Dell Customers Say What They Want, Aren't GettingBy Jessica Davis | Print
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Dell's new IdeaStorm site shows users are clamoring for open-source software and better customer service.Less than two weeks after PC maker Dell premiered Dell IdeaStorm, a Digg-like Web site focused on determining which improvements customers want made to Dell's products and services, visitors have submitted more than 2,000 ideas and nearly 150,000 visitors have voted on those ideas.
Visitors' top concerns relate to the issues of open-source software and better customer support. Top-rated ideas currently include offering PCs with pre-installed Linux and OpenOffice, and offering "clean" PCs without all the pre-installed software such as AOL, EarthLink and Google. Another user requested a PC without a preloaded operating system. Others asked for preloaded Firefox as the default browser, and for Linux drivers to be fully supported on all Dell hardware.
One idea recently submitted to the site suggested that Dell go indirect if it really wants to make a dent in Hewlett-Packard's printer market share. But so far calls for Dell to create a channel program have not ranked high in popularity on the IdeaStorm, often garnering less than 100 votes.
Dell launched the new site on Feb. 16 amid significant changes at the company. CEO Kevin Rollins stepped down and Michael Dell returned to lead the company in that role at the end of January. The moves marked the beginning of a new wave of executive changes at the company, based in Round Rock, Texas, and spurred even more speculation about what's next for Dell, which suffered less than stellar performance in 2006, losing market share to rival HP.