I have been annoyed for a long time that you've not been able to buy a computer without operating system (Windows tax anyone?!) and even more annoyed that I've had to resort to being a geek to get a proper (Unix based, most likely Linux) operating system onto the computers. This is especially hard when you've got a laptop with some strange hardware.
I was, in fact, so annoyed that on April 25th 2006 I wrote about Linux on New Computers - Why not? on my web site. I have since updated that article when there's been progress. The first major one to give you the option (albeit restricted) to buy a Linux computer "off the shelf" was Dell. Good onya, Dell!
I'm very glad to tell you that the Linux "epidemic" is spreading! This morning I had a newsletter in my inbox from Novatech offering laptops with either Ubuntu Linux or Microsoft Windows installed. The price difference is a quite staggering £50, you pay a whole 16% more for Windows (£249.99 vs. £299.99). Quite cool, for Linux.
Sadly I'm disappointed that there's no mention of having Ubuntu actually installed on the Novatech web site. Instead the web site mentions "no operating system installed" and several Windows versions installed. Let's hope they'll get that fixed soon.
On a side note, I've used Novatech's services several times in the past, and they've always been spot on. Recommended!