Through my readings at Digg and Slashdot, I came across this article on DesktopLinux.com. Mr. Dell, the founder of Dell Computers, spoke about his company’s strategy for including Linux with their commerical machines. Dell expressed his support for Linux, and also his attitude that customers should have a choice on which operating system is included with their computer. However, there is the issue of which of many Linux distros does one choose to support.
"People are always asking us to support Linux on the desktop, but the question is: ‘Which Linux are you talking about?’," Dell asked. "If we say we like Ubuntu, then people will say we picked the wrong one. If we say we like and support Ubuntu, Novell, Red Hat, and Xandros, then someone would ask us, ‘Why don’t you support Mandriva? The challenge we have with picking one is that we think we’d disenchant the other distributions’ supporters."
There are so many options in the Linux desktop and each distro has their own diehard supporters. To me, it would be very difficult for Dell to choose one to support, and even if they did make that decision, there would be many claiming they should have choosed Red Hat over Ubuntu. Instead, Dell is leaving the choice up to the user. FreeDOS is being shipped with the nSeries Optiplex and Dimension. The Precision nSeries desktops are shipped with Red Hat.
I am glad to see Dell supporting the Linux community, and continuing to work with the Linux developers to increase ease of use on their hardware. Hopefully this will further the migration of desktop users to Linux, whatever the flavor.