There has been a flood of requests on Dell's recently launched online suggestion box, IdeaStorm, for Dell PCs to be available with pre-loaded Linux operating systems and open-source desktop productivity applications. The Round Rock, Texas-based PC maker has not made promises, saying it would work to "certify" its PCs for some versions of Linux and would consider taking further action.
The OpenOffice Project has sent a letter to Michael Dell, showering praise on Dell's chairman and CEO and asking him to consider pre-loading OpenOffice onto PCs. John McCreesh, marketing project lead for OpenOffice.org, also asked Dell to consider making a financial contribution to the software's development. "Let's have a conversation about how we could build an "OpenOffice.org supplied by Dell" product to give your customers what they are asking for. We'd also be happy to accept any financial contribution that Dell might offer to help ensure that OpenOffice.org continues to evolve in the future."
Needless to say, this could be a major decision for the free OpenOffice software suite and its growing user base. If Dell gives the go-ahead, competitors will most likely have to respond, which can effectively result in a major positive growth in the adoption of open-source software.