Dell originally announced that it was going to ship Ubuntu systems, only in the U.S., on May 1, 2007. On August 7, 2007 they announced the addition of Germany, France and the U.K. Most recently, on February 21, 2008, they announced the addition of Canada and all of Central and South America.
Dell as a company is clearly not doing this as a charity or public service; there is a real demand for these systems, contrary to what the occasional naysayer (do consider the source) would have you believe.
I expect that in the not-too-distant future, Dell will add Australia and more (if not the rest) of Europe to the list of nations being offered Ubuntu systems. I wouldn’t be surprised if the timing is planned for shortly after Hardy Heron (Ubuntu 8.04) is released in April, or its update (aka ‘service pack’ in Microspeak) 8.04.1 in June.
[post submitted to ELL]
Update: Now China too! (announced March 3)