London (UK) – Just one week after bringing back Windows XP to some of its desktop and notebook computers, Dell today announced that it will begin offering “select” consumer desktop and notebook computers in a preinstalled Ubuntu Linux configuration.
The announcement is one of the first results of Dell’s IdeaStorm survey, which asks web site visitors to contribute ideas to the Dell product lineup. On March 13, about one month after the launch of IdeaStorm, Dell said that it noticed the requests for an improved Linux lineup and now the company apparently is ready to offer such products.
The firm today said that it has formed a partnership with Ubuntu Linux developer Canonical to be able to offer Ubuntu 7.04 on “on select consumer desktop and notebook products.” The announcement extends on Dell’s Linux strategy, which showed dramatic shifts over the past years. While the company has been offering its PowerEdge servers with Red Hat Linux since 1999 and with Suse Linux since 2005, Precision workstations with Red Hat and Optiplex desktops with Novell SLED 10, consumer desktops and notebooks usually disappeared from the firm’s product offering as quickly as they surfaced.
Dell did not provide any details on which products it will be offering Ubuntu Linux. However, we expect a very limited and tailored offering that answers the requests of the IdeaStorm community in terms of whether these should be high-end or entry-level models and what kind of support should be provided.
No Dell systems with Ubuntu Linux were available at the time of this writing.