Dell users demand more Linux options

An ideas forum launched by the PC vendor was swamped by calls for more operating system and office suite choice

Thousands of Dell users have contacted a user forum to call for PCs to be shipped with a Linux operating system and the OpenOffice application suite.

Nearly 40,000 users have used the Dell Ideastorm website to promote the suggestion that Dell should: "Offer the three top free Linux versions [Fedora, OpenSuse and Ubuntu] for free pre-installation on all Dell PCs". It is now the most popular suggestion on the site.

Dell does offer some Linux systems, but most of its computers ship with either Windows Vista or XP.

The Dell Ideastorm site was launched on Friday to give users extra input into Dell's decision-making process. Visitors to the US-backed site choose which ideas they support by clicking on a button to "promote" a particular idea.

Users also came up with many other well-supported ideas. Over 20,000 said OpenOffice should be provided for free pre-installation alongside Microsoft Works or Microsoft Office.

Many of the following suggestions argued that Dell should supply Linux or other free software on its machines — or at least that Windows should not be a default option.

Other users called for all contact centre support to be moved from India to the US (4,500 votes) and for more awareness of green IT issues (3,000 votes).