Dell Offers Linux Laptop in France

Collaboration with Mandriva yields Dell's first consumer Linux-based PC, priced at about $940.

While Dell Inc. recommends the use of Windows XP Professional, in France Dell and Mandriva S.A. have announced the availability of a Dell laptop preloaded with Mandriva Linux.

This is the first time any Dell laptop with pre-installed Linux has been sold or supported by Dell. Previously, only Dell N-Series Precision Workstations with Red Hat Linux were available from Dell.

The Linux-powered notebook is Dells Latitude 110L. It comes in a variety of configurations ranging from a 1.4GHz to 1.7GHz mobile Celeron or Pentium M CPU, and 256MB to 1,280MB of RAM. The system also includes a DVD Drive and 802.11g Wi-Fi.

Mandriva worked with Dell to integrate the laptop with its Mandriva Linux Limited Edition 2005.

This Limited distribution is the first Linux release from Mandriva since he company changed its name from Mandrakesoft following its merger with the Brazilian Linux company Conectiva.

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The distribution is built around the 2.6.11 Linux kernel. For user interfaces, it includes KDE 3.3.2 and GNOME 2.8.3. It also includes such end-user applications as Firefox, the GIMP graphics program and 1.1.4.

"This product shows the world that Mandriva is today ready for the consumer market," said Mandriva CEO François Bancilhon in a statement.

"Weve been developing products for the corporate and enthusiast markets for years," said Bancilhon. "Addressing the needs of the consumer market is a different challenge, because it is all the more difficult, as you dont have a system admin or professional technician at home. Consumer products leave less room for imperfection. This laptop and its distribution direct by such a leading manufacturer as Dell demonstrate how easy Mandriva Linux is to use. Were looking forward to further collaboration with Dell."

According to Gaël Duval, co-founder of Mandriva, the notebook, which is meant for students, is available only in France for now.

Mandriva has recently been pushing towards the consumer desktop market. In June, the French company bought Lycoris, a U.S. maker of user-friendly desktop Linux distributions. The company has also been trying to make inroads against Red Hat Inc. and Novell Inc. in the business desktop and server market.

The new system is priced at 759 Euros, which is approximately $940.

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