Dell has confirmed that it is developing PCs for consumers that can run multiple versions of Microsoft's Windows and Linux software simultaneously.

Dell is partnering with VMware and SWsoft on the project,
the new machines would use "virtualisation" software to run multiple, software-generated computers on one machine.

As well as PC owners being able to take advantage of features of two differing operating systems, there are many benefits for these kind of set ups. One being security.

A virtual machine could run one system for every day computing tasks, while another would be used just browse the internet, limiting any security threats.

It could also give the Linux operating system a boost from consumers who would like to use the open source software but don't want to lose out on the wider compatibility that Windows offers.

Kevin Kettler, Dell's chief technology officer, confirmed this news while at the Linuxworld conference.

Kettler would not say whether these new computers would be able to run Apple's OS X software: "I can't speculate on that", Kettler said.

According to Kettler these PCs could go on sale as early as next year.