They didn't flip flop, they just hid it. This page doesn't indicate anything about Ubuntu when you click on of the systems except for the $349 one. Hence, if you click on the Mini 10v on that page, you do not have the option to swap out windows for Ubuntu. Hence I thought that is was no longer an option.
My daughter, concerned that she wasn't going to get her favored Ubuntu netbook did some more digging. And sure enough, it's not that they don't sell it, they just hide it. Well, I guess hiding it isn't even right. It all depends on how you navigate the site. If you go to their laptops page and only select minibooks in the left hand navigation box, you get this page which does show the ubuntu version.
Clearly this is a marketing thing. They don't want to sell ubuntu (or Microsoft doesn't want them to) is one way of looking at it. Based on my experience with Dell I tend to take that view. It's always hard to find linux boxen even though they are there. But more likely, really, is that most consumers would be confused since they don't know what Ubuntu even is.
But here's the thing - the Mini 10v is a Mini 10V and you can customize it to your delight. With the exception of the operating system depending on which one you find first. Wouldn't it just make sense to make the operating system customizable? Or at least a link to the other system? For what it's worth, you can't select windows if you happen to start with the Ubuntu system.
I now remember why this will be this family's first dell ever. It's just too hard to by a non-windows system even though they offer it.
Suffice it to say though, my daughter is relieved that they do sell the Mini 10v with Ubuntu and is excited to get hers.