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Dell Ubuntu Laptop Developer Speaks About Future Plans

Project Sputnik, Dell‘s innovative initiative for building a high-end, open source laptop, launched a week ago with the release of an XPS 13 “Developer Edition” laptop powered by Ubuntu Linux. But Dell’s far from done on this front, according to Barton George, the brain behind the project. In an interview, he explained where Project Sputnik — and Dell’s open source channel strategy more broadly–might be headed next. Read on for what he had to say.
The Sputnik laptop released last week was the product of an effort that began about six months ago, when George floated the concept of creating a laptop tailored for programmers to the Dell Innovation Program. Sputnik was the inaugural project for the Innovation Program, which Dell established earlier this year to help inspire innovative product ideas from company employees.
The form taken by Project Sputnik since it moved beyond the conceptual stages was informed by many members of the open source community, whose feedback Dell solicited throughout the product development process. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, also played an important role in perfecting driver support for the XPS 13, according to George. And it was Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth, he added, who first suggested that the project

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