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HP to Offer Mandrake Desktops for SMBs in U.S.

Jul 02, 2003, 22:12 (25 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)

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HP has announced a desktop PC for small and medium businesses (SMB): the HP Compaq Business Desktop d220 Microtower, which offers a choice for operating system between Windows or Mandrake's Linux v9.1.

The news marks the first time that an major hardware vendor has made Linux available on a desktop PC in the United States since Dell carried Red Hat Linux on its workstations and servers beginning in 1999. The vendor dropped Linux support thereafter.

HP, Dell, IBM, and other vendors have dabbled in pre-loaded Linux machines since, but not in the U.S. market. The most recent such venture is a proposed plan to sell Linux laptops at heavily discounted prices in Thailand. This venture, too, was instigated by HP.

Pre-loaded Linux machines, when they have been available from the major vendors, have usually been for server machines, not desktop workstations.

There is more to come, according to MandrakeSoft's Gaël Duval, "This is the result of a worldwide agreement between MandrakeSoft and HP. The Mandrake Linux 9.1 operating system is now available on a complete range of HP desktop PCs. This includes (or will include) the following machines: HP Compaq 220, HP Compaq 230, HP Compaq 325, HP Compaq D330 and HP Compaq D530."

The d220 microtower desktop features Intel Pentium 4 or Celeron processors and offers three PCI expansion slots, two double data rate (DDR) memory slots and five drive bays in a compact microtower platform, allowing for expansion or future upgrades.

Customized solutions, available beginning July 7, start at an estimated U.S. street price of $349 with an Intel Celeron 2.0-gigahertz processor, 40-gigabyte hard drive and 128-megabyte DDR SDRAM. Customers also can opt for an Intel Pentium 4 2.4-gigahertz processor, 40-gigabyte hard drive and 128-megabyte DDR SDRAM for as low as an estimated U.S. street price of $499.

According to a press release from HP, the HP Compaq desktops will be "available with the latest operating systems from the industry leader, Microsoft, as well as a robust Linux offering from Mandrake. The HP Compaq d220 offers a choice of Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows XP Home or Mandrake's Linux v9.1, providing customers with the versatility needed for today's mixed-use environments."

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