Linux Laptops get Centrino Inside

Intel has announced that Linux Laptops can now carry the Centrino logo on them. From the article:

Karen Regis, manager of mobile programs and promotions at the chipmaker said the reason for the change was that with the release of the 2.6.8 Linux kernel, the open source operating system's power management abilities now meet Intel's requirements for Centrino notebook battery life.

While this makes little technical difference (I've been using the Centrino in my Thinkpad since I got it), I think it's important for two reasons. First, the fact that Intel made such a large change in policy is significant from a precedence standpoint. Moving forward, hopefully all their products will have Linux support. Additionally, when a company of this size does something, often many other companies follow suit. Second, this should be a boon for the Linux Laptop market, which could really use a shot in the arm. With IBM dropping the Thinkpad there is a huge opportunity from someone to step up here and be the leader (the Thinkpad was a favorite among Linux user). Who will step up? I have no idea ;) While part of me is really happy to see this announcement, another part of me can't help but wonder what took so long. Once again it's easy to forget how far we still have to go (and how far we've actually come).

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