We knew that project Sputnik, the idea of creating a developer laptop based on Dell’s XPS13 ultrabook and Ubuntu 12.04LTS, would have appeal but we never could have anticipated the response we’ve gotten.
To put it into perspective, the most cumulative views I’ve had of a blog entry before Sputnik was 2,700. My post introducing Sputnik, as of tonight, has had over 42,000 views! And the news has been carried by a boatload of pubs and blogs around the world (see a partial list below).
Silent but not sleeping
In case you’re wondering, the radio silence for the last couple of weeks hasn’t been intentional our little team has just been crazy busy. Not only have we gotten attention outside of Dell but our profile has raised quite a bit inside as well. Our skunk works team has been scrambling to leverage that attention to see what we can do to put this on a faster track. We have also had a bunch of meetings with Canonical to talk about the best way forward given the intense interest.
Whole lot of feedback
We have been deluged with comments and suggestions both on my blog and the Sputnik Storm session and while there were plenty of people who said they would buy it now if it was available, we also received some clear direction on where people would like to see this offering go. Some of the key areas for improving the offering are:
- Multi gesture support for the touch pad (more on that in a second)
- Screen resolution
- More memory (8GB+)
- Matte screen
- Pricing: don’t make it more expensive than Windows
We are making note of these suggestions as we plot our way through this six month pilot.
The track pad
Its no surprise that the number one complaint has been the lack of multi gesture support in the touchpad. Canonical and Dell have reached out to the vendor and last week they began working on an open source driver. The vendor is sending both Dell and Canonical intermediary versions which will allow us to iterate on them as they’re developing and provide feedback about what’s working and what isn’t with the way things are assembled. Fingers crossed, we hope to see the completed driver by the end of June.
Update June 21: the driver for the touchpad is now available!
Thanks everyone for their amazing interest Sputnik and look for a bunch more info soon.
Extra-credit reading — some Sputnik coverage
- DevOpsAngle: Dell Announces A Linux Laptop Designed for Developers
- GigaOm: Dell tests open-source laptop for developers
- VentureBeat: Neckbeards, rejoice! Dell’s new Linux ultrabook was developed just for you
- Hacker News: Dell Announces A Linux Laptop Designed For Developers (devopsangle.com)
- The Register: Dell puts Sputnik open-source laptop on launch pad
- Engadget: Project Sputnik: Dell’s Ubuntu-based XPS13 laptop for developers
- WSJ: Dude, Dell’s Building an Open Source Laptop
- The Verge: Dell’s Project Sputnik pairs Ubuntu with the XPS 13 to help create a developer’s dream
- Ars Technica: New Dell Ubuntu ultrabooks a step in the right direction for Linux support
- USA Today: Social media is reinventing how business is done – USATODAY.com
- Forbes: Can Dell’s Open Source XPS Ultrabook Steal Apple’s Thunder?
- Stephen O’Grady: Why a developer laptop?
- Cote’s Blog:Project Sputnik
- InfoWorld: Dell plots Ubuntu laptop for developers with eye on OpenStack cloud
- PCWorld: New from Dell: an Ubuntu Linux Laptop Targeting Developers
- Dell Designing Developer Oriented Laptop – Slashdot
- Dell Announces Linux Laptop For Developers – ITProPortal
- Dell readies Ubuntu Linux laptop for developers – ZDNet
- Dell releases Ubuntu 12.04 image for XPS 13 ultrabook – The Inquirer
- Dell announces Project Sputnik pilot program, plans to create a laptop for mobile and web developers – Ubergizmo
- Dell touts Linux laptop for Android, JS devs – TG Daily
- Dell plans Ubuntu laptop for developers – ZDNet UK
- Dell working on Ubuntu Ultrabook for developers – PC Pro
- Dell targeting developers with XPS 13 and custom Ubuntu – Slashgear
- Dell goes after devs with Ubuntu-based Sputnik – Bit-Tech
- Dell’s Project Sputnik Uses Ubuntu 12.04 On XPS 13 – Developer’s Dream Machine – Crazy Engineers
- First look at Project Sputnik: Dell’s XPS ultrabook with Ubuntu Linux – Liliputing
- Developer Laptop launches: Project Sputnik | ServerGround.net
- Dell tests open-source laptop for developers — Cloud Computing News
- Dell presenteert ontwikkelaarsversie XPS 13-ultrabook met Ubuntu | Tech-nieuws
- Dell prepara un portátil para Desarrolladores con Ubuntu y Software Libre | www.cyanogenmod.info
- Project Sputnik: un portátil para desarrolladores Open Source
- Für Entwickler: Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook mit Ubuntu
- Sputnik Project: Dell e Canonical insieme per un ultraportatile Linux – Netbook News
- Dell experimentiert mit Ubuntu-Entwickler-Ultrabook | Edv-Sicherheitskonzepte.de – News Blog aus vielen Bereichen
- เดลล์ เปิดตัวโครงการ Sputnik: Ubuntu 12.04 สำหรับ XPS13 | Magento-Thailand.com | Magento, รับทำเว็บไซต์ Magento, รับทำเว็บไซต์ร้านค้า เว
- New Dell Ubuntu ultrabooks a step in the right direction for Linux support | Share Blog
- New from Dell: an Ubuntu Linux Laptop Targeting Developers | Geeklin
- Ultraportátiles Dell con Ubuntu, para desarrolladores web
- Dell plans Ubuntu laptop for developers | BussinessTree News
- Компания Dell представила специализированный ноутбук для разработчиков, укомплектованный Ubuntu | PROUBUNTU
- Projekt Sputnik – laptop dla deweloperów | OSWorld.pl
- Dell Designing Developer Oriented Ubuntu Laptop
- Dell Working On OpenStack-Friendly Ubuntu Laptop for Developers | PHP World
- Dell annonce un protoype de développement d’un portable avec Ubuntu | LinuxBe.org
- Dell porta Ubuntu sul suo Ultrabook XPS13 – Gizmodo IT – Il gadget weblog