I never thought that Dell would actually get serious about offering Linux PC’s for consumers. I figured the IdeaStorm site would have been another one of those feedback systems that are there to make consumers feel like they were being listened to, but I think Dell may really be getting serious about this.
Just a short while ago on the Direct2Dell blog they posted about a Linux survey that will take just a few minutes to complete. They are not able to offer every Linux distribution on their PC’s, so they are trying to figure out which ones would be the most important to you the consumer.
Not only that but they are also trying to figure out what you would do with the computer once you received it, such as browsing the web, listening to music, and editing videos. This is probably so that they can pre-install the software many of you would need to minimize what you have to install once you receive the computer.
Then the survey goes on to ask which distribution Dell should set as a high priority. The list consists of:
- Commercial: Novell/SuSE Linux Desktop
- Commercial: Red Hat Enterprise Desktop
- Community Supported: Fedora
- Community Supported: OpenSUSE
- Community Supported: Ubuntu
I prefer OpenSUSE myself, but I voted for Ubuntu simply because I think that is what users would have the best experience with. Ubuntu undoubtedly has the best support community out of all the Linux distributions, so new Linux users would easily be able to find the help that they need.
Yesterday, OpenOffice.org actually contacted Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, about being the second most requested option on the IdeaStorm site. The letter (PDF, JPG) they sent to Dell begins by praising Dell, then throws in why Dell should offer OpenOffice.org, and pretty much concludes saying “call me, we’ll do lunch.” Okay, maybe it isn’t exactly like that, but that was the initial impression that I got out of it.
One thing is for sure, and that is more people would benefit from Dell offering OpenOffice.org on computers because people buying a Windows PC would also be able to use it. I would love to see OpenOffice.org as an option when purchasing a PC because it does all the things that more than 95% of computer users need. Hopefully the OpenOffice.org team keeps us posted on any progress they make with Dell.
Having a Linux option would be cool, but I’m a little worried that it is going to be a waste of Dell’s time and resources. Do you think this is going to be as popular as the IdeaStorm site makes it seem like it will be?