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In that case, perhaps Ubuntu/Dell should have a team dedicated to making sure that their product continues to work. Especially considering that Dell was selling their Ubuntu laptops for considerably more than similarly spec'd Windows machines...one would think that extra $$$ was going to long term support.
That reminds me of another failure of OSS and hardware vendors...a few years ago when it looked like OpenSolaris was going to take off, Toshiba was selling OpenSolaris-branded laptops. Except the chosen wireless adapter wasn't supported at the time, and ACPI S3 didn't work...and that was straight from the factory!