Even as Dell ships millions of Windows 7 systems, the PC giant is making a bold statement on its web site. Indeed, if you look hard enough you'll find Dell stating that "Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft Windows." Moreover, Dell quietly says it plans to ship Ubuntu 10.04 systems in mid-2010. Here's the scoop from The VAR Guy.

Visit Dell.com/ubuntu and you'll find a "Top Ten" list of "things you should know about Ubuntu." Item number 6 on Dell's list states:
  • "6) Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft® Windows® The vast majority of viruses and spyware written by hackers are not designed to target and attack Linux."
On the one hand, Dell states the obvious: Hackers target Windows (rather than Linux) because of Microsoft's massive installed base. But on the other hand, it takes guts for a major PC maker to state -- in black and white -- that Canonical's Ubuntu is safer than Windows. The move will surely ruffle some feathers in Redmond, and The VAR Guy wonders if Microsoft will come calling to pressure Dell to retract the assertion...

Either way, Dell's Ubuntu endorsement arrives as Canonical tries to line up more Ubuntu hardware partners.

Biggest Ubuntu PC Maker?

But the story doesn't end there. Dell claims it has shipped more computers pre-loaded and pre-tested with Ubuntu than any other computer maker in the world since 2007. (Alas, Dell doesn't disclose exact shipment figures for Ubuntu PCs.) And Dell states that it will introduce Ubuntu 10.04 systems in mid-2010.

As Ubuntu fanboys know, Ubuntu 10.04 is a long-term support (LTS) release that launched in April 2010. The offering has been generally well-received and is designed for longer-term commitments from customers and partners.

No doubt, Dell remains committed to Windows 7. But Dell's decision to ship Google Android-based tablets and Ubuntu 10.04 systems reinforces a hard fact: PC industry leaders continue to seek alternatives to Windows, especially in emerging markets like mobile devices.

Still, Dell's track record with Ubuntu hasn't been perfect. From time to time, Dell's U.S. web site (www.dell.com/ubuntu) lists only one Ubuntu system -- a netbook. At present, Dell also lists a notebook and there are hints that Dell may also come back soon with an Ubuntu desktop.

The VAR Guy will be watching. Oh, [download id="4"] about Ubuntu safety... just in case it happens to disappear from Dell's Web site.

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