(Cross posted from the Free & Open Source Software group)

Dell is now shipping consumer computers loaded with Ubuntu 7.10 and an assortment of applications. I see this as a good thing - it exposes a large consumer base to Open Source computing, and also presents an alternative to that greatest of horrors, Windows Vista. At present there does not seem to be any savings over similarly configured Windows boxes, but it means that the consumer is getting a machine with all the correct drivers preinstalled, and saving the hassle of uninstalling an existing OS and reinstalling Linux from scratch.
Is it possible that this will be the beginning of the end of Windows domination? That providing a "legitimized" and supported (okay, for extra money, but still...) third option will swing Open Source more into the mainstream? If I were a more cynical person I might suggest that this couls rather be the beginning of the commercialization of Open Source, but I don't think this is the case - Red Hat has been in business for years commercializing Linux without derailing the Open Source nature of the OS.
Personally, I like the look and feel and stability of Linux with KDE (or Gnome), but I haven't fully adopted it for my personal laptop - mostly because the apps I use most on it are Windows based, and don't have Linux counterparts...yet. But I do use CD bootable Linux utilities at times when needed, and just for fun.

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