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Dell Drops Ubuntu PCs From Its Website

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the too-hard-to-spell dept.

Linux Business 473

Barence writes "Dell has stopped selling consumer PCs preloaded with Ubuntu from its website, and doesn't know when they're coming back. A search for Ubuntu on the Dell UK website returns only one laptop — the Dell Latitude 2100 from the company's business range. Dell insists that it's continuing to sell Ubuntu systems, but only over the phone, and has no idea when — or even if — the Ubuntu PCs will return online. 'We've recently made an effort to simplify our offerings online, by focusing on our most popular bundles and configuration options, based on customer feedback for reduced complexity and a simple, easy purchase experience,' Dell told PC Pro. 'We're also making some changes to our Ubuntu pages, and as a result, they are currently available through our phone-based sales only.' The move comes after Dell put a page on its website advising customers only to go for Ubuntu if they were interested in open-source programming."

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There Will Be Blood (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012704)

I drink your milkshake

Follow the money (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012710)

Something has happened I guess. And it wasn't due to customer feedback. More like supplier feedback.

Re:Follow the money (2, Insightful)

moreati (119629) | about 4 years ago | (#33012728)

Much as I'd like to agree with you. Evidence?

Re:Follow the money (1)

yoder (178161) | about 4 years ago | (#33013066)

Evidence? A smoking gun in this case would be pretty difficult to find unless there are leaked emails or documents showing pressure from suppliers. If Dell is smart about this, they will not come out and say anything inflammatory. In the end the reasoning behind the decision is not even that important.

Personally, I thought it was just a matter of time, as this was primarily a marketing experiment to cash in on a perceived hot commodity (Linux).

noo...it means (1)

improfane (855034) | about 4 years ago | (#33012766)

NEXT year will be the of the Linux desktop!

Yes, it will. Stop looking at me funny!

year (1)

improfane (855034) | about 4 years ago | (#33012772)

year ...should have bought a Windows.

Re:Follow the money (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012806)

In other news.. Dell has signed a new deal with Microsoft saving them a few $ per copy of Windows.

Dell will continue to install Office 2010 30-day nagware and now Microsoft's 'Itunes killer #31704'.

Re:Follow the money (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 years ago | (#33013072)

The Goode Family animated series had that Ubuntu character, some form of brand-name dilution?

Re:Follow the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33013160)

Yea, I'm sure the 11 people that watched that show are thoroughly confused.

it doesn't make any sense because (4, Insightful)

BroadbandBradley (237267) | about 4 years ago | (#33012714)

Microsoft Windows is really so much harder to use than Ubuntu. Everything on Ubuntu just works, and you have to fuss with windows to get it to do what you want, keep it from getting a virus, hunt all over the web to get software updates.....

I think the only reason Dell does this is because Windows is setup like a toll booth where you have to pay extra to get it to do anything useful or keep it running. With the Ubuntu Boxes they don't sell any add-on software because Ubuntu already has everything it needs to work.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012746)

lol

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33013236)

"lol" isn't Insightful.

Regarding the bit about windows being harder to use than Ubuntu, I would have to agree. The "my wi-fi doesn't work under linux crowd" just need to be more careful and not buy shitty wi-fi cards.
What made me finally switch to Linux was that getting locked out of a windows was too easy. Most modern motherboards I have encountered have Ethernet which requires south-bridge drivers, not included with windows.
That creates an annoying catch-22 where you can't easily fetch the required driver from the new system. This is shit you really shouldn't have to put up with from a modern OS.

Windows Post installation still includes trawling loads of crappy websites for drivers, getting rid of the yellow warnings in device manager. A fresh Ubuntu install is ready to go, perhaps clicking on the auto-install for your Nvidia or ATI binary drivers.
Then you have the NTFS issue, where you needed special tools to get back into a system, if it got hosed, again locking you out. I used to use ERD commander (pirated of course), whilst now I can just use my live-CD to access EXT partitions meaning I'll never get locked out.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (-1, Redundant)

maxume (22995) | about 4 years ago | (#33012756)

HOW COME MY GAME DOESN'T WORK?

Rather, your assumption that they are doing this because of reasonable people is hilarious.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (1)

Smivs (1197859) | about 4 years ago | (#33013136)

My favorite game [oolite.org] works just fine on Ubuntu.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012764)

I think the only reason Dell ...

Don't forget that computer retailers like Dell get paid a lot of money to pre-install bloatware, e.g. all those trials, links to subscription services, etc. Even if the customer never buys any of these, Dell doesn't get that money for Ubuntu PCs.

Wouldn't be surprised if MS made an offer to "more prominently" position Windows or grant Dell some "MS premium platinum reseller" PR-badge either.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (5, Insightful)

loafing_oaf (1054200) | about 4 years ago | (#33012906)

Dell could simply adjust the Ubuntu PC prices to compensate for the missing bloatware revenue. Of course, they probably would sell even fewer that way. But with Dell's just-in-time supply chain, it really shouldn't matter whether any particular models sell well because there's no inventory buildup or waste to worry about.

As for Dell's claim of reducing complexity... it's a single link on the side of the page! At the risk of sounding cliche, I think it's more reasonable to assume that there is some supplier exclusivity contract in play from Microsoft.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (4, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 4 years ago | (#33012998)

I think that's what they do, when i bought my sister's Inspiron 10v with Ubuntu last year, the price was only about $20 less for the Ubuntu model IIRC. Mind you the factory-supplied Ubuntu installs are still stuffed to the gills with crapware, i just wiped it and reinstalled from scratch since it needed upgrading anyways.

And I remember clicking on a link about how to choose your OS and reading that you should "choose Windows because $typical_marketing_spiel, or Ubuntu if you're into open-source programming." |:-|

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012768)

Hi dell, I just bought this ubuntu computer where everything just works. Yet I can't install application X or Game Y, I have been told it all just works but nothing I do will make them run, they both ran fine on my old computer.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012838)

Why would this be more of a problem with a Linux PC than a Mac? Do people really call Apple to ask why they can't install their favorite Windows applications?

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012914)

Do you seriously think people don't do that?

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33013242)

Because Mac users are far more willing to spend the money and virtualize Windows. Instead, Linux users will start yelling about FREEDOM and how terrible the software is and instead try to push some half-assed substitute.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (1, Insightful)

calzakk (1455889) | about 4 years ago | (#33012856)

Who the hell modded this insightful? It's hilarious!

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (1)

minderaser (28934) | about 4 years ago | (#33012886)

This made me think of a passage from Neal Stephenson's Anathem (If you know anything about Stephenson you know he's no fan of Windows.

"I ... figured out its interface. This took longer than I'd expected because it wasn't made for literate people. I couldn't make any headway at all with its search functions, because of all its cack-handed efforts to assist me."
        - Neal Stephenson

He wasn't actually talking about Windows there, but I think he really was talking about Windows.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (5, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | about 4 years ago | (#33012908)

Windows works for people who know Windows and have no need to invest time in anything different. The faults we find in Windows don't concern them enough to switch to something not Windows.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | about 4 years ago | (#33013220)

They can't invest time in learning something new because they are too busy removing crap.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (1)

Lance_Denmark (985878) | about 4 years ago | (#33012922)

'Microsoft Windows is really so much harder to use than Ubuntu. Everything on Ubuntu just works' This just isn't true though. Sure you might have to do more things to protect your Windows machine than your Ubuntu, but when you do need to do anything, even mundane things, with Ubuntu it's much more complicated for the average user (think the sort of character whose computer spends more time as a botnet than not). Mention to my Dad, or many of my less tech-savy friends the concept of 'sudo' and they'll just glaze over. For most people it's Windows that 'just works' not Ubuntu.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (4, Informative)

IANAAC (692242) | about 4 years ago | (#33012948)

Mention to my Dad, or many of my less tech-savy friends the concept of 'sudo' and they'll just glaze over.

"Run As Administrator".

But his eyes would probably still glass over at that too.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 4 years ago | (#33012930)

It's not what's easier it's the simpletons that just click on things and end up with an Ubuntu computer and freak out because it's not windows.

Just works? (0, Troll)

transporter_ii (986545) | about 4 years ago | (#33012960)

Typing this on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS using Google Chrome. Why Chrome? I used 8.04 and Firefox for about a year, year and a half and loved it. Then one day Firefox updated to 3.6.6 and Flash quit working. I also got to noticing that web sites took a long time to load (I thought it was because I use a WISP). I messed around with Flash and the best I could get was intermittent flash and it took a lot of browser restarts just to get that. So I updated to 10.04 in hopes that would fix the problem. I think Firefox actually got slower.... annoyingly slow.

Just for the sake of testing, I installed Google chrome and it worked amazingly better. Flash works the first time you start it up and it is amazingly fast compared to Firefox.

But I'm a Firefox fanboy and, though I like Google, I hate to see them take over the world. More than speed, I like the plugins available for Firefox.

Firefox is an integral part of Ubuntu and you would think of all things, this would be the one thing that "just worked," Not. And during this same period of time, Firefox on my XP system works exactly like it has since I installed it.

Re:Just works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33013030)

so the only bit that didn't just work on your open source system was Flash. hmmmmm

Re:Just works? (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | about 4 years ago | (#33013122)

And you totally gloss over the dog slow part. hmmmmm

Interestingly, after I hit submit, Ubuntu popped up with a Firefox update to 3.6.7. Flash still doesn't work and it is still dog slow compared to Chrome. Hmmmmm

I would almost like to have downgraded Firefox to an earlier version that "just worked", but it it tied into Ubuntu almost as bad as IE is in Windows. Hmmmmm

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012962)

Considering I just turned on my desktop (Ubuntu 10.04 which hasn't been updated in a couple of weeks) to find networking was disabled the NIC driver wasn't loading for no particular reason, I have to disagree. It took me all of a couple of minutes to fix, but I know that most people I know would have just put up with no internet for a week or so until they next saw me.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012968)

You reversed your descriptions of the operating systems.

You really haven't used Windows in a long time have you? 7 (and even Vista believe it or not) shits all over Lucid.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (0, Troll)

airjrdn (681898) | about 4 years ago | (#33012988)

BS

I just began using Linux Mint nearly full time, and it's been very nice, but finding software is still easier for Windows users if it isn't in your repo's.

You don't have to hunt anywhere, any non-Apple store that sells software sells Windows software, and all major software sites carry Windows software.

As for fussing with it, again BS. I've always had to do much more work getting Linux to print and install proprietary drivers than I ever had to do in windows, and the ultimate pain is felt if you do something that disallows X to start. Worst case scenario in Windows is that I'm at 640x480. Piss X off and you are in a terminal.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (3, Insightful)

Jaktar (975138) | about 4 years ago | (#33013018)

In the words of Wolfgang Pauli, "you're not even wrong." However, if you wanted to stay open source on Windows, you can do so. The notion that Windows is a toll booth is a bit off the mark also. Right now I'm dual booting Ubuntu and Vista. The only thing I've paid for in the last two years between Windows and Ubuntu is the OS itself. Everything else is open source or provided free of charge by Microsoft or another third party.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (2, Insightful)

jo42 (227475) | about 4 years ago | (#33013104)

Microsoft Windows is a conspiracy between the hardware manufacturers and Microsoft to make you have to buy new hardware every couple of years. Best example was going from XP to Vista. XP ran fine. Vista came out and ran like a one legged man in a marathon. Everyone had to buy new hardware to run it.

Think about it: Do you really need a quad-core processor with 8GB of RAM and a 1.5 TB hard drive to browse the Internet, watch IdiotTube (AKA YouTube) videos and fap to porn?

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 4 years ago | (#33013178)

Microsoft Windows is really so much harder to use than Ubuntu.

I don't know how this got modded insightful but, as someone who has computers with Mac OSX, Windows XP, _and_ Ubuntu, I'm going to have to say that's so utterly wrong that it's actually funny. I like Ubuntu and I look forward to the day that it truly hits the mainstream but it is not, in any way, easier to use than Windows. It may be the easiest of the Linux distros to use (I have no clue if it is since it's the only one I've ever played with to any degree); it may be easy enough for the average person to use; it may be incredibly easy for a hardcore computer user to use, but it is not easier to use than Windows.

I don't like Windows, at all, but let's be serious...

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (3, Insightful)

Devout_IPUite (1284636) | about 4 years ago | (#33013238)

Pretty much. The linux devs don't realize that they're making cludget unfriendly processes. Number of clicks matter. If I can't, without a manual, install program X onto my computer in 3-6 clicks, it's too hard. "Oh just use the package manager" No. I want to go to their website and click the fucking download button. Then I want to open that downloaded file. Then I want it to install. Anything else is unacceptable for a typical user.

Re:it doesn't make any sense because (1)

lovenhim (1742272) | about 4 years ago | (#33013206)

I feel that the reason Dell is doing this is simply because of money. It is all about the Benjamins. They make money on Win7 and then money on software, and then more money when people call back for tech support on some virus they picked up.

Recently been searching for a new job (5, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 4 years ago | (#33012718)

I have been on a recent job hunt. Granted, as a LAMP developer. At each interview I asked, is it possible to use a non-windows desktop. Answer: Yes. Mac or Ubuntu didn't matter as long as you could do your job.

These weren't small companies either although they weren't the type to run IE6 either.

There is a slow but steady march towards opensource and for the really old, it is the same march that made Microsoft a household name.

There was a time when if you asked for a DOS machine at work, you would have had to be working in the technological vanguard to get it. Because HERE we use mainframes kid, not this new fangled dos/windows 1.0 stuff. that is kid stuff, for hobbyists.

Dell? Missing the boat. But then, they are being surpassed on every front. I can understand why Dell doesn't want to do Ubuntu, they aren't about giving away free customizations. Sure your dell laptop can be pink, that will be 50 euro's thank you very much. All for a different colored piece of plastic. But when you are at the absolute bottom price wise your are just asking to be picked off by the next guy who can go even cheaper.

I predict that before to long, there will be a chinese company, currently supplying the big names in the west, who starts selling direct. And then Dell will be left with overpriced hardware that doesn't offer anything different.

Re:Recently been searching for a new job (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 4 years ago | (#33012794)

I don't understand why they don't sell it as an option on all on their machines, even if they don't provide software support for it. If nothing else, it would allow them to become a convenient source for machines (especially laptops) for those of us who object to paying the Windows tax. Perhaps if more people tried to return their Windows licence? An added bonus would be to list the Linux compatibility of each of their machines. This would require a fairly minimal effort and would help buyers out greatly.

I actually looked at Dell for a Linux based machine for the last laptop I bought, and I think they had one machine. They never really had enough options to determine whether or not they could have sold very many machines. Seriously, without proving support, wouldn't it really only require a different disk image?

Re:Recently been searching for a new job (1)

nickspoon (1070240) | about 4 years ago | (#33012982)

Dell want to guarantee that the machines they sell bundled with Ubuntu are functional out of the box. They have to make sure that the wireless chipset doesn't need funky drivers, that whatever audio drivers get configured correctly, etc. Which is a reasonable thing to aim for, but it does mean that they have to test systems with Ubuntu, and some of their systems will inevitably have some incompatibility (although it's been a while since I've had that issue). Couple that with their tendency to swap out hardware with cheaper equivalents and you've got quite a difficult situation.

Re:Recently been searching for a new job (1, Funny)

houghi (78078) | about 4 years ago | (#33012932)

Mac or Ubuntu didn't matter as long as you could do your job.

That is why I did not get the job. I am not running Mac, Windows or Ubuntu. I run a different version of Linux.

Re:Recently been searching for a new job (4, Insightful)

IANAAC (692242) | about 4 years ago | (#33012976)

That is why I did not get the job. I am not running Mac, Windows or Ubuntu. I run a different version of Linux.

And you couldn't get Ubuntu to do/act/feel just like your chosen version of Linux?

I wouldn't hire you either.

Re:Recently been searching for a new job (1)

DMiax (915735) | about 4 years ago | (#33013118)

I am astonished also by the inability to install Ubuntu's branded themes on another distro.

Re:Recently been searching for a new job (2, Funny)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#33013138)

I keep trying to make my Fedora 12 look and act like Windows 7 - I get beaten up a lot at the local LUG meetings.

Re:Recently been searching for a new job (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33013232)

Ubuntu is pretty restrictive in some things. Try running KDE in Ubuntu. You can't (you can install the libraries and get the apps running though), that's why there's Kubuntu.

Having said that, if he's talking about his own personal computer, why should he have to run Ubuntu and make it act/feel like his chosen version of linux? Why not just run his chosen version of linux? It's not like he can't use ubuntu.

Re:Recently been searching for a new job (1)

grahammm (9083) | about 4 years ago | (#33012946)

There was a time when if you asked for a DOS machine at work, you would have had to be working in the technological vanguard to get it. Because HERE we use mainframes kid, not this new fangled dos/windows 1.0 stuff. that is kid stuff, for hobbyists.

I was working as a systems programmer in a mainframe environment in the 1980s and strangely we were the first to get PCs (XTs if memory serves me correctly) as we could use the IBM 3270 and ICL C03 emulator boards and software to have just one box on our desk to provide access to both mainframe systems.

Why take the old site offline (1)

data2 (1382587) | about 4 years ago | (#33012732)

Ok, not having RTFA, I really don't see the point in taking down a working website, which I didn't even know how to reach without typing in the URL directly, because you are working on a new version?

And wasn't Dell once all about configurability? Now they try to dumb down the configuration options. Seems to be like they are messing with their original core business model.

Re:Why take the old site offline (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012774)

This really isn't that difficult to understand. In order to make purchasing for less technical people easier, they've streamlined the offerings that are shown on the web page (instead of seeing like 6 variations of a single machine on the page, you'll see one or two). For those who want to customize, go with Ubuntu, etc, YOU STILL CAN. You just need to phone your order in. Ideally, they'll just make a little link at the bottom of the page or something for "advanced configurations".

Ubuntu pages only available per phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012740)

Uh, per analog dialin? Or per fax polling?

Re:Ubuntu pages only available per phone? (1)

umghhh (965931) | about 4 years ago | (#33012784)

the friendly operator will tell in perfect language of your choice how the page look like rendered by specified browser. If you are willing to pay extra they will send you a fax with display snapshot.

Sounds like Asus (5, Informative)

SpzToid (869795) | about 4 years ago | (#33012742)

At a major Taiwanese PC tradeshow, the CEO of ASUS abruptly canceled his presentation about new Asus products. Asus immediately began towing the line regarding Microsoft products and co-promotion following that. Dell's recent promoting cohabitation with Ubuntu sounds like exactly the same thing.

http://blogs.computerworld.com/microsoft_strikes_back_at_linux_netbook_push [computerworld.com]

Re:Sounds like Asus (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 years ago | (#33012980)

Yes thinking back to
http://www.beincorporated.com/press/pressreleases/02-02-19_msft_complaint.html
"... through a series of illegal exclusionary and anticompetitive acts designed to maintain its monopoly in the Intel-compatible PC operating system market and created exclusive dealing arrangements with PC OEMs prohibiting the sale of PCs with multiple preinstalled operating systems."
I guess when the 'request' is made, you stop... or they are just revamping for the next Ubuntu OS ;)

Sucky computer selection when they were available (2, Interesting)

happymellon (927696) | about 4 years ago | (#33012752)

I would like to say that I appreciated at least the attempt, but when I went to replace my laptop earlier this year there wasn't a single Ubuntu laptop that didn't suck. They just picked out the bottom spec couple of PC's and stuck it on them, I would be not surprised if they come back saying that there was lack of interest because they didn't have a computer worth buying.

Re:Sucky computer selection when they were availab (1)

AmElder (1385909) | about 4 years ago | (#33012874)

Based on my experience, one problem Dell faced trying to sell computers with Ubuntu pre-installed is that the OS is so easy to install yourself. Dell could spend time and money configuring and testing Ubuntu to work perfectly with every combination of hardware it sells. Or it can simply save the effort and let customers install their own OS on the machines it offers at no extra cost to the company.

I bought a Dell E6400 laptop a year ago for home business and personal use because the hardware and the price suited me best of any machine I could find on the market. At the time, I asked about Ubuntu, but they didn't offer it for that machine. No problem: I did a bit of research, found that other people had installed Linux without major problems, and simply bought the machine loaded with Vista and installed the OS myself.

Re:Sucky computer selection when they were availab (1)

grahammm (9083) | about 4 years ago | (#33012966)

Will Dell let you buy a laptop or even desktop PC without operating system? I know that the servers can be purchased without an OS, but thought all the 'end user' systems came with OS.

Not a big deal (1)

adosch (1397357) | about 4 years ago | (#33012770)

Dell's Ubuntu offering was only on a selected bunch of their marketed PCs/laptops anyway, so it may feel like a consumer loss, but I don't see it that way. Heck, I was pricing out a Dell Mini-10 a few months back and wanted to see the differences in getting Ubuntu pre-loaded (since that was what was going to go on it in place of Windows anyway once in arrived to my house) and after jockeying around the sales horn, I found out the only Dell Mini-10 that was offered with Ubuntu was the Nickelodeon Spongebob-branded laptop. Cool for the kids? Sure, but not for me as the real end-consumer of the product who didn't want such a narrow choice.

Linux distributions, as far as installation and get-up-and-go time is concerned, has improved hand-over-foot in the past two years. I don't see a problem having to go download and install Ubuntu onto my new, shiny Dell myself; there's TOO much community support to even make an argument otherwise if you're clueless or don't know where to start.

Re:Not a big deal (1)

goontz (1441623) | about 4 years ago | (#33012848)

Sure it's easy to install Ubuntu on your new machine (I did the same thing on a recent netbook purchase -- before even letting it load into its pre-packaged XP the first time). Yes, there's even tons of support in the community for someone completely new to it. But the users who don't already use, and aren't already familiar with Linux, are most likely not going to do this or seek the information. These are generally the same users who really don't need windows and could actually benefit from the simplicity of something like Ubuntu, but they're completely unaware of that; they know nothing except windows. Thus, they pay a premium for a crappy and unnecessary OS and the Open Source movement is hindered in a way (or at least doesn't gain that potential new user).

Re:Not a big deal (5, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | about 4 years ago | (#33012900)

Think about what you just wrote. So you think it is just about time installing Linux? No.

* For one thing, some of us don't want to pay a Microsoft Tax. If I don't plan on using MS-Windows on a computer, I should not be forced to pay for it.

* If a computer is available with Linux, it implies at least SOME amount of Linux support- even if it is just a compatibility guide.

* I wouldn't want to use Ubuntu, anyway, since there are (for me) much better Linuxes. So if they offered a computer with NO OS installed, I would be just has happy.

You can bet that Microsoft is behind the scenes again, pulling strings at Dell to squash any notion of freedom or choice.

Re:Not a big deal (1)

AmElder (1385909) | about 4 years ago | (#33012986)

* If a computer is available with Linux, it implies at least SOME amount of Linux support- even if it is just a compatibility guide.

* I wouldn't want to use Ubuntu, anyway, since there are (for me) much better Linuxes. So if they offered a computer with NO OS installed, I would be just has happy.

Therefore it's easy to imagine how the judgement of the cost versus the benefit for Dell of supporting Linux might not weigh strongly in favour of offering pre-loaded Ubuntu, quite apart from any anti-competitive pressure from Microsoft. The Linux market is fractured, Dell offers a lot of hardware configurations, and the OS is easy for the end user to install themselves and get acceptable hardware compatibility. What encourages Dell to go the extra mile?

Re:Not a big deal (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | about 4 years ago | (#33013084)

You can bet that Microsoft is behind the scenes again, pulling strings at Dell to squash any notion of freedom or choice.

That's one theory. Mine is that probably half of the Ubuntu purchases were followed by a support call (and subsequent return) by the purchaser because the machine wouldn't run new game x / quickbooks / excel / itunes / whatever.

If you're thinking, no, the general public is smarter than that, try working in a games store for a year, especially over Christmas. The number of returns of XBox games because they won't run on a Wii (or whatever system vs. system) will stagger you.

Shame . . . (1)

bedouin (248624) | about 4 years ago | (#33012786)

The only reason I bought a Dell netbook a few months ago was because I knew it had fairly guaranteed Linux support. I even requested an Ubuntu install, despite the fact that I figured I would end up doing a clean install. Effectively, I was turning down a Windows license even though it had no effect on the total price.

The spokesman went on to deny... (5, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 4 years ago | (#33012808)

...that Microsoft had told them that if they continued to market Linux PCs, they would, quote, "rip them a new one", unquote.

Re:The spokesman went on to deny... (5, Informative)

markdavis (642305) | about 4 years ago | (#33012950)

And almost EVERY page on Dells site says "Windows® . Life without WallsTM . Dell recommends Windows 7." Even on the Linux related page I was trying to read, a damn Javascript popup appeared that said that "Dell recommends IE8".

Even when I clicked on a Linux Mini 10, it immediately placed the "Dell recommends Windows 7." on every single following screen (not to mention that the price for the Linux version was exactly the same as the MS-Windows model, and with nothing else included".

Nothing like feeling welcome.

simplification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012810)

you want simplification? don't advertise f&%#=ng internet explorer 8, "dell laptop deals", "helpful links", "pc operating systems", "dell videos" and other *impertinent* stuff once I made the explicit decision of going to "home and office" > "laptops" > "inspiron". no doubt how apple is cannibalizing dell's share. once you arrive to "mac" > "macbook", the only not-macbook information on the page is "compare mac notebooks" and "the new 13 inch macbook pro".

Yet Another Misleading /. Article (5, Informative)

Nutria (679911) | about 4 years ago | (#33012816)

http://www.dell.com/ubuntu [dell.com] is still functional in the US.

Re:Yet Another Misleading /. Article (4, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | about 4 years ago | (#33012876)

For now.

They don't offer any with 10.04, and two of the four models they offer still have 9.04. Doesn't seem like they're too keen on it.

But can you buy a Dell without an operating system (5, Insightful)

Palestrina (715471) | about 4 years ago | (#33012824)

That is what I really want. I can buy a Dell without a monitor, so why not without an operating system?

I have my own monitor already, and my own OS. It doesn't make sense to force me to by either of them.

Re:But can you buy a Dell without an operating sys (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 4 years ago | (#33012934)

"It doesn't make sense to force me to by either of them."

Sense to you, or sense to Dell? Your choices are buy or not buy.

"Buy with reduced delight" = "buy" from the Dell perspective.

Re:But can you buy a Dell without an operating sys (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33013076)

You can. Just tell them that you'd like it without an OS, reduced my current latitude's price by €90 or so

Dell Vostro v13 (2, Informative)

minderaser (28934) | about 4 years ago | (#33012832)

The Vostro v13, at least, still can be bought with Linux pre-installed on Dell's website http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/vostro-v13?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd&~ck=mn [dell.com]

Note, too, that the Ubuntu one is $449 while the lowest priced Windows one is $558. The only difference in hardware is the Windows one has a web cam (oh la-la). That being said, I ordered mine with Linux and it has a web cam anyway.

If they really do drop Linux I'll drop them as well. Linux pre-installed was a primary reason I chose Dell.

(By the way, the Vostro v13 is totally sweet. Plenty fast enough for me, great looking, light, and small without being stupid netbook small. Highly recommended. No, I don't work for Dell.)

Sales (1)

Exitar (809068) | about 4 years ago | (#33012840)

How many Ubuntu PC does Dell sell compared to Windows ones?

Re:Sales (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012928)

Probably not that many:
because they won't let people buy them [theopensourcerer.com]

if they refuse to sell them then their sales figures will be low.

NEWS FLASH !!! HOBOS DON''T BUY DELL !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012852)

A-fucking Amazing!!! Glad I have my Fox News Hound badge coming. I am worthy!!!

Now, about the last-century G5 in the basement. There's your UBUNTUUUUUUUU destiny calling. No, no, that's just the last train out of Dodge. Hurry, you can still catch it !!!

Misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012888)

That article only concerns the UK site. See http://www.dell.com/ubuntu [dell.com]

simplify? (4, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 4 years ago | (#33012910)

'We've recently made an effort to simplify our offerings online, by focusing on our most popular bundles and configuration options, based on customer feedback for reduced complexity and a simple, easy purchase experience,'

Funny. I still see different websites based on whether I select "home", "small and medium business" (I love that- who says "I work for a medium-sized ____ company"?), or "large enterprise" or "public sector" (of which there are SIX subcategories!)

There are 11 laptops in the "home" section. There are 10 Lattitude "E" series laptops and 8 more in the "Specialty" section for enterprise users. 2 "precision" workstation laptops offered to higher education.

Hang on, I'll just quote from the side of the product selector when I selected "higher education":

Narrow Your Selection
Product Category
Latitude Laptops (18)
Inspiron (4)
Dell Precision Mobile Workstations (2)
Studio Laptops (2)
Vostro Laptops (7)

33 different laptops, ladies and gentlemen. 33.

How many does Apple sell? 3 Macbook Pros, 1 Macbook, 1 Macbook Air? Granted they come in a few flavors (different screen resolutions, for example)...but the basic laptop chassis itself is the same and a 15" macbook pro has always been a 15" macbook pro. Not a Macbook Pro 2310 and then a Macbook Pro 2340 etc.

Dell is like GM; you can buy the same car with 4 different hood emblems and slightly different trim/headlights/taillights.

And people wonder why Apple is raking in money hand over fist. Perhaps it's because they have a clear product lineup? Sometimes you have to stop trying to sell to every person on the planet.

Re:simplify? (1)

guruevi (827432) | about 4 years ago | (#33013014)

Another reason why Apple is raking in the customers is because of their concise, dedicated and friendly support staff. With Dell unless you spend ungodly amounts on a so-called Gold Technical Support you're going to be stuck with a dude in India that probably never even saw the computer you just bought.

Re:simplify? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33013124)

Another reason why Apple is raking in the customers is because of their concise, dedicated and friendly support staff. With Dell unless you spend ungodly amounts on a so-called Gold Technical Support you're going to be stuck with a dude in India that probably never even saw the computer you just bought.

I don't know about Dell support in the US, but the support guys I talked to were all quite knowledgable. When I had already narrowed down a problem myself they had no trouble skipping their script and sending replacements/techs right away.

When anything is wrong there will be a tech on site the next morning, I couldn't be more satisfied...

Re:simplify? (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | about 4 years ago | (#33013188)

I agree completely. In fact, my head hurts every time I have to go to that Dell web-site. Even just the start page where you need to select what type of company you work for bothers me a little, because I just want to see the EQUIPMENT in front of me, not some selection of the equipment based on what some Dell marketing droid thinks a person in my situation would want. I end up having to click on all of them to make sure I'm not missing something.

Also, the names are weird. With the macbook you have to figure out if you want a normal machine, a "pro" or an "air". As you said, that's three choices and two are self-explanatory, if you're cost constrained you go normal Macbook, if you want the best machine you go "pro". You do have to figure out what differentiates an "air" from a normal machine though. With Dell, I have no idea what a Vostro, Studio, Latitude, Inspiron, Alienware, Adamo, Studio XPS or Precision Mobile Workstation is. These are completely unhelpful in regards to picking which product you want to buy.

I might be biased though because the last thing I bought from Dell was one of their monitors a few years ago. I decided a LONG time ago that Dell computers might be inexpensive, but they failed far too often to be a good purchase. And don't get me started on their cases! Ugh, I still have scars on my hands from the old Dell cases...

Re:simplify? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33013244)

While you do have a point, it's not quite simple as that. Dell makes Windows machines, Apple makes their own OS. For Dell to differentiate all they really have is the looks of the machines and extra services.

Re:simplify? (1)

billius (1188143) | about 4 years ago | (#33013274)

I bought a Dell Laptop back in 2005 and one of the most frustrating things about the whole experience was the fact that there was only a weak correlation between the name of the model and the kind of specs you were getting. A Dell Inspiron could have all manner of different kinds of processor, ram, cpu, etc. I understand that they want to allow for flexibility, but after a certain point it just becomes needlessly confusing. BTW, my current computer is a Macbook Pro, so there may be something to your reasoning.

Re:simplify? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33013276)

Totally agree. I've bought a number of Dell PCs, and been happy with the result. But the experience of trying to find a basic tower for the lowest price is harrowing. I have to open Home and Small Business, then open 3-4 tower models from each, then open 3-4 variants/deals of each model. These variants arent just "upgrade this or dont" - you open a variant, and if you change it to match another variant, the price is different.

It's really astounding that they can sell PCs with such a screwed up lineup and pricing model. I guess most home customers walk into a Best Buy and have someone help them, and most business customers have a Dell sales agent help them out?

no 64-bit ubuntu laptops? (2, Informative)

Big Jojo (50231) | about 4 years ago | (#33012920)

I wanted a 64-bit ubuntu laptop from dell but they were pushing 32-bit single cores. So I got a non-ubuntu laptop and just installed ubuntu myself. Some issues with wireless rmain ... even though this model was documented on the ubuntu website as fully supported.

A cryin shame. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012954)

A lose-lose situation. At least it reduces (however marginally) the Dell proprietary hardware in circulation...

No Dell, Oh well... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33012958)

buy from someone else

http://system76.com/ [system76.com]
http://zareason.com/ [zareason.com]

Dell's Attitude (5, Insightful)

ncmathsadist (842396) | about 4 years ago | (#33012984)

I don't know why Dell thinks I am a second-class citizen because I use open-source programs. Boo and hiss.

That's ok (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 4 years ago | (#33013012)

I dropped Dell from my shopping list a long, long time ago.

Made up their mind much? (1)

fnj (64210) | about 4 years ago | (#33013016)

Does Dell have the brain of a turkey? It can't seem to make up its corporate mind. Over the years, they're selling Ubuntu; now they're not; yes they are; no they're not; and on and on.

Re:Made up their mind much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33013032)

You're the dumb ass here... They're testing the waters of this option. The popularity of the platform is not static and, as such, Dells options to offer it or not shouldn't be static either.

Re:Made up their mind much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33013128)

You Dell retard, are they paying you to post stupid shit?

Dell testing the waters ? (4, Informative)

viralMeme (1461143) | about 4 years ago | (#33013272)

I'm curious, is there a precedent for a third company pressuring Dell to drop Linux, under threat of retaliation?

"We should whack them, we should make sure they understand our value .. I want them to understand that every day they lead with Linux over Windows in Unix migrations they turn our field against them (take the southeast region mail thread as an example). I want them to think very very carefully [zdnet.co.uk] about when and which forums they decide to push Linux very, very hard. Today, they do not. When they do, you can bet, behavior will evolve"

"HP discontinued its Linux SKUs beginning on November 18th. This is based on joint marketing effort [groklaw.net] that spans six months to promote low cost Windows SKU's with $30 extra channel incentives that focus on white box resellers"

It'll be interesting watching the MicroAstroturfers try and put a positive spin on the above statements.

http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/1872/dellbeforeafter.png [imageshack.us]

I agree with Dell (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 4 years ago | (#33013050)

They no long want to sell you a computer with ubuntu. So, buy it elsewhere.

Microsoft don't want Dell to sell Linux :) (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | about 4 years ago | (#33013140)

"They no long want to sell you a computer with ubuntu. So, buy it elsewhere"

Shurly, Microsoft don't want Dell to sell you a computer with Linux ;)

"Simplify Our Offerings Online" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33013052)

What offerings online? Dell's home/home office offerings are terrible. I've needed to go to the dell business site in order to get any offerings with even remotely up to date hardware.

I tried to buy one yesterday (5, Interesting)

dominux (731134) | about 4 years ago | (#33013082)

I blogged about it here: http://www.theopensourcerer.com/2010/07/23/why-windows-still-has-good-sales-figures/

16:27:12        Alan    Initial Question/Comment: I can't find your laptops with Ubuntu installed
16:27:23        System    You are now being connected to an agent. Thank you for using Dell Chat
16:27:23        System    Connected with Makrand_Karante
16:27:23        Makrand_Karante    Thank you for contacting Dell sales chat. This is Makrand Karante,your Sales Advisor. In order to Help you better can you provide me with your email address and Telephone number incase we get Disconnected I can either come back to you by phone or email.
16:27:39        Alan    hello
16:27:50        Alan    I am looking for laptops running Ubuntu
16:27:53        Makrand_Karante    Hi Alan
16:28:03        Makrand_Karante    we do not have that option available yet
16:28:15        Alan    oh :-(
16:28:32        Alan    when will they be available, I don't want Windows at all
16:28:53        Makrand_Karante    we do not have the related information here
16:29:36        Alan    that is a bit of a shame, I will have to go somewhere else to get a laptop then
16:29:53        Makrand_Karante    is there any thing else that I may assist you with today?
16:30:07        Alan    well not really. I just wanted a laptop running Ubuntu.
16:30:19        Alan    Do you have any without an operating system at all?
16:30:28        Makrand_Karante    I am afraid no
16:30:36        Alan    oh
16:31:23        Alan    so if I want a laptop from Dell I have to buy windows
16:31:58        Makrand_Karante    Yes
16:32:12        Alan    ok, thanks for your help
16:32:29        Makrand_Karante    Thank you for contacting Dell Sales Chat and allowing me the opportunity to assist you. Have a wonderful Day ahead.
16:33:25        System    The session has ended!

Couple of updates. I am in the UK, so that was through the dell.co.uk site, I don't want one from the US because it would have the wrong keyboard and I would be stung with customs charges and it would take a long time to get here and I like instant overnight consumer gratification.

If you are tempted to go ask similar questions of the Dell online chat thing then go right ahead with the following conditions:
1) You must take a credit card out of your purse/wallet, rest it on your keyboard and be totally prepared to use it, if they find you a suitable laptop.
2) Do it once, don't repeatedly bother them.
3) Be polite and respectful, the Code of Conduct applies.

mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33013176)

incredibly insightful comment on how to make 'the system' work for all of us. Kudos! (I'd mod you up if I had mod points - but that would mean getting an account) ;)

Make the point, don't harass. If there's one thing we've learned from 'protests' of the past, this is it.

Re:I tried to buy one yesterday (3, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 4 years ago | (#33013278)

I guarantee you that the information won't make its way back to Dell, because I can also guarantee you that the online chat service is 100% outsourced. The flow of information in those arrangements is often mostly one way.

Right back at ya, Dell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33013226)

That's OK, I've dropped Dell from my purchasing list a while back. I won't be coming back anytime soon. Dell's stuff is crap with a capital C. I've bought two door-stops from them, and they refused to repair them, even though they were under warranty...

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