Dell to offer Inspirons with Linux in European market

Analysts predict brisk sales for the Linux computers, which are priced $50 to $100 less than similar Windows models

Following up on its spring '07 announcement that it will ship Inspiron notebook and desktops with the Linux OS, Dell chose the LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco to add the United Kingdom, France, and Germany to its Linux stable of models.

The Inspiron 1505n notebook and Inspiron 530n desktop will now both be offered with Ubuntu 7.04 Linux distribution installed at the factory.

These three European countries comprise Dell's top three markets outside of the United States.

With these systems priced on average $50 to $100 less than similarly configured Dell hardware running Windows, one industry analyst sited Dell's good timing in both the U.S. and European markets.

"The uptake of Microsoft Vista has been fairly soft. Consumers may not need the kind of hardware Vista requires," said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT.

According to King, the timing is right for a "slightly less robust" system with a less demanding OS. While this may not be the case in the U.S. market, in Europe and Asia where Linux adoption is strong, Linux may be a better choice for buyers.

The systems come loaded with Mozilla Firefox and OpenOffice.

While Judy Chavis, director of software solutions at Dell, would not commit to saying Microsoft IE and Office would or would not run on these systems, Chavis reiterated that most users will use Firefox and OpenOffice.

Dell is also offering hardware options that have stable Linux driver support.

Both systems are shipping now.

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