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The Linux desktop’s rising popularity

Who says Linux has to stay in the server room? It may not be on every desktop yet, but the operating system — and open source generally — is coming ever closer to being a household name.

That seems to be the message on Dell Ideastorm, anyway, where PCs with Linux or OpenOffice.org pre-installed are currently the two most popular requests.

Ideastorm is Dell’s Digg-like suggestion box, where users can submit their ideas and vote on them. The top-five ideas as of the writing of this blog: pre-installed Linux; pre-installed OpenOffice; a bare-bones Windows installation; a Linux laptop; and an option to just buy the computer raw, without any system pre-installed.

Microsoft may be pouring oil on the fire if Vista’s anti-piracy policies end up driving desktop users to Linux, but it probably has a bit of time. Windows is still the main operating system at companies around the world, and Linux applications may still need work before they’re ready to go mainstream.

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