Dell customers demand Linux

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Dell customers demand Linux

Vendor's IdeaStorm suggestion box shows strong anti-Microsoft feeling.

Dell is to expand its pre-loaded Linux options after strong demand from customers.

The vendor recently launched its IdeaStorm online suggestion box for customers to provide feedback and ideas on how Dell could improve its service.

Dell has seen consistent requests since the programme's launch on 16 February to provide platforms that allow people to install their operating system of choice.

But the company warned that one of the hurdles to wider Linux pre-loading is the large number of available Linux distributions.

"As the open source community knows, there is no single customer preference for a distribution of Linux," Dell said in a statement.

"In the past week, the IdeaStorm community suggested more than half a dozen distributions. We do not want to pick one distribution and alienate users with a preference for another."

Dell announced that it is working with Novell to offer its SuSE distribution on a range of systems, including OptiPlex desktops, Latitude notebooks and Precision workstations.

"In addition to working with Novell, we are also working with other distributors and evaluating the possibility of additional certifications across our product line," added the Dell statement. "We are continuing to investigate other Linux-related ideas."

Dell also promised that the open source route is not going to end at operating systems. The vendor is considering open source software such as OpenOffice as a replecement for Microsoft Office.

This is strategically very important for Microsoft, since Dell has traditionally been its closest partner in the hardware business.
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