The Dell Idea Storm

Dell recently released Idea Storm, “Where Your Ideas Reign”. Basically, it's a Digg like site where you can submit ideas and feedback and other Dell community members can vote on them. I'm not sure Dell know what was in store for them. The top ideas, in order, as of now:
Pre-Installed Linux | Ubuntu | Fedora | OpenSUSE | Multi-Boot
Pre-Installed OpenOffice | alternative to MS Works & MS Office
NO EXTRA SOFTWARE OPTION
linux laptop
No OS Preloaded
Have Firefox pre-installed as default browser
Build computers not loaded with extra software

So five of the top seven suggestions have to do with Open Source and the other two (which are really the same suggestion worded differently) has to do with the amount of pre-load junk that people don't want. The thing is, Dell has always said that there was no real demand for Linux (or even no OS) options. While the demographic of a person who would use Idea Strom certainly skews things a bit toward the more technical, the “no demand” issue is clearly no longer much of an issue. Additionally, I've seen it claimed that Windows ended up being cheaper than Linux for OEM's like Dell as a result of all the money they get from companies wanting to pre-load their software on Windows. This is stuff like AOL, Earthlink, free trials, etc. However, it's clear that consumers don't want this stuff. The question now becomes, will Dell listen… and if they do what repercussions will that have on the current OEM stranglehold than Microsoft has. If Dell starts to offer Linux as checkbox option on all of its models, it's only a matter of time until other vendors follow suit. The good news here as that some of the very latest crop of Linux releases are actually ready for prime time desktop use. Things like Compiz/Beryl, XGL and that bit of polish that have been missing are here. We still need to get through the codec issues, but some distributions even have that sorted. This should get interesting.
–jeremy

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2 Responses to The Dell Idea Storm

  1. Pingback: Thinking Past Platforms: the Next Challenge for Linux at Jeremy’s Blog

  2. Pingback: Dell to Offer Ubuntu 7.04 at Jeremy’s Blog

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