A little over six months ago we announced a scrappy skunkworks project to pilot a developer solution based on Ubuntu 12.04LTS and our sleek XPS 13 laptop. Thanks to the amazing feedback and support we have received from the community, today we are announcing the availability of the resulting official product – the Dell XPS 13 laptop, developer edition.
What’s exactly is it?
Here is an overview of the components of this client-to-cloud solution and some key facts:
Hardware: XPS 13 laptop, high-end config
- I7 CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD
- Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
- Basic set of drivers, tools and utilities (complete list)
- Beta community projects: Profile tool, Cloud launcher
$1,549 $1,449* (includes 1 yr ProSupport)
*Updated 11/30/12: the community pointed out we had not priced consistently across our online stores, this has been fixed. This offering was always intended to be priced less than Windows.
- Small office/consumer – U.S.
- Enterprise – U.S./Canada
- Outside the US – early 2013
Community projects: Profile tool and Cloud Launcher
The profile tool and cloud launcher are beta open source projects that we have just kicked off on github. These projects are quite nascent at this point and we are looking for more people to get involved and help get them going (hint, hint ) .
- Profile Tool: The idea behind the profile tool is to provide access to a library of community created profiles on github, such as Ruby and Android, to quickly set up your development environments and tool chains.
- Cloud launcher: The cloud launcher enables you to create “microclouds” on your laptop, simulating an at-scale environment, and then deploy that environment seamlessly to the cloud. Today the launcher utilizes Linux Containers to model your environment on your laptop and then uses Juju to jettison that environment to the cloud. The launcher project on github will allow for community expansion on this concept using different technologies and approaches.
How did we get here?
As I mentioned at the beginning, project Sputnik began as a skunkworks effort. It was made possible by internal incubation fund designed to bring wacky ideas from around the company to life in order to tap innovation that might be locked up in people’s heads.
Just weeks after the basic concept was greenlighted by the innovation team, it was publically announced as a pilot project at the Ubuntu developer summit. The big focus of our efforts, particularly in the beginning, has been to work with Canonical to make sure that we had the appropriate drivers for all functionality including the pesky touchpad.
From the start, the idea was to conduct project Sputnik out in the open, soliciting and leveraging direct input from developers via our Project Sputnik StormSession, comments on this blog, threads on the Sputnik tech center forum as well as the project Sputnik beta program. In fact it was the tremendous interest in the beta program that convinced us to take Project Sputnik from pilot to product.
I would like to give a special shout out to the beta cosmonauts who signed on. They were an intrepid lot who were patient and diligent working through issues to help make sure that when we went to production we had a product that developers would want.
Where do we go from here?
The next big thing for XPS 13 developer edition is availability outside the United States. We are working with teams inside of Dell to make this so as quickly as we can. The other direction we are looking at potentially expanding is offering a bigger beefier platform for developers. The XPS 13 is perfect for those who want an ultra light and mobile system but we have heard from a bunch of devs who would also like an offering that was more workstation-like with a bigger screen and more RAM.
Today is a very proud moment for our team, putting together an official Dell offering for developers with their input and suggestions through out the process. Stay tuned for more to come!
Pau for now…