HP Debuts New Linux Business PC in UK

In the United Kingdom today, HP unveiled a new round of desktop PCs, offering customers a choice between Mandrake Linux 9.2 and Microsoft Windows XP as default operating systems.

The company described the new HP Compaq Business Desktop dx2000 as a simple, inexpensive business computer designed to meet the “basic computing requirements of price-sensitive business users.” The machines, with prices starting at about US$700, include an Intel Celeron 2.4-GHz CPU, 40-GB hard drive, 256 MB of DDR memory and a 48x CD-ROM drive.

This basic model ships with Microsoft XP Home Edition and Mandrake Linux, but users can choose Microsoft XP Pro for an extra $50, bringing the cost up to about $800.

For business customers worried about deploying office applications on Linux, there is a general consensus among Linux proponents that Linux can interoperate seamlessly in a predominantly Windows work environment. Linux has almost no impact on “deploying and updating software,” Andrew Bergmaier, support manager at Astaro, an Internet security firm that employs Linux, told LinuxInsider.

No Worries

The units come with a three-year HP warranty. The new PC for the overseas market — no word yet on when it will be available for the United States — comes in the wake of HP’s announcements about record-setting Linux-based revenue in excess of $2.5 billion for its fiscal year 2003 as well as additions to its Linux portfolio, including industry-standard desktop PCs and notebooks running Linux.

The company also has been marketing Linux notebooks for some time. HP has certified several models from its business notebook line on SuSE Linux Desktop, including the HP Compaq nc6000, nc8000 and nw8000. Unveiled in October 2003, these notebooks certified with SuSE Linux are now available worldwide.

Moreover, HP has certified its HP Compaq business desktop D530 and D330 PCs with SuSE Enterprise Linux.

Stronger in Servers

Research reports indicate HP is strongest in the server market.

According to a recent survey by IDC, HP held the number-one position in the “rapidly expanding” Linux server market in the third quarter of 2003, with 28.1 percent of Linux server revenue worldwide.

During the same time period, HP ProLiant servers led the market for Linux x86/IA-32 server unit shipments with 27.4 percent of worldwide market share, and HP Itanium-based Linux servers led the market in their class with 66.7 percent of worldwide market share.

Total revenue in the Linux server market for this period was $743 million.

Linux Server Revenue

“Linux server revenues and unit shipments have been accelerating in recent quarters, with 49.8 percent revenue growth for Linux servers in Q303, compared to Q302,” said Jean S. Bozman, research vice president in IDC’s worldwide server group.

“The key drivers for this acceleration, we believe, are widespread acceptance of Linux servers for many Web-centric applications, a growing use for file, print and other IT infrastructure workloads, and increasing use of Linux servers for high-performance computing workloads, for custom applications and for packaged ISV applications,” Bozman said.

The analyst said the Linux market remains “highly competitive.”

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