TIN BOX FLOGGER Dell is rumoured to have plans to preload Canonical's Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition on netbooks.
Apparently Taiwanese hardware manufactures are collectively betting that Dell is going to be first to market with Ubuntu 10.10 on its netbooks. According to Digitimes, we'll be seeing Canonical's consumer friendly Ubuntu 10.10 Linux flavoured Dell netbooks shipping within a month.
Do the odds stack up? Mostly, yes. As Digitimes pointed out, Dell is the biggest supplier of pre-installed Ubuntu PCs and laptops in the world. Dell has, as they say, Canonical's back. The INQUIRER reported in June that Dell had so much faith in the open source Linux distro that it said it was safer than Windows. Laugh you might at the mention that something is safer than Windows, but that was a public disclosure on its own website from one of the world's biggest hardware vendors about one of the world's biggest software houses.
We also reported that Dell had been cosying up to open source since bundling Ubuntu on selected PCs since 2007. The company claimed on the same webpage that it "has shipped more computers pre-loaded and pre-tested with Ubuntu than any other computer maker in the world".
Now take Canonical's focus on making Ubuntu 10.10 a consumer friendly OS for mass-market consumption. Only last week the INQUIRER reported that Ubuntu is a fully-fledged mass-market alternative to the Vole's Windows 7 and Apple's Mac OS X Snow Leopard.
All Canonical needs is the right distribution channel to get Ubuntu 10.10 out to market in volume. The only larger and perhaps better PC hardware partner than Dell for that job might be HP.
We contacted both Canonical and Dell's PR office and have only had a reply from the Ubuntu team so far.
"We are a supplier to and partner of Dell as we are to a number of OEMs for a wide range of products, but we do not comment on their future product plans," said Gerry Carr, head of platform marketing at Canonical. µ