Frankly, news that Dell is starting to put less emphasis on Ubuntu for the desktop is not at all a shock to me. They have always been a Microsoft shop. Their only motivation to try Ubuntu at all was in hopes of tapping into a new growing market.
Yet as many other vendors have found out already, selling Ubuntu notebooks is way more lucrative than trying to peddle off full sized desktop machines. Considering just how easy it is to build your own system, there is little motivation for the geek set to buy pre-built desktop PCs pre-installed with Ubuntu. No, the real money is in pre-installed notebooks. And any desktop sales will likely be picked up elsewhere, or simply by those selling parts such as resources found on Froogle.com.
How will all of this affect Canonical? It’s difficult to say, as I am not all that convinced much of their revenue actually came from Dell in the first place.