Dells new focus on its range of Linux computers for consumers has will use Ubuntu as its operating system.

With Apple raising its stakes, Linux could be the next to knock Microsofts dominance in the personal computing space. Canonical is the lead sponsor of the Ubuntu project and will ensure the software works on Dell PCs.

Ubuntu carries all the consumer software from email, office programs, IM and media player. Linux has often been criticised for not being user-friendly and too complicated, however it is argued that Ubuntu 7.04 is much simpler to use.

"Dell are going to work with us to make sure Ubuntu works fully on its hardware", said Chris Kenyon, Ubuntu's director of business development. "For us it is a strong endorsement of Ubuntu and the unique support model we provide."

The range will be available from Dell in the US in the coming weeks, but no notice has been given on the models to be used for the OS.

Linux is seen as a valuable option, because it removes the cost of buying proprietary operating systems from Apple or Microsoft and has made it popular in developing countries.

We will keep you updated of UK prices and availability.