Linux comes to the channel, in a big way

A recent development that could result in an uptick in corporate Linux desktop adoption had nothing to do with the open source community, government rulings, or legal fillings by SCO or Microsoft.

It was Ingram Micro's move to sell Linux desktop machines from Linspire, the low-cost Linux PC maker formerly known as Lindows, until Microsoft made it change its name. Ingram Micro is the largest computer distributor in the U.S., and sells gear to value-added resellers (VAR), IT integration firms, and other shops that bundle, package and sell computers to business and other organizations.

The deal will give PC VARs access to several flavors of Linspire's Linux distribution, including its new Linspire Five-0 and Five-0 CNR Edition, which includes a subscription to Linspire's on-demand application and software download service. The Linspire packages will be offered in 5-, 10- and 25-user volume license packs. Retail costs for some Linspire PCs hover in the US$200 to US$300 range.

Although most enterprise users do not buy directly from such firms as Ingram Micro, odds are the network integration partners and local IT resellers do. With a broader option of Linux offerings for IT integrators, small and midsize businesses, schools, government shops and other organizations might find Linux a more available technology in the near future.

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