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HP Starts Pushing Desktop Linux

HP Starts Pushing Desktop Linux

HP has supposedly been selling MandrakeSoft Linux on the desktop for a while but it's been so quiet about it that for all intents and purposes it's been a stealth operation.

But now that the desktop Linux hype meter is registering new highs, HP has decided to raise the decibel level.

It says it's got two new Linux desktops for the North American SMB market. One is the first of a new basic 2000 series, the HP Compaq Business Desktop dx2000. The company figures the street price of a Celeron model will be $389 to start. The Hyper-Threaded Pentium 4 unita will be pricier.

The other box is a mainstream widget designated the dc5000, another series that will come with HP Lifecycle manageability tools and is priced at $599 for a Celeron chip and $679 for a P4 box.

According to HP's custom, the boxes will be sold with Mandrake Linux, a boon for the French company that just filed its plan to emerge from the Parisian version of Chapter 11 last week. The same PCs can be had with Windows XP, by the way.

An HP Compaq 7000 series, due this summer, will offer customers advanced security, serviceability and manageability features, including HP Lifecycle Solutions to deploy and maintain PCs in corporate networks.

The microtower dx2000 features four DIMM slots to support single- or dual-channel memory configurations and offers quick and easy utilization of external peripherals with eight USB 2.0 ports.

The box can be had at clock rates up to 3GHz, with a maximum 80GB drive, up to one gigabyte of double data rate (DDR) SDRAM and a choice of optical drives.

Though it uses the same processors as the 2000, the dc5000 is intended for more advanced computing, and comes in two designs - a small form factor and a microtower. It can support a 160GB drive and up to 4GB of DDR SDRAM. Both form factors are designed with tool-less access to internal components and drives.

HP seems to think XP will dominate the 5000 platform.

Meanwhile, Mandrake's Chapter 11 exit plan, which the courts have yet to accept, calls for it to repay 4.1 million euros in liabilities over the next nine years and no interest. It says it's committed to repaying 3.3 million euros of the total amount, but that 800,000 euros is conditional on "certain events" that it doesn't describe.

The company says it means the liabilities will be pay off out of revenues and that it won't need to raise additional capital. At last word it had subscriptions from existing investors to pay 2.10 euros apiece for an additional 358,000 shares, giving Mandrake a stronger capital base.

Although the exit plan hasn't been rubberstamped by a court, Mandrake shares are trading again on Marche Libre after a 14-month absence.

The company is working on a new desktop kit based on the 2.6 Linux kernel that will offer a choice of KDE 3.2, Gnome 2.4 or the house-brand MandrakeGalaxy 2 desktop environments as well as OpenOffice 1.1.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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