Dell Wants Your Opinion on Linux

If you consider yourself penguin-powered, computer maker Dell wants to hear from you. The Round Rock, Texas direct marketer is consider offering Linux as a factory-installed operating system option on some computers. But as any Linux aficionado will tell you, even pondering Linux can be like opening a can of worms, with different advocates favoring different LInux distributions depending on the work they do and, oftem, their political affiliations within the Linux community.

Dell probably has opinions about what Linux distributions and tools it thinks might be feasible to offer as a pre-installed option, but, recognizing the diversity of opinion in the Linux community, the company has posted a survey on its Web site asking its customers (and potential customers!) how they’d use Linux, what sort of support options they’d expect from Dell, and what Linux distribution they would prefer.

Although the company has not officially announced any new Linux product offerings, in the company’s official blog Dell’s Linux Software Architect Matt Domsch says the company is “crafting product offerings” in response to user’s vocal requests for Linux options. Apparently community response to the survey overwhelmed Dell’s servers, but the survey will be online through March 23, leaving plenty of time for Linux fans to vote early (and often).

Dell last offered a computer with Linux pre-installed way back in 2001, although the company recently received Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 certification for the company’s Latitude notebooks, Precision workstations, and Optiflex desktops. It currently offers Suse Linux as a pre-installed option on its Precision workstation line.