Dell Releases its First Linux Consumer Product with Mandriva

“Dell releases its first Linux consumer product with Mandriva”… or at least that's what the press release says. As I've mentioned on this blog many times in the past, a real OEM deal is critical to the success of Linux on the mainstream desktop. While this press release is a start, I don't think the title is 100% accurate. Look at the page for the 110L on the Dell site. It's not in the Home section, but the Business & Education section. A closer look at the press release seems to confirm this: Mandriva worked with Dell to certify this first consumer laptop, which is now being sold direct to students by Dell. Notice also that the Dell page does not list Linux as an option (even worse is the huge “Dell recommends Microsoft Windows XP Professional.” on every page). So, if this deal is only available to students, and a normal “consumer” can't just go to the Dell site and order Linux what makes it a consumer product? I'm not sure. In the end, while a deal like this is a great start and kudos should go to Mandriva for attempting to break ground on this, the press release title seems a little optimistic and more needs to be done. I'm still looking forward to the day where someone can go to a major PC manufactures website and simply see Linux as an option on any arbitrary model. I may be waiting a while…
–jeremy
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