A couple of weeks ago we announced a Beta program for the four-month old Project Sputnik — an effort to investigate creating a developer focused laptop based on Ubuntu and Dell’s XPS13 laptop.
Since the beta announcement we have received thousands of applications from around the world. This tremendous response, on top of fantastic amount of input we have received on the Project Sputnik storm session, has convinced us to take this project from pilot to product.
This fall we will be offering an Ubuntu 12.04LTS-based laptop pre-loaded on Dell’s XPS13 laptop.
Going from skunk works to mainstream
Back in the Spring, project Sputnik was the first effort green-lighted by an internal incubation program at Dell. Thanks to the incubation program we got a little bit of funding and some executive advisers. This incubation program notwithstanding, project Sputnik has been a pretty scrappy skunk works effort to date.
The idea behind the incubation program is to harness that scrappiness and inventiveness to explore & validate new ideas & products outside mainstream Dell processes. Thanks to the tremendous amount of support both outside (you, the community!) and inside Dell, with today’s announcement, we will begin making our transition to an official, “mainstream” Dell product.
I should also mention, if its not obvious, that we have not been doing the work alone. Canonical has been “scrappin” right besides us, helping to drive the project and doing a ton of engineering on the software side.
As I mentioned at the start we have been completely blown away by the number of applications we have received. We’re currently working through logistics of how to handle the tons of applications, we’ll notify all applicants soon, and intend to keep that process and the future product aligned with the spirit of the program.
To make sure that we are listening to your ideas, please continue to post any thoughts about what you would like to see in a developer laptop on our Storm session. If you have an XPS13 running Ubuntu and want to share your experience or report a bug or issue, see our forum on Dell Tech center.
For more information on the program see the Project Sputnik FAQ
Thanks everyone for all the interest and passion, stay tuned as we push forward!
Reference: current solution details
The solution is based on the high-end configuration of the Dell XPS13 laptop.
- drivers/patches for Hardware enablement
- basic offering of key tools and utilities
- Cloud tool: will allow developers to create “microclouds” on their laptops, simulating a proper, at-scale environment, and then deploy that environment seamlessly to the cloud.
- Press release: Dell Demonstrates Commitment to Open Source Software, Developer Communities
- Dell Tech Center: Sputnik wiki
- PC World — Dell’s Ubuntu Laptop Program Enters Beta, ‘Blows Away’ Expectations
- Initial thoughts on Project Sputnik from O’Reilly’s Mike Hendrickson
- Transcript from last week’s Sputnik chat on Tech Center
Pau for now…