Lenovo Group Ltd. will begin shipping Thinkpad notebooks preloaded with Linux from Novell Inc. in the fourth quarter of this year, the companies announced Monday.
Lenovo will sell Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 to both commercial and individual customers. It will also provide support for the operating system directly, the first time that it has done so, it said, with Novell offering maintenance updates for the system directly to the Thinkpad users.
Previously, Lenovo had certified Thinkpads for use with Linux, but had not made the OS available directly to its customers.
The world's number three PC maker, Lenovo may be attempting to answer moves by its next largest rival, Dell Inc., which began loading Linux from Ubuntu. It did not announce pricing or a specific shipping date.
The announcement came on the first day of the LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco, which runs until Thursday.