Dell (heart) Ubuntu = A giant leap for linux

Dell announced today that they will be pre-installing Ubuntu on a small variety of their laptops. I see this as both good and bad.

It could be bad because Linux does not have access to drivers or information to create drivers like M$ does. I know there have been multiple interfaces created for the iPod, cameras, etc. Unfortunately, most Win users are adjusted to having a third party CD to install drivers/software, or having Win automatically identify the device. Also, codecs are not included in a typical Ubuntu install that are included in Win. I am curious how/if this will be worked around. Perhaps Dell will pay a licensing fee to some codec owners for Ubuntu to include them by default legally?

Now, the good thing is that M$ will have some competition (albeit small) in the desktop market with one of (the?) largest desktop distributors in the US. Undoubtedly, Ubuntu will gain some leverage with hardware makers to get insight into developing drivers, or possibly getting them released by the manufacturers. That progress would benefit the whole Linux community.

I do not know how this step will end for Dell or Linux, but I am hopeful. I’ve been running my Dell D800 on Feisty since it was Herd 2 with no problems. Maybe this won’t be that long of a road.