Dell is planning to ship the new Ubuntu 7.10 on their Ubuntu desktops and laptops.

“We will offer Ubuntu 7.10 preinstalled on our systems soon,” said Anne Camden of Dell corporate communications, in an e-mail interview.
Dell isn’t ready yet to give a shipping date. “As with any OS release, Dell needs to take the time to qualify the final code on our systems for optimal interoperability,” Camden said.

I don’t imagine that it well take Dell too long to get Ubuntu 7.10 ready to ship. There is not a huge difference between the versions, especially compared to Windows XP and Vista. But there is one issue that I think could slow them down:

The PCI ID (8086:2a02) for the Intel 965GM video controller has been black-listed by Compiz-Fusion Manager in Ubuntu Linux 7.10. Reason for this is that the 965GM chip doesn’t support the necessary pieces for video to work without using EXA accelerated architecture, which is something Ubuntu Linux 7.10 does not support.

This is the problem I had with my friend’s Dell laptop. What is Dell going to have to do to get Compiz working with Intel graphics? The lack of EXA in Ubuntu 7.10 means that video playback does not work if Compiz is running. Following Dell’s workaround let Compiz start, but videos do not play. Is Dell going to have to stop offering Intel graphics now that Compiz is expected to by on by default?


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