Last week at Linuxworld in San Francisco, Lenovo and Novell announced the first Linux-based ThinkPad mobile workstations, which will run Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 (SLED 10). The Thinkpad T60p laptops are based on Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology and are the result of a two-year research and development effort between Lenovo, Intel, and Novell. The systems are not targeted at consumers nor even at hardcore Linux users; they have been designed specifically for electronic engineers engaged in integrated circuit and board-level design who use numeric intensive computer-aided design (CAD) or electronic design automation (EDS) applications in a mobile environment.
Enterprise customers will give configuration preferences and software requirements to Novell, which will build a custom version of SLED 10. Novell will send the operating system to Lenovo which will install it and any other software required onto the laptops and test them to make sure the system works with all the software installed. Lenovo is currently certifying engineering design applications from companies including Cadence, Synopsys, and Mentor Graphics. Novell is now investigating other industries with heavy Linux usage such as automakers and financial services for future solutions opportunities.