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Why Dell is selling Linux again

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As news is revealed that Dell is releasing not one but three new laptop models preloaded with Linux, the conventional wisdom that the Linux desktop and the desktop in general may be in decline is getting turned on its ear.

When Dell announced its two new business-class laptops, the Precision M4700 and M6700 devices, yesterday, they included the option to come loaded with Red Hat Enterprise Linux instead of Windows 7. This adds to Dell's Linux inventory, joining the recent addition of the XPS 13 Project Sputnik developer's laptop loaded with Ubuntu that's coming this fall.

Now, as happy as I am to see Dell expanding its Linux desktop offerings--and I really am--the cynic in me is stepping back to try to figure out why.

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