Funny how HP and Dell keep getting in each other's faces -- you'd almost think they used to be boyfriend / girlfriend or something. Dell's recently taken Linux-loving customers' opinions into consideration and now it looks as if HP might elbow in on the action too. A few of its notebooks are certified to work with Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 operating system and also with Red Hat. HP did actually offer Linux-loaded PCs a few years back, but quickly discontinued sales due to poor results. It has since been involved in "a number of massive deals for Linux desktops" and they're even in a "massive deal right now for... multi-thousands of units of a desktop opportunity for Linux," claims Doug Small, worldwide director of open source and Linux marketing at HP. He didn't disclose any "massive" details on their increasing custom Linux-based PC orders, but assures us that HP sees this activity as "an indicator." We know HP and Dell could be ready to pounce at any moment, but it doesn't mean other tighter-lipped companies might be in on the race as well. In any case, for our own entertainment's sake, we're hoping for a real showdown. Lock and preload!