According to sources close to Dell, the Austin, Texas computer giant will be pre-installing Ubuntu 8.04 on its laptops and desktops starting in late June.
Dell, the first of the major OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to support the consumer Linux desktop, is determined to keep its lead in full-featured PCs with pre-installed Linux. So, Dell will be releasing the Hardy Heron on all four of its current Ubuntu-powered models and quite possibly on its mysterious, un-released UMPC (Ultra-mobile PC) as well.
The first of these is the Inspiron 530 n-Series desktop. This PC comes with a 2GHz Intel Pentium dual-core E2180 processor.
On the laptop line, Dell will be selling the Ubuntu 8.04 equipped Inspiron 1525N with its 1.6GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core T2330 CPU and the Inspiron 1420N with its slightly more powerful 1.73GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core T2370 processor. For users who more power in their laptops, Dell is now offering the XPS M1330.
The XPSM1330 uses a 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5550 CPU and includes a generous 2GBs of RAM and a 160GB hard drive. It also comes, a rarity in Linux-powered laptops, with a 2.0 Megapixel Webcam.
Besides having the latest Ubuntu installed, Dell will also be incorporating its own special sauce so that Linux users will be able to legally watch DVDs on these systems. Dell first introduced this feature in December 2007.
It also appears that Dell will be pre-installing Ubuntu 8.04 on the so-called mini-Inspiron. This is Dell’s answer to the Asus Eee and other UMPC. While almost no details are known about this system other than its in pre-production and it’s an UMPC, sources indicate that Ubuntu will be one of its operating system options.
One place Ubuntu will not be appearing any time soon is on Dell’s servers. While Dell does support Ubuntu on its servers, the company doesn’t plan to offer Ubuntu as a pre-installed option.