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"When Dell first announced that it would be releasing Ubuntu Linux-powered consumer desktops and laptops, some people saw it as more of a stunt than a serious business move. They were wrong. Dell has already expanded its consumer Linux line, and now it has announced that it will soon be offering Ubuntu Linux systems outside of the United States and for new businesses.

On Dell’s Direct2Dell site, Lionel Menchaca, Dell’s digital media manager, said, "Wanted to be clear that Dell does have plans to offer Linux to more consumers in additional locations outside the United States. More details to come later this summer. We will also offer Ubuntu to small business customers in the future. As soon as we have more details to share, I’ll blog about both topics here.""

According to "Dell isn't resting on its recent consumer Linux PC laurels. The computing giant has added a new laptop -- the Inspiron 1420 Notebook -- to its Ubuntu Linux 7.04 offering. It is also replacing the Dimension E520 desktop with the new, low-priced Inspiron 530."

And while Dell is expanding its GNU/Linux computer offerings, and apparently selling them well, we are seeing indications that HP might be the next to offer GNU/Linux on their desktops:

To no big surprise, Dell appears to have chosen Ubuntu for their GNU/Linux distribution of choice to pre-install on some of their desktops and laptops:

"As part of an overall effort to update our Linux program, today we are announcing a partnership with Canonical to offer Ubuntu on select consumer desktop and notebook products." -- Read more

Dell was also kind enough to offer an an ogg video of related Shuttleworth interview.

Another big win for Free Software in general: "The French Parliament looks to be the next big Ubuntu switcher according to reports. Recently the Parliament produced an official government report that recommended the use of free software over proprietary software. The switch to free software is expected to provide a substantial savings to the tax-payers according to the government study.

Following this recommendation two companies, Linagora and Unilog, have been selected to provide the members of the Parliament as well as their assistants new computers containing free software. This will amount to 1,154 new computers running Ubuntu prior to the start of the next session which occurs in June 2007."

Jermiah Foster has written an open letter to Mark Shuttleworth of Canonical, the company behind an extremely succesful (so far) GNU/Linux distribution Ubuntu urging him to take the next step and enter the business of selling computers with GNU/Linux pre-installed:

"Your company has been building a support network to support Ubuntu, this is a key ingredient in any successful hardware offering. Lack of a support system for linux is cited by Dell as a reason why it cannot just open the floodgates and soak the masses with cheap laptops. But you have that support network already built."

I agree with Jeremiah 100% here. Instead of putting ever more proprietary components into Ubuntu hoping that will somehow make people flock over, they should start bridging what presents a much more real gap towards adoption, and that is pre-installing.