Announcing project Sputnik Beta program


Last week project Sputnik got an official presence on dell.com.  While the project is still a skunk works effort rather than a product, we are rapidly gaining traction within the company.

If you’re not familiar with project Sputnik, its a laptop pilot targeted at developers and based on Dell’s XPS13 ultrabook and Ubuntu 12.04LTS.

The new page points you to where you can buy an XPS13 (unfortunately still pre-loaded with Windows at this time), where you can get the image to load, where you can offer suggestions, read about people’s experiences and where you can sign up for a beta unit.

Be a Beta Cosmonaut

If you are interested in getting your hands on a project Sputnik beta unit we are now recruiting volunteers for the Sputnik Beta Cosmonaut program (and yes we know the original Sputnik was unmanned, we’re taking artistic license here).  A limited number of applicants will be selected to receive a discounted, beta version solution (Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook with Ubuntu 12.04LTS pre-loaded).

If selected, all we ask is that you use the system regularly and give us your honest feedback on the project Sputnik forum.  It will be interesting to see if we get five people applying to be cosmonauts or 5,000.  Stay tuned…

To apply, please fill out this form.

Project Sputnik forum and wiki

Along with a landing page on dell.com, we recently launched a project Sputnik presence on Dell TechCenter.  On TechCenter, you can find a Sputnik wiki as well as the forum I mentioned above to share experiences with Sputnik and file bugs.

BTW both Dell and Canonical will be at OSCON and one of the things we’ll be talking up is project Sputnik.  Stop by and say hi if you’re there.

Key links

Pau for now…

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44 Responses to Announcing project Sputnik Beta program

  1. Barton George, love the new Dell page. One thing I can relate about the whole Ubuntu and Web Development experience is that customization and tweaking is key as is fast modular deployment. The XPS 13 is an awesomely fast machine but I think something based off of the Precision Mobile model is actually much much better.

    Why the Precision Mobile Configuration?

    + The monitor is TOUCH capable, meaning that with the Mobile Precision developers can test applications and apps meant to run on tablets or mobile phones in a highly accurate way. This is great not just for developers doing Android, Tizen or standard HTML5 but also good for those developers who want to develop Windows 8 Metro Apps. With this touch screen you ensure that you can hit all developer demographics and include those who do Windows 8 Metro apps too which is really awesome…

    + Dual hard drives support and the ability to swap the hard disk with a click is ideal. I know that partitioning is non-ideal. It’s best to keep Windows on one hard drive and Linux on the other to keep them totally separate. If I had a Precision laptop with two hard drives one would be running Ubuntu 12.04 and the other Windows 7 or 8 so I could develop for both worlds also.

    + Large 17″ monitor is awesome. I can only imagine all the fun I would be having running all those terminals and editors. This is one thing that the Mac Pro is great for, the large monitor is great for developers.

    + Quad core processor would make Ubuntu fly and the Nvidia Quadro graphics have a long history of great Linux support due to their usage in film graphics studios in Fedora workstations at places like Pixar and Dreamworks.

    + Modular design is great for tweaking or increasing RAM if needed, the developer can hold the machine for twice as long because upgrading is easier.

    Challenges for using the Mobile Precision?

    + Price would have to be worked on such that you could bring the cost of the machine down to a reasonable level. Selling the machine pre-loaded with Ubuntu would cut a few hundred dollars off of the price.

    Hopefully you can take this into consideration and do two different Sputnik developer laptops, the Dell XPS 13 “Starter edition” and the Dell Mobile Precision “Power developer” version. The Precision would easily do very well because of the touch screen which is the “killer feature” needed by web developers doing work that is increasingly being consumed or deployed to mobile platforms that use touch screens.

    BTW…I’ve been actively promoting Project Sputnik on Google+ and would love to help in any way I can…

  2. sergio sergiampietri says:

    great initiative, i hope to be among the lucky people that will recieve the dev kit!
    Great work!

  3. [...] Project Sputnik Beta Program – Barton’s blog post unveiling details about the Project Sputnik Beta Program. Use this form to apply to the Sputnik Beta Cosmonaut program. [...]

  4. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  5. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  6. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  7. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  8. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  9. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  10. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  11. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  12. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  13. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  14. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  15. [...] DellのBarton Georgeによると、そのラップトップは今Dell.comで入手できる。Ways to explore Sputnikのところに手順が書かれているが、参加希望者はDellのXPS 13を買い、それにロードするイメージをダウンロードする。ディスカウントで買うためには、“宇宙飛行士計画”(上述)にボランティアしなければならない: プロジェクトSputnikのベータへの参加に関心のある方は、Sputnik Beta Cosmonaut programのボランティアになってください(そう、たしかに昔のスプートニクは無人の宇宙船でしたね。でも今回は有人です)。応募者の中の一定数の方々に、Linuxラップトップのベータバージョンをディスカウント価格でご提供します。選ばれた方はそれを日常的にお使いいただき、積極的にフィードバックをproject Sputnik forum(Sputnikプロジェクトのフォーラム)へお寄せください。 [...]

  16. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  17. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  18. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  19. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  20. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  21. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  22. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  23. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  24. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  25. PRajaram says:

    I wish to be a part of this project

  26. Alexander Mitov says:

    Hello. I’m 16 years old and I’m into the web (PHP, MySQL, CSS3 w/ LESS, HTML5, JavaScript) and Android development. Are my years or the fact that I’m working as a freelancer problems for my application for the beta testing group?

  27. [...] Sputnik понемногу продвигается вперед. Компания Dell открыла программу бета-тестирования, в рамках которой [...]

  28. [...] a blog post this week, Dell’s Barton George writes that the laptop is now available on Dell.com. The page points you to where you can buy the [...]

  29. [...] entered beta and is apparently “rapidly gaining traction” within Dell, according to a recent blog post from Barton George, Dell’s director of marketing for the Web [...]

  30. [...] entered beta and is apparently “rapidly gaining traction” within Dell, according to a recent blog post from Barton George, Dell’s director of marketing for the Web [...]

  31. [...] entered beta and is apparently “rapidly gaining traction” within Dell, according to a recent blog post from Barton George, Dell’s director of marketing for the Web [...]

  32. [...] entered beta and is apparently “rapidly gaining traction” within Dell, according to a recent blog post from Barton George, Dell’s director of marketing for the Web [...]

  33. [...] entered beta and is apparently “rapidly gaining traction” within Dell, according to a recent blog post from Barton George, Dell’s director of marketing for the Web [...]

  34. [...] entered beta and is apparently “rapidly gaining traction” within Dell, according to a recent blog post from Barton George, Dell’s director of marketing for the Web [...]

  35. [...] entered beta and is apparently “rapidly gaining traction” within Dell, according to a recent blog post from Barton George, Dell’s director of marketing for the Web [...]

  36. [...] month, the project entered beta stage and gaining rapid traction within Dell, according to a recent blog post from Barton George, Dell’s director of marketing for the Web [...]

  37. [...] project entered beta and is apparently rapidly gaining traction within Dell, according to a recent blog post from Barton George, Dell’s director of marketing for the Web [...]

  38. Fred says:

    Any software bundled should be open source software. Any code/patches developed by Dell should be sent back upstreams for mainline integration.

    We love Linux, but we also like other operating systems such as FreeDOS, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, DragonFlyBSD, Plan 9, and OpenIndiana. Keep that in mind.

    We want open source firmware. Please support coreboot, SeaBIOS, TianoCore.

    Not only do we like open source software, but we do also like open source hardware. Please provide datasheets and schemata.

  39. [...] project entered beta and is apparently rapidly gaining traction within Dell, according to a recent blog post from Barton George, Dell’s director of marketing for the Web [...]

  40. [...] forgotten. Dell has been toying with Linux distros forever to no avail. The article points to a Barton’s Blog post that discusses the beta program and provides a link for those interested. (The Dell blogger is [...]

  41. Valster says:

    I was thinking of getting a Mac book pro for web and mobile development. I will definitely wait and get XPS when it becomes available.

  42. [...] Jag läser om det här på TechWorld, men kungörelsen finns på Dells blogg (Announcing project Sputnik Beta program). [...]

  43. [...] Project Sputnik Beta Program – Barton’s blog post unveiling details about the Project Sputnik Beta Program. Use this form to apply to the Sputnik Beta Cosmonaut program. [...]

  44. [...] other big effort that has consumed a lot of our time is ironing out  the logistics for the Beta program we announced last month.   Stay tuned, we hope to have some news on this a little later this [...]

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