Ubuntu logoI don’t think anyone was really surprised when Dell and Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) announced the choice of Linux distribution to ship on Dell computers later in May will be Ubuntu 7.04. It’s got to have one of the largest Linux communities and is updated every 6–months, so in my mind this was a no brainer. Then when we saw that Michael Dell started using Ubuntu I think we all knew what was coming.

Of course, it all comes back to the survey Dell posted in March 2007 asking which Linux distribution users would like to see on a Dell computer. According to CNet, an overwhelming 80% of the votes were for Ubuntu. Using the results of that survey, along with their own research, they determined that putting Ubuntu on Dell PC’s is a great idea.

Dell hasn’t made any reports about what computers would launch with the Ubuntu operating system, but DesktopLinux.com says that they have multiple sources saying it will be an e-series “Essential” Dimension desktop, an XPS desktop, and an e-series Inspiron laptop. If that were the case I would be pretty happy because they then cover both the cost-effective and power-hungry route for Linux users.

The best thing is that hardware compatibility with Ubuntu will no longer be a worry when purchasing one of these computers. Jane Silber, Canonical’s director of operations, said “We have worked with Dell to get Ubuntu fully supported and fully certified on Dell hardware.

The Dell blog also confirmed that Ubuntu is the Linux distribution choice for Dell computers, and they posted this video from Mark Shuttleworth regarding the situation (it’s almost 10 minutes long):

This is going to be a huge step in the right direction for Ubuntu, and I hope later on down the road they will share the stats from this deal with Dell. It will be interesting to see how many people actually purchase the Dell computers with Ubuntu over Windows, but I’m not sure if that is the kind of information they would release to the public? We do know that from the 160.5 million operating system licenses that shipped in 2006, Windows was 92% of those, Mac OS X was 4.1% and Linux was just 3.8%.

Thanks for the tip Mohan!