ARS: Dell is reportedly planning to expand its Linux lineup and is exploring the possibility of jumping into the "smartbook" market with ARM-based Linux products. This was revealed at the OpenSource World conference last week where a Dell executive touted the company's success with Linux and debunked Microsoft's claims that Linux netbooks have higher return rates.
In theory, the flexibility of the Linux platform makes it ideally suited for the netbook form factor. The open source operating system can be slimmed down and skinned to deliver a more appliance-like user experience that works well on small screens and low-resource devices. Many hardware vendors, however, lack practical experience with Linux graphical environments and other components of the desktop stack. Many of the early Linux netbooks were fiddly and problematic due to misconfiguration and other assorted anomalies. We took a close look at this issue last year when the issue of high return rates was first discussed.