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Dell To Offer Open Source Bundles

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the part-of-the-years-long-water-testing-project dept.

Linux Business 84

ruphus13 writes "Dell has been offering Linux-based machines for a while, especially its Server-class machines. Now, Dell has decided that there are several open source applications that are ready for mainstream consumers. From the post, 'While we've all been speculating about whether Dell is working on Android netbooks, the computer hardware and software vendor was busy bundling open source applications to offer to small- and medium-sized business customers looking for low-cost alternatives to commercial software. The pre-configured "SMB-in-a-box" software is only available in the US for now, but Dell expects to launch a similar offering in Asia by the end of 2009... Although no specifics have been given about which apps are included in Dell's first bundle, it is aimed at the retail sector.' It is going to be interesting to see what Dell picks as the 'must-have' applications for the SMB market."

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SMB != Samba (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28283539)

First I thought they are going to give Samba to the SMB crowd... Lame, I know :(

Also SMB != Super Mario Bros. (3, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283893)

Nintendo sold a different kind of SMB-in-a-box two decades ago. I believe it was called the "Nintendo Entertainment System Action Set".

support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28283541)

the money and the expense is in the support....

Bad Move, Mr. Dell (-1, Troll)

linuxisashittyos (1574017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283575)

Linux just isn't ready for the desktop yet. It may be ready for the web servers that you nerds use to distribute your TRON fanzines and personal Dungeons and Dragons web-sights across the world wide web, but the average computer user isn't going to spend months learning how to use a CLI and then hours compiling packages so that they can get a workable graphic interface to check their mail with, especially not when they already have a Windows machine that does its job perfectly well and is backed by a major corporation, as opposed to Linux which is only supported by a few unemployed nerds living in their mother's basement somewhere. The last thing I want is a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS.

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28283597)

What an idiot.

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28283603)

Linux just isn't ready for the desktop yet. It may be ready for the web servers that you nerds use to distribute your TRON fanzines and personal Dungeons and Dragons web-sights across the world wide web, but the average computer user isn't going to spend months learning how to use a CLI and then hours compiling packages so that they can get a workable graphic interface to check their mail with, especially not when they already have a Windows machine that does its job perfectly well and is backed by a major corporation, as opposed to Linux which is only supported by a few unemployed nerds living in their mother's basement somewhere. The last thing I want is a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS.

hmmm, interesting

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283825)

1998 called. It wants it's FUD back.

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28289255)

1998 called. It wants it's FUD back.

The punctuation police just knocked on the door. They want their apostrophe back.

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28289327)

I was using *only linux* from 1999 to 2001. Back then it had it's benefits but things such as localization & many drivers were abit screwed. When XP came, even though I'm a *nix fanboy I used what made my life easier, XP (which I think was a great OS from Microsoft). Now I use OS X and I'm pretty happy. I have seen Linux playing great *but* a friend just got a brand new laptop , installed linux and wireless is crap + his internal microphone is not recognised+ he has problems with sound (when he uses head speakers, sound in on for default laptop speakers as well == no music at work).

  Of course all these are not driver problems and not linux problems. Linux is out of the stoneage for good but it is not yet where is should be for laptops, this move by Dell is bood because it provides what is missing most: support for laptop hardware.

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28289375)

a couple of corrections (typos): *are driver problems and not linux problems*, *this move by Dell is good*

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28308139)

PCs are a random collection of spare parts.

Sometimes this gets Linux. Sometimes this gets Windows.

Trying to claim that it's only a Linux problem is pure bullshit.

Furthermore, Wifi in general sucks as a consumer technology.
It hasn't even matured into a single stable protocol yet and
is inherently problematic regardless of what platform you are
on.

MacOS has it's own problems: mainly NIH syndrome.

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (1, Funny)

Xentalion (1005477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283633)

Mod parent funny!

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (1)

Xentalion (1005477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28288201)

Well, I thought the obvious sarcasm was amusing.

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (3, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283651)

Stale old trolls aside, I would think Dell is more interested in putting OpenOffice and Firefox and GIMP on the Windows desktop than Linux.

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283869)

Why would they do that when other companies like Google and Adobe pay Dell to preload their software?

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (1)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284081)

Why would they do that when other companies like Google and Adobe pay Dell to preload their software?

Well, they offer it as an option for those requesting it. If they can show Adobe and Google that some people don't want acrobat and picassa, they might be able to charge to give them the privilege of having their software installed on new computers.

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28284335)

they might be able to charge to give them the privilege of having their software installed on new computers.

Dell already does get paid to preload 3rd party software.

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28285899)

Stale old trolls aside, I would think Dell is more interested in putting OpenOffice and Firefox and GIMP on the Windows desktop than Linux.

And why shouldn't they?
These applications work euqally well on both platforms, so the choice of platform is reduced to personal preference.

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28287407)

And why shouldn't they?

Because anyone with half a brain isn't running Linux purely for Firefox or
Open Office. They're doing it for other advantages over Windows at the OS
level.

- Robustness. (Assuming you're not running Ubuntu; also, if robustness is
truly a priority, use BSD)

- Security.

- Much more diverse hardware support.

- Flexibility. You can customise just about anything.

- Efficient software. You can use a 400 Mhz CPU to power a firewall or CLI
media centre.

- Openness. If something breaks, you can delve into the
source and fix it yourself, and if you can't, you can hire someone to do it.

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 5 years ago | (#28290387)

- Efficient software. You can use a 400 Mhz CPU to power a firewall or CLI media centre.

But is it energy efficient? You can get proper media centers with gui which use less than 50 watts of power compared to 100+ which your CLI machine takes.

- Openness. If something breaks, you can delve into the source and fix it yourself, and if you can't, you can hire someone to do it.

Openness is good to a certain point. It allows modifying the platform to your needs without spending too much effort.
But if my firewall or media center breaks down, I most likely wont bother to fix it(ok I'd probably try), let alone hire someone to fix it for me! Hiring people costs money and if you spent only $50 on the device/appliance it's junk after the warranty.

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28296561)

You failed to get the point.

Why should Dell include Linux, and not just the Open Source apps for the Windows platform?

Sure, Linux users don't run Linux just for Firefox or Open Office. But you forget; Firefox and Open Office users aren't using Firefox or Open Office just for Linux either.

They can, and should co-exists without depending on each other. The Open Source world isn't a package deal. Why shouldn't Dell pick and choose which parts of the Open Source worlds they want?

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28290497)

Inkscape too

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (2, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283819)

What I really want to know is why would someone spend their time posting this tired old drivel over and over... and over... and over again. It's not really going to work very well as astroturfing... and it's certainly not funny.

Ultimately, on the scale of what's "cool", pressing submit on the parent post is about as far below a "level 5 dwarf" as a "level 5 dwarf" is below a threesome with Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson.

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284711)

a threesome with Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson.

Wait, and who else?

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (2, Interesting)

revjtanton (1179893) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283827)

Hmmm...I disagree in part:

For most distro's Linux is far from being ready for the desktop for a variety of reasons. Fedora 11 came out yesterday and it couldn't be more involved to get working (I still can't get the proper alsa drivers installed!...oh and dropping out to shell is for some reason impossible for me?) but the ever popular Ubuntu is just about ripe for the picking in business environments.

The learning curve to admin a Linux network may be fairly involved, but to just use it to process documents and surf the web (which is most desk jobs) there is no learning curve. Example: my wife couldn't be more computer illiterate. Her notebook has been on the fritz lately due to hardware issues so she's been back and forth between my netbook running Ubuntu and my desktop running Windows 7. For someone who's only really used XP for the past couple of years she found each OS equally user friendly. To be fair I'm using the Ubuntu Netbook Remix which has really big buttons that say exactly what a particular app is and does, but she still understands the basic Applications>Internet>Firefox.

That said I also understand there are more specialized applications that are better suited for Windows for certain professionals. By no means is Linux a viable option for every situation, however the Ubuntu desktop option is certainly valid enough to be offered. The learning curve for basic use is all but non-existent and over-stated. If a small business can save $100 per PC for their receptionists and account executives by using Ubuntu and OpenOffice.org what is wrong with giving them the option? I for one have respect for Dell for being this open minded :)

P.S. I've been playing with Edubuntu and Sugar (OLPC) on SD cards on my netbook for my 2-year-old and even SHE understands how to use it...to a certain extent....well she understands banging on the keyboard makes things happen. Also she understands 'sudo give me ice cream' gets her a nice bowl of vanilla.

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (1)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284579)

... the ever popular Ubuntu is just about ripe for the picking in business environments.

On my home computer I have just migrated to Ubuntu from Windows (because I don't like Microsoft - I'm not going to make a big deal of it), and generally I really like it. It's intuitive and very easy to get on with in all respects bar one. It really needs a Windows -style 'installation wizard' . I'm getting used to 'sudo'-ing but God ! it takes a while and is often quite a labourious chore, and even then half the time things don't work (like my webcam).

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (2, Informative)

revjtanton (1179893) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284841)

Just about anything with .deb works like a cross between .rpm in Red Hat type builds and .exe in Windows.

Lets take Skype for example: If you go to Skype's Linux Download page [skype.com] after you click on the "Download" button they ask you what distro you're using. Regardless of what it says you just need to pick the Ubuntu option. That download will be some long string of letters and numbers ending with i386.deb. Save that to your directory of choice (probably /home/user and if you're nasty /home/user/Download...in this way /home/user acts just like C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents). Now all you have to do is double-click that file just like you would skype.exe in Windows and the Synaptic Package Manager will pretty much do the rest similar to how Windows Application Manager does.

Now there are situations where its more involved like if you want to compile your own .deb package or something, or if you're installing a .bin file, but even then it isn't really too hard considering Ubuntu's deep forum support. When it comes to business environments most network admins in small or large businesses limit what a user can install anyway. If you'd want a program installed on your office PC you'd ask the admin who'd be able to take care of it regardless.

Another easy way to install apps in Linux is through the repositories and GNOME's Add/Remove Applications feature. This feature works the same in a Fedora build as it would in Ubuntu, but Ubuntu also has the Synaptic Package Manager to give you a GUI of your repository options. With these options its as easy as checking off what you want, then putting in the root password, then using the app! That's even easier than Windows!

Your webcam may be driver related in which case, yeah you'll probably be working from terminal a lot. Many webcams don't have proper Linux driver support (like my Orbit!) but that's more of a strike against the manufacturer or the community (in Ubuntu's case Canonical) than the distro itself (its not Ubuntu's fault nobody wants to get the drivers ready for your device...there are a lot of devices to figure out!).

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (0, Offtopic)

Shooter28 (1564631) | more than 5 years ago | (#28286391)

You make your wife sound like a pet or something.

Heightist much? (2, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283873)

The last thing I want is a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS.

What about a level 3 [level3.com] little person [wikipedia.org] providing your business with an Internet connection?

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28287293)

Another time-traveler...

Keep playing with Windows 95. And don't forget to blow out the candle when you leave.

Re:Bad Move, Mr. Dell (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#28289233)

hours compiling packages so that they can get a workable graphic interface to check their mail with

How...how...how...Second Millennium! Either you haven't had anything to do with Linux for the last decade or so, or you're a Microsoft fanboi astroturfing FUD. In either case, get back under your bridge, troll. I have a billygoat, and I'm not afraid to use it!

Another experiment (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28283601)

That will utterly fail and prove how Linux sucks and isn't ready.

Get a clue Dell, by pushing for Linux now when it's a pain to use you're just showing the entire world how much it sucks. The average user doesn't want to spend months learning how to use a CLI to cut their wireless card's firmware, they just want it to work.

Re:Another experiment (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283637)

That's funny, because even so minor a distro as Puppy works with my wireless immediately upon installation.

Hardware might work better in OEM Linux (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283849)

Anonymous Coward wrote:

The average user doesn't want to spend months learning how to use a CLI to cut their wireless card's firmware

mr_mischief wrote:

That's funny, because even so minor a distro as Puppy works with my wireless immediately upon installation.

Some people are lucky to own WLAN or 3G hardware manufactured by a company friendly to free software. You are; Anonymous Coward likely isn't. But if you buy a PC with free software preinstalled, you can at least have some level of assurance that free software supports your hardware.

Re:Hardware might work better in OEM Linux (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28287117)

Or, just, you know, shove in the Ubuntu CD and see if it all works in the live environment. No luck required that way.

But sure, buying pre-installed or know-good hardware is safest.

Re:Hardware might work better in OEM Linux (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28288137)

Or, just, you know, shove in the Ubuntu CD and see if it all works in the live environment. No luck required that way.

I've done so, and things have turned out not to work. For one thing, the NVIDIA TNT2 driver that came with the latest Ubuntu LTS version (8.04) didn't go over 640x480px, when Windows could run the same card at 1024x768px. So what it turns out not to work, one has to buy hardware anyway, so why not just run GNU/Linux on a purpose-bought machine?

Re:Hardware might work better in OEM Linux (1)

pavithran (1537637) | more than 5 years ago | (#28292149)

I've done so, and things have turned out not to work. For one thing, the NVIDIA TNT2 driver that came with the latest Ubuntu LTS version (8.04) didn't go over 640x480px, when Windows could run the same card at 1024x768px.

Nvidia always was and is a pain for Free software . I really love NVidia graphics and use Nvidia graphic card for my PC (mostly with free drivers ) AMD-ATI on the other hand is trying to free as much as it could . AMD site [amd.com] says

Some of the technologies supported in our driver are protected by non-disclosure agreements with third parties, so we cannot legally release the complete source code to our driver. It is NOT open source. We do, however, include source code for the control panel and certain other public segments. We also actively assist developers in the Open Source community with their work, so if you absolutely require an open source driver for your graphics card, we can recommend using drivers from the DRI project, Utah-GLX project, or others.

Maybe we should all encourage intel .. but power hungry users would always prefer either ATI or Nvidia. I would say go for ATI as it's less evil :D

Re:Hardware might work better in OEM Linux (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294269)

Ihere may be a difference in hardware, but there's not much luck to it. I didn't buy "Winmodems" when I was running WfW 3.11 or Windows 95. Hell, I never bought an internal modem at all, but I had some given to me. I don't buy video cards, network cards, scanners, or anything else that requires some hidden binary junk code today. If there's some reason they don't put the firmware on the hardware, they'd better at least let me access it from whichever OS I choose if they want me to buy their product.

That laptop that works out of the box? It's a Dell. It's not some high-end, fancy Linux-designed laptop. It came with XP on it, but the hardware is nice, simple mainstream fare that is well-supported by both the manufacturer of the parts (Intel) and by the kernel developers and the distribution developers.

Re:Another experiment (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283795)

What kind of loser uses wireless in an SMB?

Nevermind the fact that this is an OEM solution. So you aren't going to have
such problems any more than you would with any Windows box where all of the
myriad drivers and little bits like DVD decoders are preinstalled.

Dell will smooth over the Linux problems just like they do the Windows problem.

Re:Another experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28283901)

The same kind of loser that buys Dell laptops?

Do you work at a place that still has an ethernet hub sitting in the middle of the conference table or something?

Re:Another experiment (2, Insightful)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284175)

My workplace has a robust wifi system in place, but still has ethernet switches on the conference tables. Wired ethernet is much faster, less flaky in all OSes, and more secure than wireless ethernet.

Re:Another experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28287027)

Wired ethernet is ........... more secure than wireless ethernet.

Why, do you encypt all your wired ethernet traffic too?

Re:Another experiment (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28288811)

Mostly because you know what you're plugged into. Unless your computer is configured to only ever connect to the secure job wireless (very impractical if you take it anywhere else) most people would never notice a man-in-the-middle.

Re:Another experiment (3, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283951)

What kind of loser uses wireless in an SMB?

Well, for the "medium" sized businesses in SMB.... with the advent of 802.11n, wireless to your desktop is about as effective (if you've got decent gear) and frequently cheaper than stringing Ethernet cables and hooking them up to fancy switches. Or so the marketing message [arubanetworks.com] goes:

A typical enterprise 48-port switch costs 3-5x more than an 802.11n AP, yet they support about the same number of devices in common usage. Annual wired costs are also several times higher for maintenance fees, moves/adds/changes, power, depreciation and hardware refresh. The difference is often thousands of dollars per year for every switch. Consequently, annual savings from rightsizing may well exceed the cost of a new pervasive 802.11n WLAN build out, thus achieving net budget savings in the first year.

But I work for these people; what do I know? *shrug*

Re:Another experiment (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28287889)

But I work for these people; what do I know? *shrug*

That sales accounting is second only to hollywood accounting, just ahead of bistromathics [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Another experiment (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283835)

Were one not a raging troll, one might assume that Dell seems this as an obvious business opportunity. They get to choose what wireless cards go into their boxes and they can have engineers do whatever needs doing to the system images that they ship(plus, when you order as many wireless cards as Dell does, I suspect vendors are inclined to please you however they can).

If the default setup experience sucks, that is Dell's cue to fix that and provide the fix as a value add on their systems.

Re:Another experiment (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28284007)

Just because you had the months required to make your install work as you wanted does make the GP a 'raging' troll. He's even even if the way he puts it is harsh. Then again if you weren't a raging freetard you'd realize that.

Re:Another experiment (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 5 years ago | (#28288065)

Cause dell would sell you hardware without setting up the drivers for you or making sure to select hardware that works with the OS they are selling you right?

When you buy a windows machine from dell do you have to install your wireless cards drivers? No dell does that for you.

So, is this a Dell distro? (5, Interesting)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283607)

I read TFA and also TFA linked from TFA [networkworld.com] (original sources, anyone?). I'm left wondering whether this is a new Dell distro of Linux, a package bundle on top of Linux or Windows, a package list for something like Kickstart or another automated OS installer, or a consulting and integration lineup with a preferred set of software.

With Dell talking about wanting to be a services company as much as a box-pusher and specifically mentioning training and support in TOFA, it wouldn't surprise me if this was a consulting group within the company. It's worded as if it's just a selection of software pre-installed, though, like they already do with crap bloatware and trialware.

Re:So, is this a Dell distro? (2, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28285111)

I kind of doubt it's a new Dell Distro, but my guess-- just from the term "SMB-in-a-box"-- is that it might be their normal Linux desktop/server configurations with some of the configuration done ahead of time. Getting email (including POP3, IMAP, SMTP, spam filtering, webmail) and other groupware up and running in Linux can be more daunting than setting up an Exchange box. I hate to say that because I'm not a fan of Microsoft generally, but it's true. Knowing which email packages to install and how to configure each optimally can be a little confusing.

I'd really love to see some OEM (Dell or HP seem like good candidates) roll their own distro based on the market they plan on servicing, provide their own repositories, and generally take responsibility for making the setup and maintenance of their clients and servers as painless as possible. In short: do what Apple is doing, but servicing a different market. Apple kind of has the high-end consumer locked up, they're making some headway into the high-end SMB market. Dell could use all FOSS to provide integrated solutions of the market that wants greater freedom (no proprietary pieces) or lower-price solutions.

Re:So, is this a Dell distro? (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#28294029)

Sun and SGI have both done pretty well with their preinstalled Linux (and Solaris and Irix boxes, respectively). I'm hoping Oracle and Rackable systems continue what they started in that regard.

I always preferred setting up Postfix or Exim and Courier or tpop3d (with our without Perdition) to setting up Exchange. I guess it has to do with what you're used to and what you like. Sendmail is a bitch, though. I hate m4. As for webmail, Horde used to be painful to install, but I haven't tried lately (although I'm actually doing that later today AAMOF). JAOS.org's Perl webmail is pretty easy (thanks in small part to my contributions from around 2001), but I haven't used that in years.

Since I now do web (and some desktop) software development rather than being an admin at ISPs, I just sell my customers up on a CPanel/WHM hosting package on a managed VPS or host their email on Google Apps/GMail for domains. In the former case, the SMTP, IMAP, POP3, and webmail are all configured for me. There's no sense being beholden to a pager if I'm not getting paid to be a full time admin.

Hopefully they make good choices (2, Informative)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283609)

As long as the bundled software doesn't start to act like the ad-ridden "free" software that has come with any PC I've purchased in the last decade, I'll be happy.

Well, Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28283671)

It is going to be interesting to see what Dell picks as the 'must-have' applications for the SMB

Samba.

Re:Well, Duh (1, Informative)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283705)

SMB in this case means "small and medium-sized business" not Server Message Block

Re:Well, Duh (2, Funny)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283909)

Yes, but SMB is a must for SMB.

Retail sector? (5, Interesting)

NineNine (235196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283783)

If this means that they're going to offer bundles to retailers, I'd really be interested in seeing what POS software they decide to bundle. I've been looking for open source POS software for several years now, and there's really nothing out there for small to medium retailers out there that's even remotely competitive with stuff for Windows. If they can find something decent, they'll take a huge share of the retail market.

Re:Retail sector? (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284237)

I've been looking for open source POS software for several years now

You mean like Open Office?

Oh, you mean "Point Of Sale". Ah, okay then.

I kid, I kid! :)

Re:Retail sector? (4, Funny)

SwordsmanLuke (1083699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284511)

I'd really be interested in seeing what POS software they decide to bundle

You Linux fanboys are all alike! When POS software comes bundled on a Windows box, you're all "I don't want AOL" and "Who the $&!# is Netzero" or "Bonzi Buddy is stealing my identity" and you whine about having to "uninstall" it. But as soon as it's on Linux you're all excited about it!

Re:Retail sector? (1)

lavacano201014 (999580) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284633)

They just want to see what POS is going to be installed on the box. But if it's AOL, Netzero, or something equally crappy, then they're going to whine about uninstalling.

Re:Retail sector? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28285981)

at least uninstalling will be as easy as apt-get remove dell-crapware-package

Re:Retail sector? (1)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284863)

I thought Windows was POS software

Re:Retail sector? (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284935)

I'd really be interested in seeing what POS software they decide to bundle

You Linux fanboys are all alike! When POS software comes bundled on a Windows box, you're all "I don't want AOL" and "Who the $&!# is Netzero" or "Bonzi Buddy is stealing my identity" and you whine about having to "uninstall" it. But as soon as it's on Linux you're all excited about it!

I'm sure that as long as the POS is not a POS everyone will be happy.

Re:Retail sector? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28289901)

Why would Linux fanboys be complaining about having to remove software on a system they don't use. Why don't you THINK before posting.

Re:Retail sector? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28296991)

I believe he was talking about software for operating a point-of-sale machine.

Re:Retail sector? (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284725)

Well, I don't know all the legality around this, but I can imagine rebranded binaries of OOo or Firefox.

Re:Retail sector? (2, Informative)

Ang31us (1132361) | more than 5 years ago | (#28291649)

I stumble across Piece Of Shit software all the time, both open and closed source.

Sounds like my policy (2, Insightful)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283883)

Less money on software = more money for hardware. I can see how this can benefit Dell.

However, see NComputing (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283923)

Less money on software = more money for hardware. I can see how this can benefit Dell.

However, less bloated software == less demand for hardware. People can add extra terminals, made by companies such as NComputing, to their desktop PCs instead of buying more full-blown PCs.

Re:However, see NComputing (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283957)

I agree. All of my business PC's come from thrift stores. My servers are all off-lease models, none of which I paid more than $400 for (RAID 5, redundant power supplies, dual NICs, etc.). Less bloated software = cheaper hardware.

Re:However, see NComputing (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284621)

I think we may be done with people upgrading desktop PCs just to keep up with increasingly bloated operating systems-- at least for the time being. Anything desktop from the past 5 years is good enough for basic web browsing, word processing, etc. If you're upgrading for faster hardware, there's a good chance that you're a gamer, an engineer, or maybe someone who just wants the latest-and-greatest regardless of whether they actually need it. If I were Dell, I wouldn't be relying on Microsoft bloating things up to sell my computers. It hasn't been working.

On the other hand, there are still going to be instances where people want to buy a new computer. The old one breaks, a business is expanding, or... whatever. In those cases, it sure would help Dell if they could save on software licensing costs, enabling them to either drop their price a little bit extra or increase their profit margin just a tad. Plus, it would allow them to better service the customers who are actually looking to run FOSS.

U.S. and Asia (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28284413)

...only available in the US for now, but Dell expects to lauch a similar offering in Asia...

Ahh, yes. It's good to see they're offering this in both of the world's countries.

Open Source Apps, what Operating System ? (2, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284867)

It doesn't say what operating system these applications are going to work under. The immediate assumption is that it will be some kind of Linux based system -- in which case it would be more natural for them to have said RedHat/Suse/Debian/... -- but no, just ''open source applications''.

I suspect that it could be Thunderbird, Firefox, Gimp, OpenOffice under MS Windows.

Given the close relationship between Dell & MS (read: Dell accepting MS money to decide what software it pushes on its hardware) I would not be surprised if the ''open source applications'' were things that did not really compete with MS offerings, eg: Gimp, pidgin, games, ... and avoid competing with the MS cash cows that make up MS Office & things like MS IE & Outlook.

Re:Open Source Apps, what Operating System ? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 5 years ago | (#28285671)

Well, the fact that they say the bundle is targeted at the retail industry would lead me to suspect that there might be Email, Web, plus some sort of Point of Sale/Inventory Management/Accounting/Customer Relationship Management system (hopefully all integrated together seemlessly, so that the CRM is tightly integrated with the Point of Sale portion, and the Point of Sale portion is tightly integrated with both the inventory control and the accounting). I might be giving Dell too much credit here, but if I were starting a retail business, and I were looking for a single-server Small Business in a Box solution for my small Retail business, I would expect at least those things.

Dell is full of crap (3, Interesting)

Rasputin (5106) | more than 5 years ago | (#28284985)

They only have two PCs sold Ubuntu and two PCs sold with no OS - none of which are even halfway modern systems. It's almost like they don't want to make money from Linux users. You'd almost think that some large monopoly was using them for a hand-puppet.

Re:Dell is full of crap (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28285735)

They used to have 3 machines with Ubuntu, but they killed the Insipiron Ubuntu line back in December/January. I ordered it before they killed it and they forced me to order a Windows-lappy instead. Fucking pricks.

Re:Dell is full of crap (1)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28298739)

Same thing happened to me. Beginning of the week, they had the XPS M1530N with Ubuntu, but by the time I put the order in, they remvoed it from the Ubuntu offerings and I had to get a Windows one instead (for more money). Then I checked a minute ago to see if they had brought any models back, but the opposite is true, there are less models with Ubuntu than there was a month ago. It looks as if they are liquidating their Ubuntu inventory. Now all you can get is the XPS 1330N, a Dimmension desktop and their netbook. They came out so strong and had some great deals on Ubuntu machines, and now their just letting it die.

Re:Dell is full of crap (1)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28285827)

I've periodically checked the Dell site for the Ubuntu laptops and each time there were fewer options than there were the last time.

Re:Dell is full of crap (1)

pavithran (1537637) | more than 5 years ago | (#28292461)

They only have two PCs sold Ubuntu and two PCs sold with no OS - none of which are even halfway modern systems. It's almost like they don't want to make money from Linux users.

In India dell is not offering many/no ubuntu options . Dell store India [dell.com] shows 3 netbooks ,all of them with "Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition" :( There is a discussion [google.com] in chennai linux users group [iitm.ac.in] regarding this .

You'd almost think that some large monopoly was using them for a hand-puppet.

No need to guess :P

Re:Dell is full of crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28297459)

BULL! Rasputin, you're full of crap!

Right now if you go to Small & Medium Business>Desktops and choose the check box for FreeDOS and Linux under Operating System, you get THREE PAGES of PCs with about a dozen per page. Oh and they DON'T sell with no OS per their agreements w/MS.

And for cptnapalm below, they currently offer 8 different choices under laptops.

Pure BS!

Who wants to bet... (3, Interesting)

tacarat (696339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28285513)

... that the multi-year OEM contract for Dell and MS is about to come up for renegotiation.

"Why thank you for coming Mr/Mrs Microsoft-Sales-Person. We've had this interesting proposal where we have this free operating system to give out. We only have to pay about half of our prior fees you recieved and we get to customize it so that our product stands out from your other customers... in a way you wouldn't allow before. Tech support will be further outsourced to the internet support as those linux folks do love showing how smart they are (and most decent techs hit google first anyhow). So... what do you have for us today? Besides an unbalanced negotiation not in your favor?".

It'll be interesting to see if Dell sees this through or drops it once MS meets their pricing demands.

Doubt it (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28286253)

While the OS they put on their retailer packages costs $100/seat, the POS POS from Intuit that they use now costs $1600/seat. My guess is they're re-negotiating with Intuit. The price of Windows is negligible, especially in this situation.

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/topic.aspx/us/segments/bsd/point-of-sale-accounting?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd [dell.com]

Re:Doubt it (1)

tacarat (696339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28304381)

Put like that, they could be renegotiating with a lot of vendors. Getting the cost of Windows down, though, is the logical first step. I doubt anybody would think Dell was going to go so OSS that they'd impact 3rd party software packages. MS, though, has an interest in keeping Windows in the forefront of people's minds.

Can you smell the fear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28288399)

I think just about every high and medium tier, and a lot of low tier ISV shops just simultaneously crapped their pants. There are tons of companies that offer office in a box server setups for companies that have neither the time or inclination to get IT right. Dell is now going after some low hanging fruit at the expense of their partners. Sure, the support will be outsourced to India as usual, but who can really compete at Dell scales, especially since this would be a one stop shopping and support experience for hardware and software?

Samba, Asterisk, some CMS, some Exchange email/calendar/groupware analog and you are most of the way there.

Sucks to be you, Fusion Systems.

PS - captcha is Ambushed, how appropriate...

Android would be awesome (1)

awarrenfells (1289658) | more than 5 years ago | (#28320973)

I am not a big fan of Dell's Tech support, but I have been buying their laptops for awhile anyways. They have always done me well. My latest purchase is a Dell Mini 9 with Ubuntu. Absolutely love the machine.

I find it a little amusing that a friend and I were discussing the very possibility of Google coming out with their own computer OS, and debating whether or not it would be a variant of Android, or something else they have been cooking up. So, we are happy to see google talking about offering android as an OS alternative.

I love linux, but I would be more than willing to give Android a try, as I have seen a lot of good things come out and through their phones.

As far as OEMs offering equivalent open source programs on their machines in junction with windows OS, and in lieu of Micro$oft software, I think it would be a good move on their part, and hope to see them make the move in the near future. I wonder if the EC antitrust suit would have any affect on this.
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