Dell Starts Shipping PCs Pre-Loaded With Linux

Dell Inc. (DELL) said it is launching three computer systems, including one notebook, on Thursday that will come with the open-source Linux operating system already installed.

The computers, which come with a price tag starting at $599, will have the Ubuntu 7.04 Linux system, it said.

The move is a result of customer feedback, where Linux enthusiasts wanted the system pre-installed, the company said.

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Earlier this month, Dell joined a collaboration between Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Novell Inc. (NOVL) to allow Linux software to work with Windows on computer servers.

Linux is the most popular variant of open-source software.

Unlike proprietary software, open-source software lets developers share code and add functions, and users only pay for custom features, maintenance and technical support.