While I am not a big fan of Dell, I have to say good for them on offering Ubuntu to their customers. Personally I would prefer if they offered Fedora Core but I guess with its Red Hat roots, it might seem too nerdy! Plus Ubuntu's awareness is rising. Ubuntu should prove to be a hit - if Dell could market it outside the usual geeky demographic that Linux is usually associated with. I probably won't be a huge problem as some Dell customers has proven themselves to be pretty tech savvy (though not as savvy as an IBM user!) - even managing to force Dell to start offering PCs with Windows XP again rather than Microsoft's newer, sexier but unproven and rather bloated new OS.
Speaking of Windows Vista, I had the opportunity to test the Home Premium edition on some one's new notebook (and also learnt that manufacturers do not give out recovery discs today, even on uber-expensive PCs). As I mentioned one the previous paragraph, the new OS is pretty nice to look at. But strip the glossiness away and what you have is effectively Windows XP with an updated GUI shell and some annoying security 'feature' and tacked XP Media Centre features.
The new Aero interface is a pretty slick but useless feature with no advantage to increasing productivity (that I know of! - although to be fair the GUI is now vector based making everything pretty, even when magnified). Flip 3D (win+tab) which was meant to be a GUI replacement to the alt-tab task switcher is a novelty feature at best. The first thing we did was to strip away all the useless 3D feature and special effects, then found that everything worked much faster. My opinion on Vista is if you have already have XP SP2? Don't buy it, yet. It is too expensive and it doesn't do anything that XP can't do with the right third party applications (eg. Yahoo! Widget). If your new PC happens to come with it bundled and only have 1GB of RAM, tweak it to allow for best performance or get another 1GB RAM stick. If not wait for Vienna due in 2008/09.
Better yet save that extra hard drive space and instead triple-boot Windows XP, Fedora Core/Ubuntu and Solaris.
Before I sign off I want to mention that I am currently watching the Liverpool-Chelsea match on ITV1. First live football match on the telly that I bothered to watch in a long long time (actually I am not watching, but merely leaving the telly on, with the occasional glance). I guess Jose's child-like behaviour tends to get to you. Not a fan of either... but go Liverpool!