Novell Turns Linux Desktop Setback Into Victory
When Lenovo de-emphasized Novell SUSE Linux on ThinkPads, some skeptics thought it was a serious setback for desktop Linux and Novell’s own open source efforts. The VAR Guy knew better. Fact is, Lenovo was bolstering its Novell relationship in two other areas. Here’s the scoop.
First, the apparent bad news: Back in September Lenovo stopped offering point-and-click online shopping for SUSE Linux-based ThinkPads. It was a setback of sorts for Novell and desktop/mobile Linux. Open source advocates were upset.
Still, The VAR Guy didn’t press the panic button. He knew Lenovo was committed to Linux on multiple fronts. Our resident blogger knew Lenovo was set to launch Linux-based servers in September, and there were rumblings about Lenovo Netbooks surfacing in October.
Well, those Lenovo IdeaPad Netbooks — with Novell SUSE Linux as an option — finally surfaced this week. Positioned for kids and the education market, the Lenovo Netbooks accelerate the trend toward smaller, low-cost sub-notebooks.
Still a Windows World?
Alas, the Lenovo Netbook webpage says the company “recommends Windows for everyday computing.” Sounds like a tactful way for Lenovo to calm down Microsoft even as the PC giant pushes ahead and explores open source.
And Lenovo isn’t alone. Without a doubt, Linux Netbooks are starting to impact Microsoft’s Windows sales and profits. And gradually, that consumer Linux momentum on low-end Netbooks will move up the food chain into the corporate notebook market, our resident blogger believes.
Is Novell profiting greatly from desktop and mobile Linux business? Perhaps not. But the desktop deals have allowed Novell to strengthen the SUSE Linux server business.