Hewlett-Packard has unveiled a low-end desktop PC, designed for small businesses, which features a version of the Linux operating system.
From Monday, customers will be able to build their own Compaq d220 PCs. The base configuration includes a 2.0GHz Celeron processor, 128Mbytes of DDR (double data rate) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM), a 40Gbyte hard drive, and a CD-Rom drive.
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The base model of the configurable version also comes with MandrakeSoft's Mandrake Linux version 9.1, rather than the usual Microsoft OS found on HP PCs, although does sell other business PCs with Mandrake Linux as an option.
Customers worldwide can choose Mandrake Linux 9.1, while customers in Asia-Pacific have the additional choice of TurboLinux's OS.
The Linux version of the d220 costs only $349, matching the price of the least expensive desktops in HP's product line. This price does not include a monitor. For $150 more, small and medium-sized business customers can upgrade their processor to the 2.4GHz Pentium 4.
HP also sells a $349 Pavilion desktop for consumers that contains Advanced Micro Devices' Athlon XP 2000+ processor, and a Presario desktop with the same AMD processor for $349 after a $50 mail-in rebate.
Rival Dell sells a $349 Dimension 2350 PC, but includes a 2.2GHz Celeron processor at that price for small business customers, after a $50 mail-in rebate.
HP will also offer the d220 in preconfigured solutions with Microsoft's Windows XP Home. The same base configuration of the d220 with the 2.0GHz Celeron processor and Windows XP Home costs $429. Several other preconfigured versions are available immediately directly through HP or through resellers.
The d220 comes in what HP calls a "microtower" unit, which measures 18cm by 39.1cm by 35.6cm.
Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service