Already firmly committed to Linux on its server platforms, IBM this week shored up support for the open source operating system on its client machines, announcing its ThinkPad 600 is now the first laptop certified to run Red Hat's version of Linux.
Red Hat officials have confirmed that the ThinkPad 600 has passed all of their tests and met all their necessary requirements, and is now the first notebook system to make its Hardware Compatibility List (HCL).
The certification of the ThinkPad 600 is the first in a series of steps the company will take to ensure that users can easily install, configure and manage Red Hat Linux on many systems in its portable line, according to IBM officials.
"A growing number of our users are considering Linux on their ThinkPads and with Red Hat's HCL compatibility now in place, IBM is giving customers more confidence that their systems (ThinkPads) will support Linux,'' said Tim Eades, worldwide customer segment marketing manager for IBM's Mobile Computing unit.
IBM officials believe the new certification also gives many corporate customers more flexibility by having both desktop and portable systems certified to run Linux in their shops.
With this endorsement IBM has beaten its major rivals, including Dell Computer and Compaq, to market with a notebook system certified to run Linux.
The ThinkPad will offer Web support through various drivers, how-to information, and direct links to Red Hat's Web site.
IBM Corp., in Armonk, N.Y., is at www.ibm.com.