As many of you know, the Ubuntu community is planning to release their next version Ubuntu Linux, version 7.10 (a.k.a "Gutsy Gibbon"), this Thursday. At this time, we're not yet ready to announce our product plans around Ubuntu 7.10, but I would like to share information on some of the work my engineering team has been performing with the OS.
It has been over four months since Dell started shipping computers preloaded with Ubuntu GNU/Linux to home consumers in the United States. Lets take a moment to look at the progress that has been made so far. John Hull, manager of the Linux Engineering team in Austin was kind enough to let me interview him by e-mail. Besides commenting on the current state of affairs with Ubuntu on Dell machines, he also offers some insight in how the Linux team at Dell works and opens a small window into the future of Linux at Dell.
It’s time to give Dell a little credit, folks. By agreeing to offer Ubuntu on selected systems earlier this year, the company has opened itself up to a flood of ideas from passionate Linux users. In fact, the Dell IdeaStorm website remains flooded with thousands of Ubuntu-focused comments from the Linux community. And Dell itself continues to prepare for Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon, the next major upgrade from Canonical.
I have just upgraded my new Dell computer that came with Ubuntu 7.04 to the pre-release version of Ubuntu 7.10 (Beta). Please read my initial review of this system.
After a large download and subsequent reboot, this computer came up in much better shape than it was in 7.04.
A few months ago in PC Advisor, we ran a feature on buying the cheapest desktop PC possible. We considered the idea of specifying no operating system at all, believing that the truly cash-strapped consumer might be interested in saving a few pennies by sticking on an open source Linux operating system - such as is the case with the Dell Inspiron 530n Ubuntu.
Dell as a pioneer in the industry has recently released first line of consumer desktop computers and notebooks with pre-installed Linux, Ubuntu 7.04. Dell Ubuntu has lots offer, Ubuntu is extremely powerful, practical, absolutely free, and ready-to-run desktop Linux distribution, which is highly compatible for mainstream use.
Dell has made its modified Ubuntu installers available to download. These disks include drivers and fixes for Dell’s Ubuntu supported PCs.
So far, so good. That statement sums up Dell’s current desktop Linux strategy, which focuses heavily on the Ubuntu operating system from Canonical. Even so, Dell representatives are careful not to hype the machines. Here’s why.
Now, the Ubuntu 7.04 that Dell ships with their systems, is available to download.
Sure, Dell Inc. sells desktop and mobile PCs with Ubuntu Linux preinstalled. But will the company actually advertise those systems? Such a move would stun Microsoft Corp., which had expected 2007 to be the year of Windows Vista. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that Dell is taking a look at a potential Ubuntu ad campaign.