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In another move to recapture the top position on the market of personal computers (PCs), Dell Inc. started to sell systems with pre-installed Linux operating system. The move not only emphasizes growing popularity of Linux, but also Dell’s intention to appeal even to minor groups of computer users to regain the No. 1 spot from HP.

Dell will initially sell three systems with pre-installed Ubuntu 7.04 operating system: XPS 410, Dimension E520n desktops and the Inspiron  E1505n notebook. The systems feature dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo or Intel Pentium Dual-Core processors that can be configured according to end-users’ needs. The laptop will cost starting from $599, whereas desktops’ prices will start at $599 and $849.

The new systems target the Linux enthusiast community and are a direct result of extensive customer feedback received since February via the company’s Web site for fielding customers’ suggestions to improve products, services and operations. About 30 000 community members advocated that Dell offer systems with Linux pre-installed, and more than 100 000 participated in a follow-up survey to help determine customer preferences, including which Linux distribution to offer initially.

“The interest and enthusiasm from customers who challenged us to deliver a consumer Linux solution have been matched within Dell and Canonical, the sponsor of Ubuntu, by a team of dedicated professionals who made this happen in a phenomenally short period of time,” said Neil Hand, vice president, Dell consumer product group. “It’s fantastic to be able to offer what many Linux enthusiasts want, great Dell products with popular open-source software for work and play.”

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