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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Dell users want Linux, or at least clean Windows

Dell has been encouraging customers to post their suggestions for future Dell products, and respondents are calling for Linux PCs.

The Dell IdeaStorm Web page has been up for almost a week, and has generated a number of responses from budding strategists and enthusiastic users. The most popular theme so far has been a call for Linux on Dell PCs, which the company actually used to do several years ago. A post calling for preinstalled Linux distributions is the most popular comment on the site and there are dozens of similar comments spread throughout the site.

Dell's experiment in Web 2.0-inspired community building has also drawn users complaining about the amount of unwanted free software--bluntly known as "crapware"-- on Dell PCs as well as the company's use of technical support personnel in countries outside of the U.S. The company has said it is monitoring the comments and will consider acting on some of them. But ideas such as revisiting the old "Dude, you're getting a Dell!" commercials with "a cute surfer chick" and "sue Microsoft" might not get as prompt attention as some of the others.