The Hewlett-Packard Co has announced that it is considering launching PCs in Asia which run the Linux operating system. The move could deal a strong blow to market leader, Microsoft, who currently enjoy a strong friendship with HP.

If Hewlett-Packard go ahead with the launch, they will be the first major PC manufacturer to offer Linux-based PCs. HP's Japan unit said: "... it would make more sense to launch Linux PCs in fast growing markets like China first."

Intricate details of the plan are yet to be confirmed by HP, such as launch date and target countries, though one paper has reported that the PCs will be launched in June. Linux is growing in market share as companies seek to cut computing costs.