Dell is apparently expanding the number of machines they offer with the Linux Operating System. For people who want to use a computer for all the usual stuff like email, web browsing, office documents etc, these machines are the perfect tool. Better still they make excellent web development tools also since they come with Apache/PHP/Perl/MySQL and about a hundred development tools (editors and such). As an added bonus you get to avoid the Microsoft tax and get a machine that is faster and more responsive than it would be running Vista (depending on who you ask, but I doubt even Microsoft would argue since some of the machines are mid range laptops.)
You have to give credit to Dell, these Linux offerings may not initially amount to much financially for Dell, but they will now go down on record as the first of the top 5 PC manufactures to market and sell Linux pre-installed on their standard desktop hardware. The way Linux usage is going everywhere else, (from smart phones to supercomputers) they are unlikely to be the last huge company to support Linux on desktops, but nobody can argue they were the first to go mainstream with it.
Do we need or want an Open Source search engine? This is one I am not sure about myself. The way Widia are talking about using human intervention to increase relevancy is great, I only worry that the results will be slued toward personal preference or buddies rather then the relevance of the content itself. Time will tell because things seem to be moving along nicely for Wikia who just purchased a distributed spider called Grub to further their cause.
Apple usage is growing, Microsoft’s is apparently growing more, So says Microsoft anyway. My own belief is that there is room for all, I just would love to see the playing field more even between Windows, OSX and Linux so that none of them can ignore supporting each other. That would be the perfect world of choice.