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By Sam Dean

Among major computer hardware makers, Dell continues to show growing signs of having a cohesive, far-reaching strategy surrounding open source. We've reported on the company's work with Canonical to bring Ubuntu-based systems to both India and China, including an expansion of this effort. Dell also recently announced its Ubuntu laptop, part of its "Project Sputnik" effort, targeted at developers. And, Dell is offering new laptops with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) pre-loaded. According to the latest reports, we're going to see more open source-friendly moves from Dell going forward.

Dell's XPS 13 system with Ubuntu 12.preloaded, already became available for developers through the company's Project Sputnik program. "Since we announced project Sputnik a little over two months ago, we have continued to be amazed by the amount and quality of interest and input we have received," said Barton George, project Sputnik lead and director Dell's web vertical marketing, in the original announcement.

And now, The VAR Guy reports that Barton George has ambitious plans for Sputnik, and for open source at Dell:

"Dell’s lack of a large existing portfolio of proprietary software, George pointed out, positions the company particularly well to contribute to open source development without jeopardizing any of its other investments. Meanwhile, beyond bringing the cloud launcher and profile tools to perfection, George also envisions expanding Project Sputnik’s focus to other hardware platforms. Although he was keen to emphasize that Dell currently can’t make any promises, he suggested that it might work in the future toward releasing a more 'beasty' Ubuntu-powered laptop for developers."

You can find more on Project Sputnik here, and we should be hearing much more from Dell about open source plans in 2013.

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