Big news today is that Dell will begin shipping Linux on desktops and laptops. Bloggers are noting that the idea got lots of play last month when Dell launched its IdeaStorm site, but not much has been written about what this means for co-design. The concept, popularized by Patty Seybold, is that a company can set up a customer site to collaborate on product direction and design. That's the driving principal behind IdeaStorm. And what's really interesting is that the first newsworthy result from this project is "Linux on Dells," something that many people have been clamoring for, long before IdeaStorm. But it appears that co-design has legitimized this inevitable move for Dell ... and that it has legitimized it with numbers. As Dell noted today, an IdeaStorm survey found that more than 70% of the respondents said they wanted Linux on Dells. Never mind that polls like this are biased through self-selection. The 70% was, perhaps, just what Dell needed to rationalize this move, and -- of course -- disarm its long-time partners at Microsoft. What can they say? Recommendation to MSFT: let your customers do the talking.