Novell SUSE Linux Scores At Big Retailer
It’s another small step for consumer Linux, and another giant win for Novell SUSE Linux. The VAR Guy was strolling through his local BJs Wholesale Club over the holiday weekend, when he spotted a Hewlett-Packard 2133 Mini-Note PC (pictured) with Novell SUSE Linux preloaded. Sweet … but not perfect. Here’s why.
First, the good news: BJs is a massive retailer that generated $2.65 billion in sales during its most recent quarter. It’s a powerful company that influences consumer spending, especially when it comes to impulse electronics purchases.
More good news: The HP 2133 Mini-Note PC stocked at BJs includes a Novell SUSE Linux logo — clearly differentiating the device from traditional Windows notebooks. Priced at $499 (US), the sub-notebook includes 1GB of RAM, a 120GB hard drive and looks pretty nifty.
Now, an annoying little problem: The keyboard includes a Windows logo. Ouch. Is this a Linux laptop — or simply a revamped Windows device? When are PC makers going to get wise and start thinking about the total brand experience?
As big PC makers introduce Linux devices, they’ll need to think more like ZaReason — a small promoter of Ubuntu Linux PCs that focuses carefully on the total look and feel of its devices.
Another small concern: Is HP’s sub-notebook really pumping any profits toward Novell? In August Red Hat expressed concern that PC makers aren’t willing to pay a decent price for desktop Linux — which raises questions about the long-term viability of desktop Linux as a retail revenue generator for software developers.
Still, it was good to see a SUSE Linux-equipped subnotebook on retail shelves. And sitting right next to the HP subnotebook was an Eee PC sub-notebook — also equipped with Linux.
The times certainly are changing…