HP gives Suse Linux a try (yawn)

Computing has moved beyond the desktop, so why should we care that Novell's Suse Linux will be preinstalled on a range of HP computers?

Hewlett-Packard has opted to become the last of the major computer OEMs to ship an integrated Linux desktop. Beyond the standard OpenOffice and other Linux desktop fare, HP has thrown in a modified version of Mozilla's Firefox browser, though after reading through ZDNet's description I can't fathom why I or anyone else should care about this "value-added" HP-specific Firefox.

I'm glad to see Novell's Suse Linux find a home on HP's SMB-focused machines. But I wish we could just move on from these now routine fits and starts with the Linux desktop. Nobody cares anymore, people. The game has moved on beyond the desktop bits.

Back in 2005 I and others were saying that the desktop is the wrong game for Linux to be playing. More recently, the top Linux desktop player, Canonical's Ubuntu, has clearly set its sights beyond aping Microsoft's 20th-century interface to computing.

For those of you cheering this HP news, take a hint from Ubuntu: the battle long ago moved beyond getting limited distribution with a hardware OEM that makes and will continue to make the vast majority of its revenue from pushing Windows machines...until Google and other cloud players finally upend the entire market.

The company to be watching on the desktop is Google, not Novell, Red Hat, etc. The Linux desktop is already winning. It just happens to run in Google data centers, not your fancy new Suse-powered HP computer.

Tags:
Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Show Comments Hide Comments
    Latest Galleries from CNET
    Tech industry's high-flying 2014
    Uber's tumultuous ups and downs in 2014 (pictures)
    The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
    A roomy range from LG (pictures)
    This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
    Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)