Dell tests users' appetite for Linux

PC vendor is circulating a questionnaire among users to get customer feedback on desktop Linux

Dell has sent out a questionnaire to see if users are interested in desktop Linux, and which version of the open-source operating system they would like to use on Dell hardware.

The questionnaire asks customers a number of questions about Linux, including: "Which Linux distribution should Dell prioritise on?" It was sent out on Tuesday and will close on 23 March, the company said.

Last month, Dell acknowledged user pressure for it to adopt Linux when it announced it was going to extend its official support for Red Hat Linux. Dell admitted that it was doing this after another project designed to glean customer feedback, IdeaStorm, revealed that adopting Linux was easily the most popular idea, with 83,000 votes.

Red Hat Linux is the only Linux distribution mentioned on the Dell website and only in the US, according to Dell's official site. In the UK and elsewhere in Europe, Linux is barely mentioned and no distributions are listed.

In its questionnaire, Dell lists five Linux desktop distributions that it could prioritise: Novell/Suse Linux Desktop, Red Hat Enterprise Desktop, Fedora, OpenSuse Linux and Ubuntu. It also has a heading for "Others".

Dell also wants to know which computers its customers would run Linux on, such as Inspirons, Dimensions, XRS notebooks, XRS desktops, Latitude notebooks and OptiPlex desktops.

The rest of the questionnaire mostly concentrates on how the customer intends to use the system: whether it will be for basic productivity, web browsing, photo management and so on, and it also asks the extent of the use.