Round Rock, Texas-based Dell, Inc. announced Friday that it is now offering the latest Ubuntu (8.04 Hardy Heron) released in April of this year on some of their popular consumer grade laptops and desktop models.

Currently available in the United States, France, Germany, Spain, Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico and Colombia. You may purchase the following computers with Ubuntu 8.04: XPS M1330N, the Inspiron 1525N notebooks, and the Inspiron 530N desktop.

Ubuntu is an easy-to-use Linux distribution with superb hardware detection and Linux stability. A boxed version of Ubuntu is available through Amazon and Best Buy stores. See my complete entry about the Best Buy offering here.

Some new users have apprehension when it comes to Linux--and for good reason--it has a long history of being for computers experts only. Ubuntu brings Linux to everyone with its simplified installation and pre-installed options from Dell and others. Search the Forums here on DaniWeb should you run into any problems with it.

Ubuntu is the brainchild of South African Mark Shuttleworth. Development is funded by The Shuttleworth Foundation. Ubuntu releases major official updates twice a year--every six months. Ubuntu also offers its own software repository for security fixes, updates, and optional software available via the apt-get utility.

Ubuntu will always be available free of charge, several companies offer commercial support for it including Dell and Canonical.

You can get ubuntu shipped to your door from canonical. You can also download it for free from various internet sites. Best Buy is just trying to make some money.