Dell has confirmed that it will bundle Ubuntu Linux with a range of laptops and PCs. Is this Microsoft's worst nightmare come true -- one of the world's biggest PC manufacturers adopting Linux as a retail OS?
|Dell Linux?: Credits to 'Cosh' on the IdeasStorm forum for the image.
EDIT: Breaking news -- this has now been confirmed.
Back in March Dell posited a poll asking which flavour of Linux is preferred, what hardware configurations would people like to see, and what support options they would like. It was just a survey, not a definitive word that Dell was going to bundle Linux with its machines. Until now.
Popular news site Desktop Linux broke the story first
and quotes 'inside sources' since, officially, Dell hasn't made an announcement yet.
Aside from the result of the poll in March -- which garnered an overwhelming response -- to hint this is going ahead there's also the blog of Fabian Rodriguez, a member of Canonical's Ubuntu support staff, and his post 'It's D-Day' that went up earlier today and outlined that an agreement has been reached and Dell will, indeed, make available a range of machines for purchase with Ubuntu 7.04 pre-installed. Rodriguez said the deal had been struck earlier, but internally wasn't allowed to speak about until today.
It seems Rodriguez may have got his dates mixed up, and doing nothing but fueling the fire -- within a matter of hours the 'It's D-Day' post has since been taken down 'until further notice', and with it the blog's (all too juicy) visitor comments.
Well, we just had to see what Dell Australia had to say. Maintaining the company line Paul McKeon, Corporate Communications Manager for Dell Australia, said that although there was no official announcement "I can tell you we're listening to the feedba
ck we've gotten on IdeaStorm to-date, and we're certainly looking at the idea, but its too early to put a date on."
Paul's referring to the Dell IdeaStorm
site, and in particular the topic 'Pre-Installed Linux | Ubuntu | Fedora | OpenSUSE | Multi- Boot'
which, Digg style, has been promoted to the top of the ideas pile by a huge margin. At time of writing, there are over 1300 comments. In Paul’s own words, you're encouraged to add to this.
And surely if Michael Dell himself uses Ubuntu on his own systems, that's got to be a good sign.
Between the overwhelming original poll, the IdeaStorm discussion, Desktop Linux's 'inside sources' and the now silenced Rodriguez I think it's pretty clear the mainstream PC landscape is about to change -- and with one of the world's largest PC manufacturers offering to ship Linux, and not Windows, pre-installed.
With the original March poll titled 'Linux Learnings: We're listening', it would appear that Dell has.
Ain't that grand :)
ADDENDUM: The official announcement pertains to select machines in the US -- don't expect the service to be available in Australia just yet. When it is, we'll let you know.