In March we told you that Dell would start shipping Linux PCs, but all of the details were yet to be determined. However, it's now official that Dell has chosen Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn as the Linux distribution that will begin shipping on select Dell notebook and desktop computers. Ubuntu availability on select products should begin this month with Dell now fully supporting Mark Shuttleworth's creation...
I am extremely excited about this news. I have never purchased a laptop though I have wanted one simply because I could never find one that satisfied my hardware needs that didn't force the Windows tax upon the buyer. I have no problem paying for software, but it's absolutely imperative that I pay for software that I want. I am also hopeful that Dell and Canonical have worked out an arrangement that the Ubuntu projects get some of the funds for each sale as some additional funds certainly couldn't hurt the progress of Ubuntu and would most certainly benefit various other distributions as well.
This is great for Ubuntu, providing an entire new audience and userbase.
For me, it probably won't matter much a) I often prefer to build machines, and b) it remains to be seen whether the Ubuntu machines are any cheaper, if not more expensive, than the Windows equivalents. If the Ubuntu ones aren't cheaprer, I can't see me prefering them.
This is very good for Linux in general. Having a mainstream hardware vendor offer Linux pre-installed on any of their pc's or laptops is a huge step forward.
That single thing is why there are more windows pc's than anythign else - because it comes installed when they buy it and the majority of home users can't or won't venture into an operating system install.