The Direct2Dell blog is a great way to find out about new Ubuntu development and products at Dell from a reliable source one can actually quote publically 🙂
From my seat on the support side of things, I used to worry about such exposure – how can you give tech support to so many new Ubuntu users ? Granted, this is only but a small fraction of Dell’s business, but it is growing fast in many ways (and countries, as seen below). Many vendors understand the need to build their own support infrastructure and knowledge, not much new in that area. But being able to do so in your local language, in different markets, taking advantage of all the freedom LInux and in general Ubuntu offers is a huge new bonus. You get to decide if/when you need professional services (from Canonical or else) and you set the speed for that.
In Dell’s case, having part of their Linux wiki dedicated to Ubuntu and even forums and mailing lists means such initiatives have all the chances to success as Ubuntu’s strong community can complement all efforts from Dell and give traction to them. I also see how Ubuntu’s philosophy slowly infiltrates such offerings 🙂
From the blog post (emphasis mine):
Today we’re rolling out two new laptops and desktops that are designed to meet the specific needs of small businesses, government and educational facilities operating on a limited budget in the worlds top emerging markets. Take a look at either Steve Felice’s post or Kara Krautter’s post on the Small Business blog for a bit more context on that front.
One thing of interest to a lot of our readers is that we will offer Ubuntu Linux as an option on all four of these machines worldwide. Regular readers of Direct2Dell know that we already support Ubuntu on select systems several countries.
These new Vostro systems will be introduced in more than 20 countries over the coming monthsincluding Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. They will be available primarily through authorized channel partners worldwide and also directly from Dell. Pricing for the products will vary by configuration, region and country. Additional Vostro products designed for emerging markets and high-growth economies will be introduced in the coming months.