Following a recent survey conducted on Dell's IdeaStorm site, it looks like they're starting to qualify computers with Linux preinstalled for sale directly to consumers. According to a February 23rd Press Release, the models they're looking at are the OptiPlex Desktops, Latitude notebooks, and Precision workstations.
Dell has been avoiding mounting arguments for the inclusion of the Linux OS and OpenOffice for years now, but with recent pressure have started to consider Linux as a viable alternative to Windows. The question that remains, according to Dell, is which Distro they will use. Apparently they can't decide on a single distro, as users have suggested "more than a half a dozen." They're stalling because they can't decide which to endorse - they don't want to alienate any customers.
In the same press release, Dell has said that they intend to give new users a way to uninstall all of the programs that it installs on new laptops and desktops. This means none of the annoying pop-ups and "Dell-certified" software that we're all used to, and no reformatting and reinstalling windows on the new computer you just opened.
This is promising news for consumers everywhere.