I can only hope that Dell is serious this time around about putting Linux on the desktop. From ComputerWorld:
After collecting some 1,800 new product and service ideas from IT users and customers using an online "suggestion box," Dell Inc. has announced that it's taking the user suggestions seriously and will soon debut and sell a new line of certified, user-ready Linux-loaded desktop and laptop computers.
The Dell IdeaStorm Web site, where customers and other IT enthusiasts can offer recommendations about future Dell products and configurations that they'd want to buy, was started on Feb. 16 by CEO Michael Dell, who is looking for ways to re-energize the company's sales and financial performance after several disappointing quarters.
While the organization I work for uses Windows on most of its administrative desktops, nothing bothers me more then having to buy a PC with Windows pre-installed only so I can only have it reformatted and have Linux installed. It is a waste of our money to buy Windows licenses that we are never going to use.
The article also quotes Eric S. Raymond as saying that Dell "has been quietly selling Linux machines to business customers for several years -- which means he's got more than enough real-world market data to see where the trends are going." I actually have a Dell PC on the floor that originally came with Red Hat Linux 7 installed as the desktop and currently contains a version of Fedora Core. To be honest that PC is the only time I have ever purchased a Dell that was not a server or workstation with Linux pre-installed. We of course already have a number of Unix/Linux servers and workstations on our operational systems.
I suppose the only question that remains, which Linux distribution will be coming with the new Dell Linux PCs? I bet the distribution will end up being mostly Red Hat for the United States and SuSE for the Europe.