Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Dell to offer pre-installed Linux

Dell Inc. will start offering the Linux operating system pre-installed on its PCs and notebooks in response to customer demand, the company said Wednesday.

In an announcement on Dell's IdeaStorm website, the company said it would provide more detail on which hardware systems will be available with Linux in the coming weeks.

Linux is the free operating system developed by volunteer programmers around the world and is seen as a low-cost alternative to market-leader Microsoft's Windows operating system.

A number of different versions of Linux are available, including Canonical Ltd.'s Ubuntu, Novell's OpenSUSE and Red Hat's Fedora.

Dell said it hasn't decided which distributions it will offer, but said customers are more concerned about driver compatibility and support than they are about which distribution Dell would choose for its PCs and notebooks.

Dell had previously offered Linux support on its servers and with its Precision workstation line, but said it is making the move to offer it on PCs and notebooks in response to a poll of customers earlier this month.

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