with Windows and commercial games-playing & if you've got no need to embrace the true power of an operating system through scripting & programming at the command line, then you should stay away from Linux.

    Far too many people today are verbally anti-Microsoft yet are unwilling to turn those words into actions by investing time learning alternative operating systems to become less dependent on Windows.

    Anyone who uses Linux for the "cool" factor alone is a fool - Linux is an amazing environment to work in for flexibility and usability provided that you spend time learning how to embrace its power properly.

  • by m874t232 ( 973431 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @06:49AM (#15465698)
    Microsoft is entirely capable of producing a next-generation OS with lots of new, innovative technology. Vist isn't it.

    Microsoft has some of the smartest CS researchers in the industry But that is neither necessary nor sufficient for producing a commercial next-generation OS. "Innovation" in a commercial OS doesn't mean inventing new stuff, it means being able to sell stuff that was invented 20 years ago but hasn't made it to market yet.
  • by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <> on Sunday June 04, 2006 @07:56AM (#15465833)

    The reason it's not there yet is probably because there hasn't been a big need for it in the past: most vendors didn't make drivers available, and the few people for whom this mattered spent the 30 minutes to figure it out.

    Well, speaking as someone who can - and has - "figured it out", the experience was enough to keep me away from Linux as a desktop until the situation has *dramatically* improved. It's the tedium and difficulty of these sorts of tasks - which should be trivially easy - that really needs addressing in the Linux desktop.

    My job is adminning unix machines (amongst others). I waste *more* than enough time in my day making servers work (or keep working), I have zero interest in performing that same struggle on the machine that should be a transparent tool. Linux on the desktop is simply too much work, as far as I'm concerned.

    Installing it by hand is a major undertaking that involves significant text-mode interactions.

    Maybe if your idea of a "major undertaking" is hitting [Enter] half a dozen times. In which case, I'd hate to think how you judge something like the OpenBSD install (or the prior version of Ubuntu).

  • Re:their loss (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <> on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:03AM (#15465852)
    There is no "lack of Linux adoption"; at this point, Linux is the most common OS after Windows, with OS X trailing a distant third on servers and a closer third on desktops.

    I think the claim that Linux has more presence on the desktop that MacOS [X], requires some evidence.

  • by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) < minus poet> on Sunday June 04, 2006 @08:44AM (#15465952) Homepage
    "supporting" Linux only has to amount to using standard well documented components [wifi, sound, video, etc]. The OSS community will take care of the rest.

    Look at most Dell laptops. They usually work fine [my 630m does] in Linux because for the most part they use consistent components which are documented. That may be intentional but they really have no overt "support" for Linux on the home user front.

    So all Lenovo has to do is avoid random custom chips for things like sound, wifi, etc and they'll be ok. If they go with the "we saved 30 cents per chip" basement bargain components they'll be screwed.

  • by Cheerio Boy ( 82178 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @09:35AM (#15466115) Homepage Journal
    I honestly could care less if mainstream PC companies leave out linux. they usually don't really get it right anyway - offering a limited selection of pre-installed distros that are installed their way.

    You'll care once they start producing hardware with encrypted software drivers that only work on Vista or whatever the flavor-of-the-day Microsoft OS is.

    The fact that they're working towards becoming an exclusing Microsoft partner means that at some point they will cease to produce anything that is compatible with anything else. From their business point of view it won't make sense to do so.
  • Laptops... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Junta ( 36770 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @10:34AM (#15466338)
    For PC market true, but for a good linux laptop, thinkpads have of late been an excellent choice with all the features working under linux.
  • by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @10:56AM (#15466435) Homepage Journal
    IBM had been supportive of Linux throughout its product line -- including preloading it on Thinkpads -- before the sale to Lenovo

    Really? I kept looking, and never saw any option for buying a ThinkPad without Windows, let alone one with Linux preloaded.

    Sure, back in the days of the ThinkPad 600 there were a few abortive experiments, but that was a long time ago.

    I think the only difference is that Lenovo have come out and stated what was IBM's unofficial policy for years.

    [Opinions mine, not IBMs.]

  • by Jim Hall ( 2985 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @11:04AM (#15466466) Homepage

    Am I the only one who thinks that newer IBM / Lenovo laptops are just pieces of crap?

    Yes, you are. At least, I would disagree with you.

    I've installed and run Linux on lots of IBM ThinkPads: T60, T43, ... R40, R30, ... A31, A30, A21e, ... 770z, 770, 765D, ... 384ED. [] I've always considered the ThinkPad to be a solid machine, very Linux friendly. I love the R40 that I'm on, but now that it's 3 years old it's time to replace it with one of the dual-core laptops ... I'm considering the X60, since the T60 definitely supported Linux. When the ThinkPad was an IBM product, for example, IBM opened the code to the DSP on the ThinkPad 770 series.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 04, 2006 @11:32AM (#15466597)
    In my experience that's not really true of ATI cards, but in any case, the NVIDIA installation goes like this:

          apt-get install nvidia-glx

    Restart X.
  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @12:05PM (#15466761)
    My aunt isn't technically literate. She's using Linux becaue it came preinstalled (by me of course) on her computer.

    The Geek converting his relatives to Linux (not always by choice) counts for little in the larger scheme of things.

  • by m874t232 ( 973431 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @12:23PM (#15466852)
    I'm not after "complexity" and neither are the Linux GUI developers; historically, UNIX and Linux GUIs have been clean and minimalistic.

    Linux GUIs are getting complex because that's what users coming from Windows and Macintosh expect. If you want Linux GUIs to get better, get Apple and Microsoft to clean up their shitty user interfaces so that Linux doesn't have to keep supporting that kind of mess.
  • by Chordonblue ( 585047 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @01:00PM (#15467049) Journal
    What the hell is wrong with being able to do simple X11 configurations in a lousy 640X480 16 color mode? Every modern adaptor supports VESA modes, so it seems pretty cut and dry to me.

    I don't have an aversion to text files - so long as the contents of which are well documented. But people coming from Windows are used to having their graphical editors - which distros like Ubuntu do a TERRIFIC job at providing. Why not provide some consistency for those types of users? Or should anyone who does not have a Linux certification 'go shove it'?

  • by bubkus_jones ( 561139 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @01:08PM (#15467110)
    What do grandma's generally do? Email their kids/grandkids, search the web for recepies and play games. Two of those are ready out of the box, the third takes about 10 minutes, only if they have specific "Windows-only" games.

    There are very few things that people like that NEED windows for.

  • Re:their loss (Score:3, Insightful)

    by demachina ( 71715 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @02:27PM (#15467534)
    " People already don't trust their brand name and their ability to innovate"

    I'm kind of curious if people actually have new Lenovo designed and built laptops and what they think of them. Are they actually good designs at a good price, as good as or better than IBM Thinkpads, so there is a reason to go out of your way to buy them?

    IBM Thinkpad was a powerful brand with a lot of market presence, but as nearly as I can tell Lenovo Thinkpad has no cachet at all so this deal basically destroyed the brand and the brand was the only thing of value in the deal for Lenovo. The only thing of value in this deal for IBM was it was the price they had to pay, surrendering their PC business to China, to gain very limited access to China's markets in other areas. Most people would call this deal extortion or black mail but that is how the Fascists in China do business and unfortunately it seems to work.

    At the moment the Chinese are HORRIBLE at establishing brand presence in the U.S. Their strength seems to be in producing incredibly cheap commodity products, things that you will buy just because they are so cheap but with the realization you are risking getting a product that is crap, and the brands are a complete crap shoot and change weekly, at least on the shelves at Walmart.

    I'm just not sure people are going to buy Chinese laptops. Most people want a quality product, with a well known brand, and are willing to pay a little more for it, and China has no brand presence or track record that instills the confidence that you make you want to buy a big ticket laptop from them. I have a no name, no brand, Chinese made LCD. It was cheap but it has annoying dead pixels in it and thats kind of what you expect from Chinese made products from Walmart.
  • by MaestroRC ( 190789 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:06PM (#15468016) Homepage
    This is why inveterate PC-type people such as yourself would do better to stay off the Mac, a computer that was designed for Mac types.

    Yeah. I'm pretty sure that Apple disagrees with you []. Trying to say that the mac is only for the elite few that possess some sort of hidden knowledge that the rest of us don't have (which apparently has to do with knowing what some animated QuicktimeVR animal is).

    In other words, shut the fuck up and go back to your little hole of a perfect world where only you and your friends can reside. For me, I'll keep using my Macs, and I'll keep switching people over from the hell that is Windows. Oh, and you might consider not posting as anonymous if you want to flame people about stupid shit all the time.

IN MY OPINION anyone interested in improving himself should not rule out becoming pure energy. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.