Dell has finally launched three systems with the Ubuntu Linux distribution installed, but only in the US. Users around the rest of the world will have to wait at least a little while longer.
On Thursday, Dell announced three low-cost Linux systems: a basic model, Inspiron E1505n, with few frills, for $539 (£271); a more powerful Dimension E520n, for $599 (£301); and a top-of-the-range XPS 410n for $849 (£427). The base system has no internet connection other than wireless, 512KB of memory, an 80GB drive and a 15.4-inch display.
The other two systems both have 250GB drives, 1GB of memory and 10/100 Ethernet connections. The chief difference is that the cheaper system has a 17-inch display, and the larger has a 19-inch display.
Dell made it clear that, for now at least, the new systems will only be available in the US, and Dell would not give any comment on why this is the case other than in an official statement. "Dell is still working out details of its global programme and will share details when it has definitive plans," the statement read.
New products from Dell are usually launched worldwide, although there is often some delay in different markets to sort out local product details. When asked to explain why there should be a delay in the UK and in Europe when the products have been widely expected for some weeks, a spokeswoman for Dell said that the company "has no further comment to make apart from the statement".
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Dell intended to launch systems with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed. Later, the company said that the reason for the delay in launching Linux systems in the UK was that it wanted to always make sure that its systems could offer the right level of Dell support.
"The challenge behind Linux is about support," Dell's EMEA director of client marketing, Eric Greffier, said at that time. "In the US, they are going to do it on one product, in one language. We have to have the right troubleshooting scripts translated into [many more] languages."