One Third of Dell Inspiron Mini 9s Sold Run Linux

Android may give Linux a boost on netbooks, but according to Dell, its Inspiron Mini 9s with Ubuntu have already seen a steady sales stream coupled with low return rates.

While MSI told us a few months back that Wind netbooks running SuSE Linux saw 4x higher return rates than that of XP machines, Dell has had quite the opposite experience with its Inspiron Mini 9 offering with Ubuntu. "A third of our Mini 9 mix is Linux, which is well above the standard attach rate for other systems that offer Linux. We have done a very good job explaining to folks what Linux is," says Dell's Jay Pinkert.

Dell attributes part of the Linux growth to competitive pricing on the Ubuntu SKUs. "When you look at the sweet spot for this category it is price sensitivity, and Linux enabled us to offer a lower price entry point," added Dell senior product manager John New.

According to Dell, the the return rate of Ubuntu running Mini 9s are comparable to the XP rate, which we are told is "very low." "Our focus has been making sure that before the order is taken is that the customer knows what he is getting," New added.

Beyond educating customers before they make a purchase, the success of Dell's Ubuntu offering may also be attributed to the easy to use graphical user interface that they have created which makes it easier to launch popular programs and Web tools. What do you attribute the success to?