Hewlett-Packard began shipping its first ever notebook computer to come pre-installed with the Linux operating system.
The Compaq nx5000 was unveiled at the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in San Francisco during a keynote by HP vice-president of Linux, Martin Fink.
"This is the year that Linux overtakes the Mac on the desktop, and maybe my laptop will help accelerate that," Fink said.
IDC analyst Dan Kusnetzky believes that this has already happened. "Linux captured the number two spot as desktop operating system in 2003," he said.
Although Linux has proved popular as a server operating system, it has had less success on the desktop. In late 2000, IBM began offering Linux preinstalled on its A20 and T20 notebooks, but it eventually withdrew the Linux offering.
By 2007, the research firm estimates that Linux will have 6% of the desktop market in terms of units, Kusnetzky said.
Starting at $1,140 (£630), the nx5000 ships with either Intel's Celeron or Pentium processors, a 15in screen, and between 30Gbytes and 60Gbytes of storage.
The Linux version ships with Novell's SuSE Linux 9.1 and the OpenOffice productivity suite. The product can also be purchased with Windows XP.
Robert McMillan writes for IDG News Service