by Jeff Smith
Dell finally listens...
Back in February, Dell launched a website called Ideastorm whose sole purpose was to garner feedback from the web community on what they could do to attain their former glory as the biggest and best PC distributer. The overwhelming response they got back was that people wanted Linux pre-loaded on Dell machines. Literally, it was a landslide of requests, and after a little deliberation, Dell responded by teaming up with Canonical, the makers of Ubuntu Linux.
Now you can buy a Dell machine pre-loaded with Ubuntu Linux. Everything is pre-configured, all drivers are present and working and you have Dell's customer support to back you up.
Preliminary reports say that the Ubuntu Dells are good solid machines, and Dell has included some backup features that make it really easy to re-install Linux if you mess it up while you're first getting used to it. Keep in mind that these machines are slightly cheaper than their Windows counterparts, mostly due to the fact that Ubuntu is free, so the cost of a Windows license is not included in the price. They are capable of running Microsoft Windows (why you would want to I dunno) though you'd need to buy your own copy of it separately.
While pre-installed Linux machines are really nothing new, (www.system76.com) this is the first time that a very large company such as Dell has ventured into this territory. Personally, I think its a strong sign of how much Linux has matured as an operating system.
If you'd like to hear what Dell has to say about their Linux machines, you can browse to www.studiodell.com and click on "Linux 101: What's all the fuss?" for an explanatory video.
If you're not sure you wish to try Linux, keep in mind that many of you already use Linux on a daily basis and don't know it. When you use Google, you're using Linux because Google runs their web servers on Linux. In fact, the majority of web servers use Linux, 58% of them in fact. TiVo runs on Linux. Many popular mobile phones run on Linux, including the Motorola Razr2, with more and more cellphone companies switching to Linux based software for their handsets every year.
So even though you may not be aware, chances are you're already a Linux user. And thats not a bad thing. Not at all.
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