Dell recently announced that it is to start shipping PCs with Linux, but the question remained: which version of Linux?
Now the answer is out and hot favourite Ubuntu has landed the job – and the kind of publicity money can't buy. In a statement the developer said "Canonical and Dell are pleased to announce a partnership to offer Ubuntu 7.04 on select desktop and notebook products. This is a tremendous step forward for Ubuntu, our users and customers."
I would suggest this is putting it mildly.
As for Dell it has yet to announce on which PCs it will offer Ubuntu (incidentally, an African word meaning 'Humanity to others', or 'I am what I am because of who we all are') but current Internet chatter has the Dimension e-series desktop and laptops top of the list. An XPS desktop has also been rumoured but this would seem a strange decision given the device's gaming orientation.
Funnily enough, 2007 has long been pinned by Microsoft as the year when its software division would be rejuvenated by the launch of Vista. By contrast while Vista sales have been impressive (they have to be as the default system on all new PCs), users appear far from convinced. Just last month Dell began reselling machines with XP following customer demand and having realised that Vista represents six years of Microsoft development and heaven knows how many years now in operation, never before has public interest in alternatives been so great.
Think Apple hasn't spotted this? Notice the amount of Mac advertising currently out there...?!
Of course Dell offering (one flavour of) Linux is far from a proverbial tide of change but with the low cost and greater accessibility and customisability of open source software gaining it ever greater popularity – just look at Firefox – perhaps we are witnessing our first ripples...