|Matthew Dublin is a senior writer at Genome Technology.|
In an effort to win back developers who have switched over to Apple's Mac OSX operating system, Dell today unveiled an experimental laptop bundled with Ubuntu Linux and a slew of patches, drivers, and other utilities.
Dell is calling their new effort, launched today at the Ubuntu Developers Summit in Oakland, Calif., "Project Sputnik."
Why Ubuntu? It seems as though this was the lowest hanging fruit for Dell, given this Linux flavors' wide popularity among desktop users. While almost all Linux distributions come packed with an a combo of Linux, Apache HTTP server, MySQL, and Perl or Python, Dell is also intent upon eventually providing Sputnik users with a software stack from github to eliminate some of the workarounds for hardware and software compatibility Linux developers usually have to engineer.
Why a laptop? Dell's Barton George, director of marketing for Dell’s Web vertical group, stated the following on his blog:
This should pique the interest on bioinformatics software developers as there are a number of specifically bio-Linux flavored releases, including DNALinux, Debian, BioBrew, and Biokoppix. In theory, a development community with Dell's money behind it could prove to be a great resource.
Only time will tell if Dell's efforts are enough to win back OSX developers.
Here's a video featuring Dell's Barton George discussing Sputnik.