dell-ubuntu-pcsIn recent weeks, Dell.com’s U.S. website has not offered Ubuntu Linux desktop PCs. But that situation could change the week of August 2. Here’s the scoop from The VAR Guy.

Our resident blogger stirred up some market confusion on July 22, when he noticed Dell’s Ubuntu site (www.dell.com/ubuntu) only offered laptops and netbooks with Ubuntu installed. Alas, Dell apparently wasn’t offering Ubuntu on desktop PCs anymore.

However, wise readers were quick to note a July 9 ComputerWorld report, in which Dell assured readers new Ubuntu desktops would debut soon.

Tick… tick… tick. Fast forward to the present — it’s been 20 days since the ComputerWorld report — and still no sign of the new Dell Inspiron desktop running Ubuntu.

Finally, some clearer answers from Dell. According to a company spokeswoman:
“I actually went on the record a few weeks ago to say we are in the middle of transitioning from an old desktop model to one of our newer desktops and expect [a desktop] Ubuntu offering to be available in a few weeks. I really expect it to be back on dell.com by next week.”
Based on the email’s time stamp, “next week” means there’s a high probability Dell’s new Ubuntu desktop PC will debut the week of Aug. 2.

The Bigger Picture

Dell’s support of Ubuntu is particularly important to Canonical, which is ramping up a channel partner program amid potential competition from Google Android (for smart phones) and Google Chrome OS (initially for netbooks).

Meanwhile, Ubuntu-centric PC makers like System76 and ZaReason continue to witness strong demand for Ubuntu-driven computers. In particular, System76 President Carl Richell says his company has had trouble keeping up with Starling NetBook and Meerkat NetTop orders.

The VAR Guy covers channel partner programs on his own site. Follow WorksWithU via Identi.ca, Twitter and RSS (available now) and our newsletter (coming soon).