HP has announced that it is dropping Linux from its upcoming range of netbooks.

The news comes after the company confirmed it is to keep offering the Ubuntu desktop option to consumers in the US.

The new range of netbooks – the Vivienne Tam model – will now only be available with Windows XP, at a price of £450.

HP has announced, however, customers desperate to try out the Ubuntu Mobile Internet Edition desktop on their HP netbook will soon be able to download an installer from the company's website.

Responding to demand

TechRadar spoke to Paul Hudson, Editor of Linux Format magazine about HP's decision to drop Linux from the netbook range, and he said: "HP is clearly responding to customer demand, and I have no problem with that – it is a company, not a charity."

He then gave the following advice: "Listen up, Linux users: if you want Linux, get out your wallet and give HP demand it can't ignore. Otherwise, quit whining and buy an Aspire One from Acer instead."

The arrival of Windows 7 inside the next 12 months will add an even greater test to Linux – which benefited from Vista's high demands when netbooks became big business.

This prompted Microsoft to hold off from flipping the kill switch on XP, but even in beta Windows 7 has shown that it is much more suited for lower power PCs.