Dell users demand Linux laptops

Dell leaders are considering a request by users for laptops running on Linux instead of Windows, after thousands of users voted for it on a company blog.

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Dell leaders are considering a request by users for laptops running on Linux instead of Windows, after thousands of users voted for it on a company blog.

The idea appeared Friday on a company-hosted blog called Dell Idea Storm. Chief executive Michael Dell unveiled the blog 16 February as part of his effort to reinvigorate the struggling company. Dell said he hoped to use the blog to collect users' feedback and improve customer service.

Since then, company executives and department heads have been monitoring the site, paying closest attention to the ideas winning the most votes, Dell spokeswoman Caroline Dietz said.

The most popular threads included demands for Linux-based laptops, consumer PCs that are not pre-loaded with unsolicited applications and requests for Sun's OpenOffice applications instead of Microsoft's Office suite. Popular requests also included a preference for Mozilla's Firefox web browser instead of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, and pleas for Dell to stop routing service calls to operators in overseas countries such as India.

Dell leaders have heard those ideas "loud and clear," and plan to post a statement on the blog this week explaining how they will react, Dietz said. But she warned that the company would judge ideas on more than just their popularity.

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