Project Sputnik

Today one of the projects I’ve been working on at Dell is launching: Project Sputnik. Barton George is the one running it, while I’m just pitching in here and there. We started an internal incubation/innovation program a few months back to encourage ideas like this and Sputnik was the first project we picked.

Barton has a super-detailed post, but the upshot is: we’re exploring the idea of a developer-centric laptop starting with Ubuntu running on an XPS 13z. Canonical has been kind enough to get Unbuntu up and running on the laptop (thanks!), and now we’re doing some open innovation to explore the idea of what a developer laptop would look like.

We’ll be developing a tool-chain and a tool-driven service that lets developers layer on various pre-wired profiles, like “PHP developer,” “JavaScript developer, etc.” Ultimitly, I’d like to see us come up with an end-to-end approach that helps DevOps-minded folks out…but we’ll see where we end up! One of the participants in the program, Charles Lowell (of The FrontSide), and I recorded a white-board session going over some early thinking along these lines which I’ll post soon.

Our early reception has been great. People really like the experience of the XPS 13z, all the way from the packaging to the fast boot-up, to having a a solid developer environment.

We’re collecting input in an IdeaStorm session, and I’d love to hear any ideas you have. Also, if you want to snag the image Canonical built just for the XPS 13z, it’s available!

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