Dell launches Linux PCs in U.K.

The PC maker has finally released desktops with pre-installed Linux in the United Kingdom, but users will have to pay a premium compared with the United States.
Written by Richard Thurston, Contributor

Dell has launched two PC models with a pre-installed Linux operating system in the United Kingdom.

From Wednesday, U.K. customers will be able to buy two desktop models with the Ubuntu Linux distribution.

The two machines will be relatively inexpensive: the Inspiron 6400n will cost £329 (US$679), while the 530n will cost £399 (US$823).

According to Dell, the launch was a result of pressure from users of its IdeaStorm forum. Thirty thousand of them advocated the idea that systems should come with Linux pre-installed.

Charlie Tebbs, marketing director for Dell's EMEA consumer division, said: "Dell is continuing to deliver on our commitment to give customers what they're asking for--the option of Linux as their operating system."

"As we hear from customers throughout Europe and around the world, we will continue to explore the opportunities to expand our offerings globally, so stay tuned," he said.

The launch follows an extended period of waiting in the United Kingdom after the computer manufacturer restricted its Linux launch in May to the United States.

U.S. customers still get a wider choice of Linux systems from Dell, including desktops, notebooks and workstations. They also get to pay less for their Linux systems.

Customers living in the United States can currently buy the Inspiron 530n for US$549 (£271), whereas U.K. buyers must pay 47 percent more for the same product.

Support is available from Ubuntu's commercial backer Canonical for between US$250 (£124) and US$900 (£445) per year. Dell says the PCs come with full driver support, adding that it is working with developers to improve them.

The version of Ubuntu involved is 7.04,which was codenamed "Feisty Fawn" during its development.

Dell has created a Linux forum, called "Dell Community", which is designed to help customers interact with each other on open-source software matters.

Earlier on Tuesday, rival PC manufacturer Lenovo said it would offer ThinkPad notebooks with Linux pre-installed in the fourth quarter of this year. Lenovo has chosen Novell's Suse distribution for the notebooks.

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