Linux comes to ultrabooks: Dell to preload OS on XPS 13

The open-source operating system is going to land this fall on one of Dell's best ultrabook offerings.

The 13-inch Dell XPS 13 ultrabook with Unbuntu Linux could sell at a discount to the Windows-based version.
The 13-inch Dell XPS 13 ultrabook with Unbuntu Linux could sell at a discount to the Windows-based version. Dell

Dell will sell its sleekest ultrabook with a version of Ubuntu Linux this fall.

The Dell XPS 13 ultrabook will be offered with Ubuntu 12.04LTS preloaded in select geographies, the company said in a statement.

The initiative is an extension of Project Sputnik, a pilot project aimed at creating an Ubuntu-based developer laptop.

Dell is taking the project "from pilot to product this fall" and allowing developers "to create 'microclouds' on their laptops...and then deploy that environment seamlessly to the cloud."

"Since we announced project Sputnik a little over two months ago, we have continued to be amazed by the amount and quality of interest and input we have received," said Barton George, project Sputnik lead and director Dell's web vertical marketing.

The XPS 13 is one of the better ultrabook designs to emerge from a top-tier PC vendor this year. It squeezes a 13.3-inch screen into a footprint more typical of 12-inch laptops, boasts Gorilla Glass, and is constructed from aluminum and carbon fiber, allowing Dell to keep the weight to just under three pounds.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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