Systemax are to release a $299 PC that comes pre-installed with desktop Linux. The distro of choice in this case is Linspire's operating system, in a move that Systemax hopes will introduce Linux to users without them having to go through the messy business of downloading and installing the open source OS themselves. The Venture L335 system comes with an Intel Celeron D processor, 40GB hard drive and 256MB of RAM. Currently, the system is only available to US customers.

"Most people buy computers, not operating systems. It is important that people can experience Linux without having to install it themselves," said Kevin Carmony, president and chief executive at Linspire.

"The success of companies like Dell shows that people want to buy affordable computers direct from the manufacturer, but be able to configure the system to fit their exact needs. Now people can enjoy the same benefits of buying custom-built PCs with Linux."