Just a few days ago, Dell launched a site to solicit feedback from customers regarding what they most want to see coming from newer systems. Some of the various feature requests include stock multi-boot systems, an option to have no additional software installed aside from the OS, OpenOffice installations and - topping the list by a margin of 2 to 1 - pre-installed Linux. Whether it be with Ubuntu, Fedora Core, OpenSUSE or others, there are more than 20,000 requests for Dell to begin offering systems with Linux pre-installed by default. Clearly, demand for such systems are rising.
That's on top of the fact that 3 of the top 5 requests (factoring in that 2 of the top 6 are duplicates) are related to including free software suites on the systems. Amazingly, things like having Firefox and OpenOffice installed took precedence over improved customer support and even greener computing. Will Dell oblige? Will customization options give you the ability to pick various software suites that could reduce the cost of the system? A few years ago I would have said "no" - but then again, a few years ago we never imagine Dell would actually begin selling AMD systems. Stranger things have happened, for sure.