RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Did a Lenovo executive say the computer manufacturer was dropping Linux or not?

The new owner of IBM’s former personal computing division found itself caught up in a global media frenzy over the past few days after a comment attributed to Frank Kardonski, the worldwide product manager for its Lenovo 3000 computers.

“We will not have models available for Linux, and we do not have custom order, either,” Kardonski was quoted as saying by Computer Reseller News, or CRN. “What you see is what you get. And at this point, it’s Windows.”

After a weekend filled with reports that Linux was out, Lenovo said Monday that the reports were a “misunderstanding”.

“To summarize, the bottom line is that Lenovo’s support for Linux has not changed,” a Lenovo spokesman told WRAL Local Tech Wire.

The spokesman said there was a “misunderstanding” between CRN and Kardonski but added that the company had no plans to issue a statement.

“We gave you some inaccurate information,” Raymond Gorman, a Lenovo spokesman, told CRN in a follow-up story published Monday.

Lenovo told CRN that it would continue to support customers who wanted Linux on Thinkpad laptops.

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The Lenovo dispute created some angst at Red Hat, the world’s best known Linux software developer and service provider.

“Everybody here is using Lenovo or IBM ThinkPads,” a senior Red Hat executive said in an interview with ZDNet UK. “I don’t think what Lenovo (is reported to be doing) would impact our business. Anyway, if it’s true, it won’t impact us for much longer.”

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