Hate to be the one to burst the comedy bubble, but from what I've read, if you put in a different operating system than the one that is OEM provided, then the OEM has no obligation to even so much as TOUCH the computer. For instance, I have windows XP Professional on my Computer. If I were to say put Windows Vista Ultimate on my laptop, and say for instance the Memory FLEW out through my keyboard, would I be mad? Absolutely. However, I would be well-aware going into the operation that non-OEM spec OS's exempt the company of OEM from any liability towards the fate of the computer.
Because this person chose under his / her free will to put in a variation of Linux as opposed to the OEM Windows provided, the company has every right to deny a warranty claim, exploitative, border-line unconscionable, or whatnot on a faulty hinge, and say that it was due to the installation of Linux. As dumb and as OBVIOUSLY incorrect it would be to assume that Linux would cause physical damage to a hinge, such an excuse legally exempts the OEM from warranty support, and as per most contracts, said OEM can legally say that "as per such and such in the contract, your modifying the OS voids all warranties to the computer pertaining to hardware and software malfunction", and 99.9% of the time that argument in court would float.
Do I have sympathy for the owner of the laptop? Absolutely, a person should be allowed to put in whatever OS he or she desires. However, I do stand with the company's decision to deny service; it's in the contract, a person has EVERY right to read a contract before signing, and if someone's dumb enough to sign away a good chunk of savings before reading over the fine print, then by all means the "lack of warranty" support is justified.
No company really has the consumer's best interest's in mind, all that's important is that the profit is greater by enough to satisfy shareholders and executive coffers to offset losses by computer replacement, and warranty services. Remember that the next time you go shopping and decide to put in Linux. What does the contract say about changing to a Non-OEM OS?