back to article Dell moves 40,000 Ubuntu PCs

Dell agreed to ship PCs and laptops with the Ubuntu operating system after more than 130,000 people promoted the notion on the company's IdeaStorm web site. It would seem, however, that only a fraction of these zealots were willing to back their votes with cash. Dell has shipped close to 40,000 systems pre-installed with the …


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  1. E

    It's a fair statement.

    "Ubuntu fans are urged to hold back their virtual quills of vitriol..."

    I hope they don't get mad at you. I think that Redhat, SuSE, Fedora and Debian must account for the vast majority of the Linux 'market'. Ubuntu cannot be a very large player, though perhaps Dell will change that.

    Ubuntu is OK if you want a polished faintly Mac-like desktop that makes it as hard as possible for a newbie to access the raw power of Linux/UNIX.

    Now they can get mad at me instead!

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Dell will cave...

    As much as I'd like to see an open source OS thrive in a commercial market (oxymoron, I know...), I honestly believe that Dell will crumble again... Besides, as it's been said countless times, the lack of big name software publishers, like Adobe or some of the really big game houses, is going to absolutely kill *nix as a viable solution to the shit Microsoft continues to poison the IT industry with.

    Let's face it, in the consumer market, base hardware is pretty much irrelevant anymore... It's all about the peripherals and available application base. At the risk of sounding blasphemous, if something like Halo 1 were released for Linux, you'd probably see a huge increase in IT employees calling in sick (providing the video drivers were up to snuff). I'd even venture to say that the frenzy would be akin to sharks feeding, if it were a perfect world for the publishers.

    The biggest problem with Linux apps are their portability and thus fairly easily copied, cracked & hacked... Companies like Bungie, EA and Adobe aren't charitable organizations, nor are they [that] stupid. They're going to stay where the money is. And unless the open source user community is willing to belly up some cash and prove that they're willing to play by the rules of capitalism then I rather doubt we're going to be given a larger catalog of applications to pick from.

    So, I think after the initial shock wears off, you will see Ubuntu quietly go the same way as Red Hat, as an option in the Dell product offering...

  3. J

    Not mad at all, but...

    I'd have to point out, E, that while I agree that in some respects the GUI of Ubuntu (specially the vanilla, GNOME-based one) is calculated to look dumbed down a bit compared to others, I see that the program to access the terminal is exactly in the same place as it is in all other distributions I've seen: buried inside some menu (in the case of Kubuntu, System, I don't remember what it is in my old SuSE 9.2 I use at work but I suspect it's similar). And that is where the "raw power" is. That's why the first thing I do after installing any distro is adding a shortcut to the terminal just beside the virtual desktop switcher (aka Pager). Even better, I assign the "Win-T" key combination to Konsole and don't even have to reach for the mouse. :-)

    Now, 40,000... Nice number. Until you compare to 10 million. Per quarter. Gee... Oh well, maybe that's 40,000 that they would have never sold to these people after all. Anyway, that's a nice number, compared to 130,000 asking for it. I mean, more than 30% willing to put their money where their mouth is? I'd say it's surprising, even if they are not all the same people for sure... I'm happy as long as I am using it, that's what I care for really. ;-)

  4. Alan Donaly

    Not sure if this is good or not.

    Considering the somewhat blunted nature of Ubuntu and Dell for that matter it's something I hope people find them useful.

  5. Ray

    It's partly Dell's fault

    I tried to order an Ubuntu box. Dell couldn't sell it to me because it was only available to "home" users, but I had a business account. So I had to order a similar box with XP and format it.

  6. Adam Williamson
    Thumb Up


    well, yes, a third is indeed 'a fraction'. it's quite a *large* one, though. I'd say that's a rather good ratio of voters to purchasers.

  7. Trix
    Dead Vulture


    What Adam Williamson said. I think an uptake of about 30% from what a bunch of anonymous voters professed on the Intarwebs is an amazingly good result, actually.

    Of course, next to 10m machines per quarter, that's a drop in the bucket... but so is 130,000.

  8. Christian Hass

    It's a great initiative

    But from what I've seen the good offers still only apply to the Windows machines and the choice of hardware is too limited on the Ubuntu ones making it more appealing to just buy a windows machine and install Ubuntu afterwards.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Offer more than bottom of the range hardware!

    They only offer one bottom range PC and one bottom range laptop with Ubuntu, if they offered ubuntu across the range, say for example on the XPS laptops then I would by from dell with Linux pre-installed. As it is I purchased and XPS laptop (with Vista pre-installed) and have had to replace the OS with Linux (ubuntu!)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Since the Ubuntu PC option is about the same price as a VISTA/XP option, what do they expect. The people who voted for it probably had some hope that they would see the cost benefit of Linux appear on the Dell website, and then it didnt quite materialise exactly as hoped. Still 30% aint bad, and if you put Mandriva on it I may even go for it myself :-P

  11. xxx

    The masses don't know...

    I think its a great number 40000, keeping in mind that the masses simply don't know about the choice Dell offers. If you go to the Dell's website or any Dell shop, you will not see any advertisement for the linux boxes. I just went again to Dell's site, you REALLY have to dig somewhere to finally find the linux option. Considering this, I find the number of 40000 pretty good. Can you imagine what would happen if Dell would simple put a nice looking desktop/laptop clearly visible on its site and in its shops (or agents)... the number of people exposed would increase immensely, as would the number of sold linux boxes. It is simple as that. Look what happened in Taiwan with Asus' Eee mini laptop thingy. They sold one, each 2 seconds! All with linux on it. I live in HK and here we have very nice computer malls with lots of little computer shops, and many have this Asus product... loads of people are buying it. (they love gadgets here) but I bet most buyers don't have a clue what linux is. Its all about marketing and exposure... if you combine this with the superiority in many fields of linux, you will have a clear winner. Dell or any other major player must see a reason to push the linux options more, for now its hidden somewhere in their websites. That's a shame. Again 40000 is therefore a good result and clear indicator that they can sell shitloads of them if they only wanted to.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Dells choices....

    As Ray has already noted I also actually had to buy a vista laptop from Dell and put Ubuntu on board.

    Not that I wanted to, its just that the Dell Laptop with Vista runs like a dead dog.

  13. JohnnyG

    The poll was worldwide, the laptops are only available in a handful of countries

    Another factor in 130K voting and only 40K buying is that whilst you could vote wherever you lived in the world, the laptops are only available in a handful of countries.

    For example, I voted, but live in Ireland, where these things are not available.

    I did actually buy one for my sister in the UK (though had to order by phone).. working very nicely too. Bizarrely, the machine itself was built in Ireland.

    Other factors to consider are that only one laptop model and one desktop model are available -- so many may not have wanted that model and decided to pay the Microsoft tax on another machine.

    Add to this the fact that the availability of these machines is not exactly displayed in banner headlines on Dell's site.

    Overall, not too bad a response.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    @The poll was worldwide, the laptops are only available in a handful of countries

    I agree. I just went through Dell Malaysia's website and the only offered choice is Window$. And the only AMD-based model offered is the low-endian one.

    I would gladly pick up a Dell box if they'd sell me an AMD machine with SLI and Linux.

  15. Danny

    Small steps

    "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

    - Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu. Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)

    Kudos to Dell. Now add Linux across the range.

  16. Daniel


    who cares? what's in it for them to offer a pc with an os on it that can be downloaded for free anyhow?

    I wish they'd just offer a bare bones PC with no OS on it, at all. Then you avoid having to pay for windows, and just download whatever distro you like. That means that you can install it as you like (for instance, with a very simple partition scheme and no LVM gubbins to annoy when you try to to rebuild a kernel ...)

    And while we're at it, I wish that Ubuntu, Cent, and the rest would *stop* pretending that they are the great big scary giant slayer (dream on, f**kwits), and offer a version that reflects what they do best. That is, a version with Gnome/KDE, all the basic dev tools, and *not*:

    - Open Office

    - stupid games that noone wants to play

    - CUPS

    - bluetooth stuff

    - so-called secure linux stuff

    - power management features

    and all the rest of the gubbins.

  17. Jocke Selin

    Another point of view

    I just popped into the Dell online store, and chose a computer that I might buy if I'm not that interested in computers. So, a desktop, of a slightly lower spec but not the lowest. I went to the configuration page... and I chose my processor, and then it was time for my operating system; Vista Home Premium (included in price), Vista Ultimate (+£94!!), XP Pro (+£34.95 for an old OS!)....

    Where's Linux...?!?! There is no Linux option. So, isn't it a bit unfair to even drop the total number of sold systems into here as you can't even choose Linux amongst the total number of systems sold?! You have to know you want Linux if you're going to get it from Dell - and through my clicking on the site, I saw no symbols or information about Linux. They might have been there, but they didn't catch my eyes. In my opinion, selling 40,000 units of this hidden computer is quite a feat! One could also assume that the Joe-average-computer-buyer will never ever even be subjected to any information about Linux, let alone any sort of propaganda about why they should buy it.

    I applaud Dell's efforts and I can only hope that they open the Linux effort up to the average consumer - at least give them the option to try it out.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem with Linux for home users...

    I'm a big fan of Linux, and would never run Windows on a server, given the choice. But on a desktop, I need Windows, mainly because I need MS Office. Without it, I can't synchronise my (Nokia) smartphone with my calendar and contacts, and the little compatibility niggles between MS Office and OpenOffice would cause problems for my clients. Also, I wouldn't be able to test the web sites and applications I develop in Internet Explorer, which is vital for my business.

    Regarding the mass market, if all someone wants a home PC for is web-browsing, email, multimedia and typing the odd letter, there's no doubt many of the Linux distros around can fulfill this. But, most people will either get a knowledgeable friend or a professional home IT support person to set their computer up, because they don't know what they're doing. And most of those (apart from the odd Mac specialist) don't know their way around Linux, so people will continue to go for Windows, and then get annoyed when they find they have to pay extra for Word and Excel.

    So, in my opinion, until these issues are resolved or there's a strong marketing push from someone like Dell for Linux (and is it really in their commercial interests potentially to sour their relationship with MS?), Linux will (regretably) continue to be a niche OS in the desktop/laptop market.

  19. Martin

    Rubbish model

    I looked at buying a Dell laptop with Ubuntu pre-linstall but they only sell it on a crappy low end machine. If they offered it on a top-of-the-range machine I would by one tomorrow.


  20. D. M

    Re: bleh

    Daniel, your idea will kill Linux.

    The only way Linux can develop big and become competitive is exactly what Ubuntu, Mandriva are doing. You must make Linux user friendly and include most common applications average users would use.

    I recently blow way windows XP and installed Mandriva on my father's laptop. He have no tech knowledge about computer/OS, and as majority of users, just want the machine "work". I had a few problems with Linux setup to do what he wanted it to do. but at the end, apart from one last thing I need to work out, he can just use the machine to do what he wants it to do. That's the most important for him.

    OpenOffice is important for Linux, users need a application they can use and able to exchange document with the rest of windows world. And guess what, average users do play card games that "no one wants to play"., same as bluetooth stuff/power management/etc.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dell / Ubuntu numbers

    The truth is nobody knows how many of each distribution are run on what hardware. I personally have 3 Dell systems right next to me at work, one running XP and the other 2 running Ubuntu 7.10, and another Dell at home running Ubuntu 7.10.

    I looked at the Dell/Ubuntu combo, but it was limited in range, so had I been buying at the time it would be a different system, and get Ubuntu added later.

    I prefer it by far if Dell just sold raw hardware, and as an optional extra installed whatever software you want, if any. Makes no sense to me to have to pay for them to install anything.

  22. OneTwoThreeFour
    Paris Hilton


    They might actually want to make Ubuntu run on Dell hardware first - it hates everything about my Inspiron notebook. No wireless, power features...

    The problem with Linux is that when it works it's good and when it doesn't it's impossible to get it work without spending hours and hours googling and typing commands at the terminal. It's a complete gamble as to if it works with anything and is a complete pain in the ass - the fact Linux is an exceptionally flaky OS is the reason it hasn't gone onto the desktop. Generally, it is a pain in the ass to use unless everything you want happens, by some miracle, to work out-of-the-box.

    Example: at the start of the year all of my flatmates (including me) converted to Ubuntu full time. That's 4 of us. Of those, only three had a working system (mine was basically unusable with Ubuntu). After two months, only 1 was still using Ubuntu (and that was only because he'd been using it before we started). One guys' new monitor refused to work with Linux regardless of what he done so back to Windows it was, and after a month of battling the other guy just decided it was too much effort to get anything whatsoever working on it. Oh, and by the way we're studying computing at Uni....

    When they make an OS that has standard applications that are easy to install, an intuitive GUI for doing configuration, better hardware support, more common-sense everything it might be desktop-friendly.

    As it is desktop Linux will never work - they should go back to the drawing board and write a desktop OS from scratch.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    I'm surprised they even sold one

    I heard that dell were going to sell ubuntu laptops so i waited until the became available. When it was announced that they were available I went to their website and tried to find them, I even used their search box, no luck. I only found the page from a link on slashdot. They were only offering a couple of crappy models. I went and brought a Samsung Q45 and nuked the vista install.

    40,000? Its a bloody miracle. If Dell want their customers to put their money where their mouth is maybe Dell should start by doing the same.

  24. jim

    sell volume dell ubuntu

    40 thousand is sales is fine i think. of the people that said they wanted dell to offer linux--i am sure many already had linux loaded on their pc and will only need to buy a dell linux machine when they are ready for an upgrade or replacement.

  25. Jon Cutting


    "When they make an OS that has standard applications that are easy to install, an intuitive GUI for doing configuration, better hardware support, more common-sense everything it might be desktop-friendly.

    As it is desktop Linux will never work - they should go back to the drawing board and write a desktop OS from scratch."

    I'm not studying computing, I'm a builder, but I have installed and configured Ubuntu on 5 systems to date, one of them a laptop (which was indeed something of a dog but I learnt a massive amount in the process). I've only really had problems with 2 Canon scanners and a Canon printer, and the printer actually works now with the latest release (7.10).

    I would have seriously considered a Dell laptop but the price was no better than the Windows alternative, and the spec was pretty basic. Not to mention the fact that you have to be a St Bernard to sniff out the relevant page on their website.

  26. randomtask

    Am I the only one to notice...

    the correlation between the 40,000 Ubuntu PCs sold by dell and the 40,000 pints of Guinness stolen recently. Is this some crazed marketing ploy by Guinness and Dell, a free Ubuntu with your pint or vice versa!

  27. Andraž Levstik

    RE: The problem with Linux for home users...

    I can easily sync up evolution with my nokia and palm... so don't see what issues you have... I agree that msoffice is a good product... and ms should try to sell it on the linux as well... not that that will happen even if hell freezes over an infinite amount of times

    And a user that only needs browsing/email/docs doesn't really need a knowledgeable IT person around since with linux they wouldn't hit 90% of the issues that happen on windows... And the other 10% could be most likely solved by a reboot of some sort...

  28. Chris

    @Dell will cave

    "The biggest problem with Linux apps are their portability and thus fairly easily copied, cracked & hacked... "

    Eh? You clearly have no idea do you? A proprietary product on Linux or Windows has the same chance of being hacked - the OS makes no difference.

    I think you're confusing Linux with Open Source. The majority of apps on Linux are open source and so can be 'hacked', but there are lots of paid-for and non-Open Source apps available on Linux, which can't.

    I also think the number of 40,000 is encouraging, but I do think Dell could do more to make Ubuntu a more attractive option:

    1. Actually advertise it - duh!

    2. They've only recently put the word Linux on the link to them rather than just the rather non-specific 'Open Source'.

    3. If you upgrade the basic Ubuntu model it then becomes *more expensive* than the equivalent Windows model. That's a stupid artifact and needs removing.

    As has been pointed out before many people buy a Windows machine, but still put Ubuntu/Linux on it. This can be for several reasons; a safety net, a cheap way of getting Windows for occasional use, the Windows model is cheaper or not available with Linux, etc. So the 40K figure is an underestimate.

    Clearly, Dell has to make a business decision on whether to continue supporting Linux, but I think the demand will only get stronger as more people become aware of the possibilities of Linux.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Linux is more expensive than MS OS's (apparently)

    went to Dell's website, built two systems that were **almost** exactly the same, one with XP and one with Ubuntu. Ubuntu system cost £20 more; system with XP whilst being £20 cheaper also had a bigger HDD (~200GB compared to the Linux offering of ~160GB).

    WHY? I asked Dell this via their online chat function; their answer? "That's a marketing question, prices fluctuate, come back and check again soon". What a load of old toss.

    I would like to buy the Linux box, but won't now as I feel cheated that a system bundled with a free OS is more more expensive than a system bundled with a chargeable OS (with the same hardware).

  30. David

    Why just Dell?

    I seem to recall that there are other large computer makers in the market. How about HP, they sell direct, and after a couple of minutes on their UK site I could surmise that they only sell Windows, and Vista at that (no XP options).

    Or is it they just don't want the competition for HP_UX? Cough, cough.

  31. Anonymous Coward


    Studying "Computing" at University these days, I am amazed you could even assemble a PC, let alone install an OS correctly....

  32. Ash
    Gates Horns

    Just got Ubuntu working on my home PC...

    Maybe some of the folks who voted, like me, already had a PC which he wanted Linux on, but didn't have the technical wherewithal to perform the task himself? Or wanted some support for it if it went wrong?

    I wouldn't buy a Dell PC, but anything to help some other chap save himself some pennies on the Microsoft Tax seems a good cause to me.

  33. D. M

    RE: Hummm

    That was strange, what do you do at uni?

    Myself is a total Linux noob. I know pretty good deal about windows and general computing (I studied an worked for years in IT), I even had the useless M$ certificate when it was "hot".

    To be honest, I did have a few problems with Linux setup, but it is nothing new comparing what I've been doing for living and my experience with windows. These days, Linux is no worse than windows in term of "make it work". Most of things just work straight out of box. For the things don't work, you don't have more trouble than what you'd do in windows. I found it is very odd that you have monitor problem with Linux.

    Now consider this: since most people will have to ask a handy friend or pay for some else to look after their computers, what different it makes between windows and Linux? If both have the same kind of applications software that users want, do you think average user will know any difference at all?

    I said it before, what things that limit Linux use:

    1. Application software (include games, hell, games might be the only thing windows is good at).

    2. Hardware drivers support (getting much better now, even Canon printer works now).

    3. FUD (M$ fanboyz, Mac zealot, M$ itself).

    4. User don't know what Linux is (most of them only heard about M$).

  34. Dave

    Price Gouging

    As others have mentioned, the Ubuntu machines on offer appeared to have worse hardware and no price advantage, making it more cost-effective to buy the Windows machine with the special offers and the MS-tax and then wipe the disk and put Linux on afterwards. That's what I did, although my laptop predates the Ubuntu offer.

    Perhaps when Dell can offer the machine with no OS at a base price and then add the cost of the OS on top of that, more people will buy the straight Linux box. Even if the Linux price is non-zero because they're paying people to write some device drivers...

  35. The Power Of Greyskull

    Can't think of a title

    I'm a big Linux fan, but I bought a laptop with Windows. I reformatted the disk and installed Ubuntu. I bought the laptop (not a Dell) last Christmas as it was a blinding offer.

    It's a bit annoying that I have, by proxy, given Microsoft a few quid for something I'm not using (a Windows licence).

    What's my point? It's the bottom line. The price you pay. Yes, a Dell with Linux might be cheaper than a Dell with Windows, but I'll go for another brand with Windows if the price is right, then erase the stain that is Windows.

    OT - I resurrected an old laptop and put PCLOS Linux on it. I gave it to my dad who was having no end of grief from his Windows system (poor performance, bubblefests, adware, crashes, BSOD etc). You know what? He hasn't had ONE SINGLE PROBLEM with it in over 6 months.

  36. Daniel


    um, try reading properly. I don't say to kill Open Office, the Ubuntu Desktop, and all the rest. (Although I do believe that you are fantasising if you think that it ever will "compete" with the big commercial OS vendors.)

    I am just saying *please* can we also have a nice simple *developers* distro that doesn't have all that stuff on there? There are those of us out here who *really* appreciate Linux as a dev environment, but are not really interested in it as a windows-wannabe ...

  37. Andrew

    Ubuntu versus Mac

    Hey - we have some concrete figures here and no one has commented.

    "Dell ships more Computers with Ubuntu than OSX."

    I'm guessing this is a good level of FUD :P

  38. Adrian Midgley

    we don't buy PCs/laptops every year

    The 130 000 can reasonably be expected to buy one PC each per 5 years.

    That makes 40 000 in part of the first year look like a rather high proportion[1], not that there is any information on the concurrence between the suggesters and the buyers.

    [1] more than 100%, not 30% not that I'd rely on the rate remaining constant

  39. Ben Jury
    Thumb Up

    Why so few lines?

    Personally I think its great Dell are offering any Linux, but why o why is it only on certain machines?! I would have been so happy to have Ubuntu on the laptop I just bought from them.

    And to the kids who don't want Ubuntu for what ever reason, whats the problem? Just install over it, at least then you haven't paid the MS machine tax!

  40. Simon Westerby
    Thumb Up

    @ Daniel - Dev distro

    Have you tried Centos? Sounds like its just what you need ...

  41. Jim D

    I'm one of the 130,000

    But not, yet anyway, one of the 40,000 who have already purchased one of Dell's Linux computers. I am writing this (at work) from a Dell desktop running SLED 10 and at my other job, have Fedora installed on another Dell desktop. Both work great. At home I have two other computers, one a home built and the other an HP, both of which run Linux. I don't own, or even have ready access to a MSWindows computer. Not even sure if I would know how to do anything with one if I had to.

    I am in the market for a Linux laptop and am giving serious consideration to the Dell offering, but am hesitating for two reasons. First, the hardware does seem to be a bit low end, and secondly, since Dell has not yet moved to Ubuntu 7.10, I'm not certain that they intend to continue supporting these units.

    While Linux can be installed with relative confidence on almost any desktop unit, laptops can present challenges with wireless, hibernate and suspend modes, and possibly a few other areas not relevant to desktop installs. For those reasons, before I drop $1000 or so on a machine, I would like to know that everything will work. And to me knowing that it will work means that it will work with Linux.

    I intend to make a decision soon since I get paid quarterly on one of my jobs and I will be getting a large check on January 1, a portion of which will be going towards the purchase of a laptop. Whether I buy a Dell Ubuntu machine or take my chances on getting one and blowing Windows away is yet to be decided. If Dell were to expand their offerings and provide me with a bit more confidence that they were really interested in supporting Linux offerings, they would be assured of at least one more sale.

  42. Daniel


    I'm sitting in front of about four CentOS 5 machines right now ... doing kernel recompiles on one of them. But there was no install option that didn't have all the office/desktop stuff (I installed from the set of 6 CD's).

  43. Adam

    So how many...

    ... of these Ubuntu PCs were bought because they were cheaper than the Windows PC, but will have a hookie copy of Vista or XP stuck in the CD-drive the moment it's delivered to a house? Installing Windows is an easy task that many people would undergo to save themselves £50. I love Ubuntu, but most people "learned" on Windows and will stick to it.

  44. Frank Haney
    Thumb Down

    I'm surprised they sold so many

    The last time I checked a Ubuntu laptop was £40 more expensive than an XP or Vista laptop. If you just look at the base model machines Ubuntu is about £50 cheaper than XP or Vista but it will cost you £90 to bring the processor, memory, hard drive, DVD drive etc in line with the Windows machine.

    If I wanted to run Linux on a Dell so badly I would load it myself and save £40

  45. rvergara

    I am willing to support my vote with my wallet

    We are a consulting company and we use only Linux PC. I want to replace all our PCs with Dell/Ubuntus however we are located in Chile and Dell has not started to offer these in our country. Why not is beyond me since I presume interest for Linux in the desktop is much higher outside the US than inside.


  46. Anonymous

    Poor hardware options from Dell

    When I went to purchase an Ubuntu Dell PC, the choices for video and sound card were poor compared to what you could get with a Vista PC.

    So, what I did is buy a Vista PC from Dell, and then I installed Ubuntu on the drive.

    I think a lot of Linux supporters have done this, based on the other comments.

  47. Paul
    Paris Hilton

    It's a start

    "Ubuntu fans are urged to hold back their virtual quills of vitriol..."

    Actually this Ubuntu fan happens to agree, on the desktop it *is* a niche OS. But so was Windows, back in the days prior to version 3, and Linux is a hell of a lot better than that turd of an OS ever was.

    This is 40,000 more Linux boxes than they would have sold otherwise, and I know that as and when I'm in the market for a new laptop, Dell will now be top of my list for at least having the balls to try this. Fair play to them.

    "Installing Windows is an easy task that many people would undergo to save themselves £50."

    Damn you Adam, I just coffee-washed my entire desk when I read this comment!

    Aside from the fact that, IIRC, the Linux loaded Dells are actually a little MORE expensive, clearly you have NEVER installed a retail copy of Windows (which your putative hooky copy would most likely be a hooky copy of).

    I have, and I wouldn't repeat the ordeal if you paid me to do it for you. No fucking chance.

    Most of the people who "learned" on Windows have never installed it themselves. They bought their PC with it installed already, and the nearest they've come to reinstalling might be to restore it from the CD that came with their computer. That's a hell of a lot different to actually installing the bugger. Most normal people just keep using the computer with the original install until the cruft overwhelms it and they buy a new computer, or they pay PC World to "repair" it for them, or call on the neighbourhood/family geek to do the same.

    Paris Hilton as the avatar because the default Ubuntu login colours are a lot like naked flesh.

  48. will

    I tried

    I tried to buy an Ubuntu box, twice in fact, in both cases the order was repeatedly delayed apparently due to a 'shortage of parts' I even tried to find out what part it was so that I might be able to alter my order to get delivery but the customer service agent couldn't tell me. In the end we couldn't wait and had to go elsewhere.

  49. Kevin Fries

    Imagine how many would be sold in a fair open marketplace

    Here is the questions I would love to see Dell answer...

    If those machines were placed right on the front page, along side the Windows based machines (instead of being relegated to a special "alternative OS" part of their site), including the price breaks for not having to include Windows and Office licenses... Now how well would they sell.

    John A Consumer comes to the Dell website, and selects the features of he is interested in. He is now presented with 7 machines all of which serve his purpose. Two of the three least expensive machines run linux. One of the three is barely in the category in the bottom three (as far as price) and runs Windows. Now how many Linux based machines would they sell? When the consumer can compare side by side, and get a true sense of their options, the real revolution will begin.

    Dell is still too Microsoft centric. They are pandering to the Linux community. We want real competition, because we know we will win. Microsoft doesn't want real competition for the same reason. When you factor feature per value received, neither Steve (Balmer or Jobs) want to see Linux given a fair shake. For then they would be forced to justify their prices and profits against the value received over Linux. I don't believe either one has a sustainable answer for that.

  50. John Carpenter

    "The raw power of Linux"

    "The raw Power of Linux" Ha Ha Ha!

    Linux geek fanboys on parade!

    Microsoft marketing is looking for evangelists like you....


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