Ultrabooks running Microsoft's Windows 8 or 7 operating system are quite many now, which is why Dell figured it would stir all the fuss it needed for extra publicity if it just used a different OS.
Though some do not want to realize it, Linux, regardless of build, is generally quite popular, and not just among those who don't want to pay for a license.
While capable of doing most everything Windows can do (though many programs won't run easily on it), Linux has some advantages of its own.
The main one is very low vulnerability to viruses, malware, spyware, etc. Most malicious software is made for Windows kernel, so there just aren't many hackers who bother with Linux.
Linux also won the hearts of software developers, being an open-source OS.
Speaking of which, Dell gave its XPS 13 Developer Edition the Precise Pangolin Ubuntu build, plus pre-installed drivers that make sure all, or most, peripherals work with the ultrabook from the start.
Two Project Sputnik open-source tools are part of the feature set as well: Profile Tool and Cloud Launcher. They will help developers install and deploy their projects efficiently.
Overall, the new laptop from Dell is easily one of the best pre-assembled open-source notebooks we've seen so far.
Its price is $1,549 / 1,191-1,549 Euro, about $50 higher than that of the Windows version (38-50 Euro). Some may think it is steep, and they would be right, considering that Ultrabooks were supposed to sell for well beneath $1,000 / 769 -1000 Euro by now.
They again, Dell wasn't aiming for cheap. Instead, it gave the laptop an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPU, plus up to 8 GB of DDR3 RAM and a SATA III SSD of 256 GB. More details on the Ubuntu ultrabook can be found here.
Updated, December 5, 2012: It turns out the price has been dropped to $1449 / 1,105-1,449 Euro. The change was actually made within hours of the launch.