Mark Shuttleworth asks if people are interested in a high-end free-software laptop (it seems that Linspire is leading in the low-end free-software laptop stakes).
I am interested in such things. My last couple of laptops have been Thinkpad T series. They are reasonably light (not really heavy), are reasonably fast, have full-size keyboards and reasonable size screens (currently got a 1400×1050 screen on a 3yo laptop). Unfortunately for Mark I’m planning on making my current Thinkpad last for another three years.
The idea makes a lot of sense because laptops are not re-purposed very often. It’s quite common for a desktop machine or a server to be re-installed several times over it’s life – and often having significant hardware changes during the process. Laptops are extremely difficult for hardware upgrades to the degree that by the time people desire an upgrade it often makes sense to buy a new one. So having a BIOS that only supports Linux and prevents the machine from ever being used to run a lesser OS is not likely to reduce the utility of the machine.
The benefit of better Linux integration is that the greater degree of hardware control would decrease the power use and extend battery life.
Maybe in three years time I’ll buy a LinuxBIOS machine second-hand from a Ubuntu user.