Dell has announced that they are now shipping Ubuntu computers running the latest 7.10 release. On the Dell blog they said that it took so long because they wanted to do extensive testing first, but I would say that it was a rather fast turnaround considering that it was such a big upgrade.
Dell also managed to solve one of the most vocal complaints that I’ve heard with Ubuntu, and it’s that there is no way to play commercial DVD’s out-of-the-box. Dell wanted it to be as simple as putting the DVD in and hitting the play button, and so that’s what they did. Also on the computer you’ll find that Flash is pre-installed…that’s one less thing you have to fuss with when trying to go online!
There was also a 13-minute interview between Mark Shuttleworth, the CEO of Ubuntu, and the manager of the Linux team at Dell (it’s embedded below). In the interview Shuttleworth was asked where he thought Linux market adoption was heading, and I think he made a valid point when he said “I think what we’ll see is that Linux is in everyone’s pockets before it’s on everyone’s desktops.” Because of the Linux’s compact size I do believe that it will be the backbone of many portable devices, and we’re already starting to see that happen. As time goes on the popularity may also start to work its way over to the desktop market, which is exactly what Shuttleworth is predicting.
I give Dell a lot of credit for releasing an Ubuntu lineup, especially when a bulk of the community never really expected Dell to fulfill their promise in the first place. There are only a handful of computer manufacturers that sell Ubuntu-powered laptops, and only one that is brave enough to offer them in Flamingo Pink! ;)
If you’ve got about 13 minutes to kill this is a rather good interview with Mark Shuttleworth: