Dude, Dell Got Linux

According to CNET News.com, Dell offers an open-source PC:

Dell began offering a new desktop PC on Tuesday with no operating system installed. The machine is designed for people who want to run open-source software such as Linux instead of Windows… The Dimension E510n PC comes with a blank hard drive and a copy of the FreeDOS operating system, which can be installed by customers.

The computers are designed for customers and companies that want to experiment with Linux and other open-source operating systems. Many large companies that have pre-purchased Windows through licensing programs have to erase all the software that comes on factory-shipped PCs and then install the alternative software they’ve chosen. Buying a PC without an operating system saves a step and eliminates the cost of the extra software.

This is not so surprising. Dell has invested about 100 million in Linux distributor Red Hat, and sells servers with Linux installed.

I have never been happy with Dell’s support for my Dell Inspiron notebook computer. While it is no big deal that Dell is selling a poorly-configured, overpriced PC with no operating system (Wal-Mart also does this), it does represent a sea change for the company and demonstrates the growing demand for desktop Linux PCs.

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