After collecting some 1,800 new product and service ideas from IT users and customers using an online "suggestion box," Dell Inc. has announced that it's taking the user suggestions seriously and will soon debut and sell a new line of certified, user-ready Linux-loaded desktop and laptop computers. The Dell IdeaStorm Web site, where customers and other IT enthusiasts can offer recommendations about future Dell products and configurations that they'd want to buy, was started on Feb. 16 by CEO Michael Dell, who is looking for ways to re-energize the company's sales and financial performance after several disappointing quarters.
One post that got a lot of interest was the idea that Dell bring back a reasonably priced laptop computer that runs Linux. Just a week after debuting the IdeaStorm site, the company said Friday night that the Linux-loaded desktops and laptops will be the first user-generated suggestions that it will follow. "It's exciting to see the IdeaStorm community's interest in open-source solutions like Linux and OpenOffice," the company said in a post on the Web site. "Your feedback has been all about flexibility and we have seen a consistent request to provide platforms that allow people to install their operating system of choice. We are listening, and as a result, we are working with Novell to certify our corporate client products for Linux, including our OptiPlex desktops, Latitude notebooks and Dell Precision workstations. This is another step towards ensuring that our customers have a good experience with Linux on our systems."