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This seems like the sort of thing where they don't really care whether they sell any or not. Gaming on Ubuntu is a hot blog topic right now, so they took an existing product and put Ubuntu on it. Probably cost a couple thousand to do all the paperwork surrounding a new SKU, and they'll probably sell enough of these to make cover that. Boom, Free marketing and some cred with the indie gaming & Linux community. And if Steam on Linux does take off, they've already got their foot in the door.

It's kind of awesome that we're at a place where releasing a Ubuntu desktop is a matter of "why not?" Rather than "why?"

Agreed, this probably was a minimal cost compared to the positive publicity among the tech crowd. I hope Dell is going to be more innovative in the future and tries a few things as they are no public company anymore, i guess this can only help in the long term.

In my oppinion Ubuntu give Dell the opportunity to differentiate from the market. A good idea would be exklusive Ubuntu machines.

Sort of.. We begged Dell for Linux/Ubuntu for years, and they finally give it to us.... Right after Ubuntu drove away a huge portion of their users with the Unity/Precise fiasco. Big corporations, always a lap behind.

>drove away a huge portion of their users

We have any actual data or even reasonable estimates about just what proportion they drove away?

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