Dell will bow to user pressure and start selling Linux desktops and notebooks.
Based on feedback Dell began soliciting last month, Dell said that customers think the company should begin offering Linux as an alternative to Windows on its PCs, according to a posting on a company blog. Dell said it "has heard" what customers said and will act accordingly.
"We will expand our Linux support beyond our existing servers and Precision workstation line," the company said on its IdeaStorm blog. "Our first step in this effort is offering Linux pre-installed on select desktop and notebook systems."
The company said it will reveal in coming weeks which systems it will offer, testing and certification efforts, and the Linux distribution or distributions that will be available.
Dell earlier this month started polling customers about what changes they wanted to see from the company, with founder Michael Dell newly returned to the company's helm. Dell has been struggling in a PC market it once dominated, and is hoping that offering Linux on PCs will spur company growth.
Dell has now posted the results of a customer Linux poll on the IdeaStorm blog. According to Dell, more than 70 percent of survey respondents said they would use a Dell system with a Linux OS for both home and office use, and said they wanted a choice between Linux and Windows on both notebook and desktop offerings.
The majority of survey respondents said that existing community support forums would meet their technical support needs for a tested and validated Linux OS on a Dell computer and indicated that improved hardware support for Linux machines is as important as the distribution offered, according to Dell.
Dell also said that customers are more concerned about driver compatibility and Linux kernel support than they are about which distribution Dell would choose for its PCs and notebooks.
The company is currently deciding which specific software to use and advised customers to stay tuned. Dell offered more details about how it will offer Linux on PCs on its Direct2Dell blog, which is designed to collect customer feedback.