With separate assembly and support set-ups in each section?
Ireland and the UK are heavily entwined with each other I know, and there is a large assembly plant in Ireland. I know that the C&R support for Ireland is provided by an office in Watford in England (my laptop paid it a visit at one point), and I know they do a lot of assembly and finance in Ireland. (Finance is handled in Cherrywood, Dublin, and they have a large assembly operation in Limerick.) That's what I meant by "handles a large part of the EU market". They assemble here for the tax-breaks.
Well Dell Vostro 1000 has lots of problems with the new 2.6.26 kernel. 2.6.24 works - thats a Turion on AMD chipset with onboard ATI graphics...
1: That's clearly a regression in the kernel, and should be bugzied as such.
2: If Dell want to ship a budget laptop with linux, you think they won't be able to find a component set that works?
3: You seriously think Dell can't afford the tech/dev time to fix any problems? After all, these laptops are based on standard components to push the price down...
Well Dell introduced dkms, thats an interesting way to compile drivers but I don't know of other big development things which came from Dell. At least I would not think that when a system was tested with Ubuntu 8.04 it will work with 8.10 or similar Linux systems which use kernel 2.6.26 or newer. Also currently there is no way to use Xserver 1.5 based distros with ATI fglrx binary driver like FC9 or Ubuntu 8.10 test versions. So I don't think that the ATI graphics based systems are a so good choice to buy.
I currently have a Dell Inspiron 6400 with an ATI Radeon Mobility x1400 card and I am running Ubuntu 8.04.
I gotta say I have had nothing but headaches with this graphics card. I recently upgraded to the Catalyst 8.7 driver and it has yet to fix my issues. Specifically every time I use my laptop (compiz enabled) my system graphically grinds to a halt after roughly 6 hours of usage. Trying to restart the X server results in a hard system lockup where I have to issue direct kernel commands to reboot the laptop.
If Dell is going to start shipping laptops with ATI cards they need to lean on ATI hard to fix up their drivers. Its true the driver performance has improved, but stability has not been addressed. And I agree with Dell that until stability is addressed, these drivers are not ready for prime time.