According to Desktop Linux:
On August 4th, we found out that Lenovo Group, the company that has taken over IBM’s Personal Computing Division, had made a deal with Novell Inc. to preload SLED 10 (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) on its ThinkPad T60p mobile workstation.
Pretty bold move.
My money is that they’ll sell some PCs, not lose any money, but not make any impact in the market either. After two/three models they’ll stop. It’s too enterprisey. It’s a cautious move, and cautious moves don’t win you any points.
Someday, some vendor will start bundling Ubuntu with their PCs. And they’ll give the other two operating systems a run for their money. Cheaper, faster, more reliable. And that vendor will get real marketshare, much deserved growth, and expand it across the product line.
Why Ubuntu? Because it has a great community, it has passionate users, it’s the top choice of hackers everywhere. Which doesn’t mean a damn to the people who buy PCs pre-loaded with Linux. They couldn’t care less.
But it means a lot to the people who support them. Their friends, family members, spouses. The people who install MP3 codecs, hook up the digital camera, fix drivers when they crash.
SUSE doesn’t appeal to me. I can preload my own PC with Linux, thank you for asking. And if I’m helping a friend or relative choose, I’m going to make sure it’s an operating system I can easily support when they come to me asking for help.
I’m not going to be on hold with Novell technical support, or browse their dim corporatey knowledge base. I’m going to Google the Ubuntu forums, or IM a friend for help.
Between amazing free support, better than Microsoft can offer to its Fortune 500 customers, and bland pay-per-incident call centers, it’s an easy decision to make.
And for the record, I run RedHat on my notebooks, but only because it mirrors my servers. For the people around me, I only have one recommendation to make.