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Last Updated: Monday, 6 August 2007, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Lenovo to offer Linux on laptops
Lenovo is the world's third-biggest PC maker
Lenovo, one of the world's biggest PC manufacturers, is to start selling laptops to business and consumers with Linux pre-installed on the machines.

Linux is a free, open source operating system developed as an alternative to systems such as Microsoft's Windows.

Novell will provide the Linux software on the laptops, which are due to go on sale at the end of the year.

Earlier this year PC maker Dell also announced it would start shipping PCs with the Linux OS installed.

Lenovo announced its plans at the start of LinuxWorld, an annual conference held in San Francisco.

Dell introduced Linux-powered PCs after chief executive Michael Dell asked customers for suggestions for new products on the company's website: Linux PCs were the most-requested item.

Linux was first released to the public almost 16 years ago and was developed by Linus Torvalds, who wanted to create a non-commercial alternative to an operating system used in many universities.

Linux can be freely distributed, modified and used by anyone who wants it. It is predominantly used to power web servers and while its growth on desktop computers has been limited to technology specialists, its adoption by Lenovo and Dell points to wider acceptance.

Analysts believe that approximately 6% of computers users run Linux, similar to the numbers choosing Apple Macs.

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