Using the new "Top Ideas" feature on Dell IdeaStorm I tracked all the top rated ideas from the highest voted to 0 points. From page 1 to page 400. On every single page there were a healthy number of ideas relating to Linux, Ubuntu, OpenOffice.org, Firefox and free open source software in general.
The highest voted Linux/FOSS idea had 151870 points and the lowest had 9 points. I'm sure there are other with negative votes in the remaining 79 pages. But most of those ideas were about Microsoft products. Windows XP, Vista, Microsoft Works and Office. The remainder were hardware related, things Dell just can't do or non-idea threads.
Surely this must tell Dell something about the demand for free open source software on Dell PCs? The highest voted idea of all time here on IdeaStorm is Pre-Installed Linux | Ubuntu | Fedora | OpenSUSE | Multi-Boot with 151870 points. In fact the entire first page is all about Linux, FOSS and no trial ware. That theme continues all the way through IdeaStorm to page 400.
So why then is it that Dell still insists there isn't enough consumer demand to warrant treating Ubuntu as an equal to Microsoft Windows? Remember Dell told it's consumers "if they voted for it on IdeaStorm, they would get it". Why are Dell taking so long?
Firefox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice.org are all free open source applications. Firefox 3 even supports branding! Dell doesn't need permission to distribute these applications. It simply chooses not to. Even though we voted for them.