Dell Gives Desktop Linux Its Full Attention

Dell users want desktop Linux, and the PC maker appears to be listening. (

In an attempt to boost its sagging fortunes, Dell, one of the leading PC makers in America, recently launched the Dell Idea Storm Web site to solicit ideas on how to get Dell back to the top. The most popular idea so far? Desktops with pre-installed Linux.

Dell is taking it seriously. In a brief e-mail exchange with Bob Pearson, Dells vice president of corporate group communications, said, "Youre right that Linux is one of the hottest topics on Idea Storm."

Specifically, users wanted the Top 3 free Linuxes—Ubuntu, Fedora, and openSUSE—offered as selections for the Dell desktop. The Linux option was almost twice as popular as the next option, which was to have OpenOffice pre-installed instead of Microsoft Works, or a trial version of Microsoft Office.

After that, the fourth most popular option was for Dell to offer a laptop with Linux pre-installed. The fifth on the list was, if Dell couldnt offer Linux pre-installed, to start offering systems without any operating system.

Dell has long offered workstations with Red Hat Linux Enterprise Linux WS 4 installed. There was also a time when Dell made one of its computers, the Dimension E510n PC, available with a blank hard disk. Today, Dell offers several of its low-priced nSeries desktops without an installed operating system.

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