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Dell is taking the netbook market by the horns, it would seem. First it refuses to accept that the Psion netbook trademark is a valid one, and now it bucks the market trend for not being able to sell Linux powered netbooks.

While the netbook market seems to be moving away from Linux and selling more Windows XP powered machines than anything else, dell is happy to be bucking the trend. Well kind of. Two thirds of the Mini 9 netbooks it has sold have shipped with Windows XP Home, but that has not stopped Dell from shouting from the rooftops that 33 percent of them have shipped with Ubuntu.

Perhaps more interestingly are the return rates that I have been reading about. While the company that makes the 'Wind' netbook, Microstar, reckons that four times as many Linux powered machines come back as returns than Windows XP ones, Dell has a different tale to tell claiming the return rate is much less. In fact it reckons it is the same as for the Windows XP machines, and that is very low.

"We have done a very good job explaining to folks what Linux is" a Dell spokesperson told Laptop Magazine. Which makes a change from 18 months back when we were reporting that Dell staff didn't seem to know that Ubuntu was even an option.

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

I have an Asus Eee running Linux and it's a very good machine. The whole idea with a net book is that you use it mostly to access the internet. If you are using internet-based apps with it, then the underlying OS doesn't matter. I'm not sure why people would have any problem running a browser no matter what OS they were running. It's not rocket science and requires little expertise. The Eee has done a very good job of presenting apps in a tabbed interface divided by task, so if you want to use a local app like Open Office it's very simple to find and use. Anyone who has used a Windows machine should have not problem finding their way around.


I have a Dell that came with Ubuntu already installed on it. I had no previous experience with Linux but I found Ubuntu easy to use and I am starting to learn a little about Linux. I love it.

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