Dell has made a strong effort to support the Linux community. It recently released a $250 Ubuntu laptop.
“A third of our Mini 9 mix is Linux, which is well above the standard attach rate for other systems that offer Linux. We have done a very good job explaining to folks what Linux is,” Dell’s Director of Marketing Jay Pinkert to Laptop Magazine.
Late last year there was a ruckus in the blogosphere in regards to Linux netbooks having a four times higher rate of return. But Jay said that the return rate was comparable. MSI wasn’t running Ubuntu so maybe the distro is all the difference? Hardcore linux users could also be choosing to buy Dell.
Jay cited Linux’s ability for Dell to offer a very low price point as a key advantage. One of the largest computer manufacturers is basically saying that operating systems are a commodity.
Linux has always needed strong corporate sponsors to gain marketshare. It would be interesting to see how things will change once Google’s Android OS is released for the netbook market.