HP South Africa confirms Linux laptop plans
HP South Africa has confirmed the release of it’s Linspire-based notebook range. Since Tectonic first reported on HP’s plans for a Linux-based notebook range in February, we can confirm that Tom Hoyt, Insternational sales manager of Linspire, has been in South Africa meeting with local businesses, including HP, and is very enthusiastic about the opportunties to establish Linspire in South Africa.
The HP NX 6110 notebooks will run the Linspire OS and will retail for R5999-00.
In September 2005 HP announced its intentions to launch Linux-based notebooks into the South African market, at which time no decisions had been made regarding the choice of which Linux distribution to use.
According to HP’s Sean Owen-Jones, initial discussions suggested the Ubuntu operating system, but after much experimentation HP settled on the Linspire operating system, with its performance, features and support offering being a key differentiator.
“Of the many versions of Linux available we found Linspire amongst the most simple to use,” says Owen-Jones. “We were also attracted by the extensive software management tools, such as the Linspire ‘click ‘n run’ software management suite.”
He continues, “Linspire includes paid-for third party licenses for applications such as mp3, Java, Flash, Quick Time, Windows Media, Bitstream fonts, Real media, music, and so on. Take all that away and you’re left with something more like the other Linux flavours.”
Jason McMillan from HP’s distributor, Tarsus, says the Linspire machines are not being sold through retail channels but rather through selected resellers. “This is a new market for us and it will be a learning curve for the channel,” says McMillan. “We aren’t distributing the machines through the retail channel because very often the sales staff in retail don’t have the skills or experience required to sell and support a new product like this.”
“This introduction of Linux based solutions forms part of the entry level offering and we will be introducing enterprise Linux solutions for corporate and more demanding users in the near future,” says Owen-Jones.
Support for the Linspire machines will be available online through the Linspire support channels as well as locally through an optional support service. Local support services will be provided by Yellow Penguin.