The latest panic in desktop-Linux-land was that Dell would no longer be selling Ubuntu pre-installed on laptops and netbooks. Alas, for those who love drama, it wasn't true. In fact, Dell is expanding its Ubuntu desktop offerings.
Gerry Carr the marketing manager for Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, told me that the stories that Dell will no longer be offering Ubuntu pre-installed on its hardware were "NOT true." Now, Anne Camden, a Dell PR manager, tells me that far from moving away from Ubuntu Linux, Dell is offering more Ubuntu choices than ever.
Camden said, "Ironically, we JUST added the Ubuntu desktop today [July 27th]. While the original plan a few months ago was to transition to the current generation Inspiron desktop, we changed direction. The Linux team decided that there might be more applications/better appreciation for a more powerful option, so we just released the Studio XPS 7100 desktop with Ubuntu Desktop 10.04 installed."
This new Ubuntu Linux desktop, and it has been quite a while since Dell offered a desktop rather than a laptop or netbook, with Ubuntu Linux, looks like a good one. It's a mini-tower with 3GBs of Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM2 and a fast, 7,200 RPM 500GB SATA hard drive. At a price of $459.99, it looks like an affordable Linux workstation to me.
Camden also pointed out that Dell still offers an ultra-thin laptop targeted at small businesses (Vostro V13) and a Latitude netbook (Latitude 2100). These two both run the older Ubuntu 9.04 distribution.
"Regarding the situation in the UK, it's really pretty simple: we are working with variances in regional demands, which means we don't always have the same offering online in all regions, but the rumored death of Ubuntu with Dell is greatly exaggerated," Camden said.
If I might add to Camden's comment, if you want Ubuntu Linux, or any other desktop Linux, from Dell or any other PC manufacturer, ask for it. Eventually, if enough people start demanding Linux, the vendors will make it easier for you to get it. If you don't, they won't.