It seems that Dell is actively working now on a selection of computers pre-installed with Linux. They were already offering Linux on selected servers and workstations, but now some desktop and laptop models will become available too. They did not decide yet which distributions they will support, but they seem to be following the healthy principle that the distribution is not the most important thing, but rather hardware support by free software drivers included in the upstream kernel is what users want. That means that the hardware will work out of the box in any distribution. Let’s hope their efforts will be rewarded by the community, and that other manufacturers will follow soon. It will strengthen the pressure on all kind of computer parts manufacturers to make sure their boards are supported by Linux.
Seeing how much people in my environment are starting to talk about Linux, that there is always a delegation promoting Linux (Unfortunately Ubuntu centric) on most computer fairs in Belgium, that sometimes I see random people in the train using Linux, gives me the confidence that Linux is here to stay, and actually is already becoming mainstream!