Dell Computers has started selling Ubuntu Linux 7.04 on consumer machines in the United States. This can only be good news, as a supporter of Linux since late 2004/early 2005 I am fully behind this initiative to put Linux as a choice in front of people who buy computers. They are testing the market at the moment which explains why they are shipping stock drivers with the hardware, and no multimedia codecs (which is unfortunate, but understandable that this deal was done in 60 days). I think this is quite an achievement for Canonical and Mark Shuttleworth (Ubuntu Founder), as they get to do the traditional Linux business model: you pay for support, and if you don’t need it, you don’t buy it. This could confuse some people in the shorter term, but long term its a winner: Dell does what it does best (Hardware) and Software is left to Ubuntu’s parent company Canonical. This is opposed to Microsoft getting Dell to provide support for both hardware and software, sometimes a messy business in which the consumer does not know which to turn to and can often be left out in the cold. I hope Dell extends this to Europe and 6the rest of the world soon, and makes a decent stab at promoting a free software desktop. Dell list advantages in one of their videos:

  • Free to use
  • Upgrades are free
  • All major software included
  • Not prone to Viruses/Spyware/Malware
  • As easy (if not easier) to use than Apple Mac OS X / Microsoft Windows