Dell officially launched three consumer systems loaded with Ubuntu 7.04 installed and sales kick off today. The big question will be whether we find out how sales go.
That latter question is a big one and I'm more interested in sales a few weeks and months from now. There's little doubt that Ubuntu fans will get these systems in the early going--interest in Dell's driver details has been strong. What remains to be seen is whether sales then drop off with a thud. Another thought: Will we ever see these systems at Best Buy?
Let's hope Dell details something about demand on its blog--it's not like these systems will be material enough to disclose on any financial results. For now, this Ubuntu move is more about Dell 2.0 and improving the company's image more than it is about financial returns. Time will tell two things:
As for the details, Dell said it is offering the XPS 410n, Dimension E520n desktop and Inspiron E1505n notebook. Starting prices range from $599 to $899.
Support sounds a touch tricky. Hardware support comes from Dell. Software support will come from the Dell community forum and customers can buy OS support for a fee through Canonical. These options won't be a big deal for Linux users today, but newbies may wonder why they can't call Dell for both hardware and software support.
Other reading on the subject: