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Dell To Offer Ubuntu Laptops Again

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the dude-you're-gettin'-a-tux dept.

Portables 218

An anonymous reader writes "TechCrunch reports that Dell will be officially re-entering the Linux laptop market. Beginning this fall, it will sell a 'developer edition' of one of its Ultrabooks that comes pre-loaded with Ubuntu 12.04. Dell first started offering computers with Linux installed in 2007, but they dropped the products in 2010. This spring, a skunkworks effort called Project Sputnik was announced, and now, after the completion of a short beta test, the Ubuntu laptops have been given a green light for commercial sale. Canonical has been working alongside Dell to help make this happen."

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218 comments

Two steps forward, one step back (1, Insightful)

DeTech (2589785) | about 2 years ago | (#40688333)

It's good that Dell caught back up to 2007... but who the hell is buying Dell branded equipment in 2012? It'd be nicer to see a MS licence rebate for doing a clean linux install, now a model program like that would be news.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (5, Informative)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#40688385)

Dell is the fourth largest PC vendor in sales numbers [engadget.com] in the last quarter so a few people are buying their stuff still.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (1)

DeTech (2589785) | about 2 years ago | (#40688445)

And they only lost 11% of their market share... Looks like they're getting dangerously close to the 'others'.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (2)

Mitsoid (837831) | about 2 years ago | (#40688549)

Are we looking at the same article?

They would have to lose another 50% to fall below ASUS.. and ASUS is still listed above "Others"

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#40689261)

No way business users will go with Asus. In corporate land it is HP or Dell and that is it. I guess some use Lenovo but I have not seen those desktops and servers common.

I do admit the corps frankly stopped investing in IT by 2008 when the financial crises hit and they love old XP with their 512 meg systems still. Dell will start raking in money soon as XP gets near retirement and the corps start refreshing and EOL their older systems as they move to Windows 7.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (1)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 2 years ago | (#40688587)

Sad, in a way. I'd bought nothing but Dells until my last Dell/Linux laptop kicked the bucket. Because Dell no longer allowed me to avoid the Microsoft tax on my laptop, I bought from someone else. It makes me wonder about the cost/benefit of carrying a Linux line for folks like me who just want a laptop we're going to wipe and put our own OS on anyway. It isn't as though they need to manufacture the computers separately. While they would have to put different images on the HDDs, this is no different from when one orders and of the numerous flavors of Windows or chooses different software packages. I wonder, therefore, why they chose to ditch the Linux line in the first place.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (2)

Time_Ngler (564671) | about 2 years ago | (#40689207)

Probably due to customer returns from people not knowing what linux is and getting upset when they found out that windows wasn't on the machine that they bought.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (4, Informative)

KingSkippus (799657) | about 2 years ago | (#40689243)

Did you ever actually look for the Linux laptops on Dell's web site? I did, and it wasn't like they plastered them on the home page. It's not like it was even a choice when you were configuring your system. You had to go to a special sub-site with few or no links from other pages. You really had to know where it was to get to it.

Trust me, people weren't buying Linux machines by accident.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 2 years ago | (#40688403)

well, come the fall, a lot more people hopefully.

it could be a great way for dell to re-vitalize the brand, and a great way for linux to get into the home.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 2 years ago | (#40688421)

I've worked at 4 businesses in the past 10 years, varying in size from a small enviornmental testing lab (about 10 total employees) up to a prominent cosmetics company owned by a global conglomerage, including a software company that had about 400 support technicians and a giant room full of enterprise servers.

each and every one of those sourced the vast majority of their workstations from dell, and a good number of servers as well.

in my experience, it's 'who ISN'T buying dell' anymore.

Hell, even I'm writing this on a dell laptop.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 2 years ago | (#40688441)

i should note, for on-topic's sake, that the dell laptop i'm writing this on -is- running ubuntu 12.04, but I put it on there, not them.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (4, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40688531)

i should note, for on-topic's sake, that the dell laptop i'm writing this on -is- running ubuntu 12.04, but I put it on there, not them.

from the Project Sputnik FAQ:

How can I get an Ubuntu-based XPS13 today?

Today you can order a XPS13 off dell.com which will come with Microsoft pre-loaded. You can then get the Ubuntu install image and load it yourself.

You and everyone else, apparently.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688887)

I too, loaded Ubuntu on my Dell Vostro 3560 machine, but Dell refuses [pastebin.com] to reimburse my Windows licence. So yeah, you can already put Ubuntu on it, if you pay the Microsoft tax first that is.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (3, Funny)

Rudeboy777 (214749) | about 2 years ago | (#40688999)

Today you can order a XPS13 off dell.com which will come with Microsoft pre-loaded.

I hate Windows as much as the next guy, but if they're bundling a $250B company with each XPS laptop purchased, even *I* want to get in on this promotion!

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40689055)

Today you can order a XPS13 off dell.com which will come with Microsoft pre-loaded. I hate Windows as much as the next guy, but if they're bundling a $250B company with each XPS laptop purchased, even *I* want to get in on this promotion!

... hadn't thought of it that way....


Truth in advertising, bitches! You owe me a software giant!

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (1)

DeTech (2589785) | about 2 years ago | (#40688541)

'who ISN'T buying dell'

89.3% of the market

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | about 2 years ago | (#40688715)

"'who ISN'T buying dell"

Nor am I, nor will I ever. Back in the mid to late 90s DELL was an awesome system.
Anyone remember the Dimension 450? Anyway, in the early and mid-2000s, their overall service and quality level just tanked.

Intentionally Damaging their Brand to Upsell it. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688917)

"'who ISN'T buying dell"

Nor am I, nor will I ever. Back in the mid to late 90s DELL was an awesome system.

Anyone remember the Dimension 450? Anyway, in the early and mid-2000s, their overall service and quality level just tanked.

Intentionally so, actually. I am posting this as AC since I worked for Dell for a great many years as a Gold Tech Support Agent, and I don't particularly like the idea of being sued for letting the cat out of the bag.

The reason your service and quality level tanked -- why calls were outsourced to India, why parts became just a little bit flakey, etc -- was to give sales a reason to upsell you.

Yes, outsourced techs are cheaper (they make pathetically low wages), but they also gave us an opportunity to sell you a service contract to speak to an American for a vastly inflated price, and they make a killing doing so.

Yes, the cheaper parts are cheaper, but they gave us an opportunity to sell you a next day or 4 hour service contract for your hardware, rather than have you ship in the laptop or wait for service, and again, they make a killing doing so.

It's the latter (upsells) not the former (direct discounts) that Dell was interested in.

The higher ups were quite open with this when they were explaining why we couldn't help frustrated customers who India sent over to us -- if India couldn't fix something, and it was past 5 o'clock over there, they'd punt the customer over to us-- and we'd punt them right back, most of the time.

And yes, you can still get an American. When you buy your next Business model Dell, ask for a "Pro Support" warranty. Unfortunately, you won't get me, as my site (as well as all the Canadian sites) were outsourced... to Dell. They closed our site claiming they didn't need 3 Pro Support sites, then outsourced our jobs to a company Dell owns down in Florida -- but this way, they don't have to give benefits nor a fair wage. Ain't economics grand?

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (2)

red crab (1044734) | about 2 years ago | (#40688493)

Dell does offer a "N Series" model on their Vostro family of laptops and desktops, that are shipped without any pre-installed OS.. All you get is a FreeDOS installation disk for free; better still there is no "Designed for Windows xx" logo on these machines.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688713)

And to find Vostros you have to head into the "small company" section of their site.

Still, if my suspicions about quality is correct i think everyone would be better of stay out of the "home computing" section of all the major brands (with perhaps the exception of their gaming rigs).

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688857)

Wrong.

Just going to dell.com/ubuntu takes you straight to the Vostro Linux line.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#40688797)

It would be interesting to know who buys these.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#40689199)

I have a Vostro V131n... it was $400 for a 13.3" laptop that tips the scales at just over 3lbs. And because it came from the business line of product rather than the consumer line, it included 1 year of next business day onsite hardware support at that price.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688507)

I have to say, I'm loving my Dell laptop for work. E6520 with a quad i7, 8GB of RAM and an nVIDIA video card. I'm able to do triple monitor on the dock, and running a 1080 screen when portable. Honestly, Their build quality on their business products is superb and are quite robust with their magnesium casing.

On top of that, if you run ticketing software than can do computer inventory and such then they are even better. The application we use is able to pull the system info, and give you not only the system service tag, but also make it a clickable link to see existing/expired warranty status and also a direct page for all driver downloads for that specific machine if needed.

Dell does this better than any other mfg. IMO.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 2 years ago | (#40688573)

I miss the 16x10 ratio screens on the e6x00 and e6x10 models. with the e6x20, dell caved to the "1366x768 res is synonymous with 'laptop'" BS that has been going on the past few years.

Also, I like the keyboard on the non-backlit e6x00s the best (what I'm using right now).

other than that, I agree. The 6x20 series is a fantastically built laptop. light, smooth, incredibly sturdy. it inspires confidance in its build quality.

It's attractive too, without being gaudy. For some reason, consumer laptops the past few years from almost any manufacturer have been getting slapped with all sorts of weird textures, colors, patterns, and plastic cladding. looks like a 1990s honda civic owner got hold of the design team. the dell latitude series has managed to avoid that so far.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688599)

There's no license rebate because the Windows license is, in practice, free for OEMs. In fact, it's better than free. The pre-installed bullshitware on an OEM Windows install more than pays for the cost of the OS license.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689069)

Not quite yet. You can't order one online [dell.com] with Ubuntu preinstalled. Seriously, they should have updated their website prior to this press release.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (1)

John Bokma (834313) | about 2 years ago | (#40689091)

In Mexico it's as far as I know the only brand one can buy that doesn't have piss poor support (HP/Compaq, Acer), have the option of an USA keyboard, etc. Built your own? You must be kidding... parts are here both antique and overpriced (sometimes 2x as much as they used to cost in the USA). And if you want to order them, don't be surprised if you have to pay at least 50% in advance. And warranty? Good luck with that. Last time it took me 50 minutes of talking to get my 2 month (!) old router (well under warranty) exchanged in OfficeMax and only because I stated that if I didn't have a new one within 5 minutes we would call the police. When I left I had to promise that if the new one got the same problems that I would work things out with Cisco and not come back....

Anyway, I am happy with my Dell Vostro 200 ST, especially I paid as much for it as I would have paid for it in the USA. And while it took some effort, I could buy my Dell Vostro 200 Windows Tax Free in Mexico [johnbokma.com]. Shortly after Dell even offered a similar machine without Windows (but didn't call it the Vostro Bokma, alas) ;-)

Great machine; shame it's running Ubuntu. Which is the reason why my next machine is going to be an Apple made one; I don't care for a hackingtosh, and am sick of the Ubuntu "dance". Yes, I am aware of Linux mint, but I am afraid that I will end up with too much tinkering that option as well.

Anyway, thanks Dell! And I am happy to read that they keep their Linux support going.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#40689133)

as noted - selling it without the windows tax is significant. Only selling a high end model is not going to foster adoption, however. It's when they sell the low end models that Dell would actually matter. People who spend $1500 on a laptop are not as common as those who spend $500.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#40689235)

It's good that Dell caught back up to 2007... but who the hell is buying Dell branded equipment in 2012? It'd be nicer to see a MS licence rebate for doing a clean linux install, now a model program like that would be news.

One of the issues I have with Linux is that it lacks an ABI and drivers can break during an update. Also for 10 years now mp3 and other codecs are removed for copyright reasons making a new install a pain.

Dell makes sure the hardware works and locks it to its own repositories so I do not have to worry during an apt-get update and one school from my previous employer used the Dell branded Ubuntu and it had mp3, mp4, and other codecs right out of the box!

That is a good deal if you ask me and I wonder if system76 has the same benefits? It is nice to just turn it on and start working without looking for medibuntu repositories.

Re:Two steps forward, one step back (0)

westlake (615356) | about 2 years ago | (#40689245)

It'd be nicer to see a MS licence rebate for doing a clean linux install, now a model program like that would be news.

I am betting Dell sees a better return for its investment from the Home Shopping Network then from sales to the lone geek shopping for Ubuntu laptop online.

Talk of a rebate is nonsense when retailers won't stock bare bones because bare bones doesn't sell worth shit.

Free? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688335)

Can we expect actual open hardware in this or binary blobs locked to a particular kernel and upgrade path? If it's the latter I'm significantly less interested.

Re:Free? (-1, Troll)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about 2 years ago | (#40688547)

Are you a moron?

Re:Free? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688563)

Oh look, it's Harry "Faggot" Squatter. What's up, faggot?

Re:Free? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688663)

Hey, you watch your mouth. Harry isn't just any faggot you know. He's a SUPER FAGGOT. Show some fucking respect. Hi, super faggot Harry Squatter!!

Re:Free? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688673)

Oh, no you didn't, bitch. Harry the SUPER FAGGOT is my super faggot. YOu get your faggot hands off his anus. Only I can violate the super faggot Harry Squatter. Come here Harry and get on this cock. Show this other queen how good you suck my cock.

Re:Free? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688765)

I was nineteen and living with my parents in a suburb a few miles south of Kansas City. Don’t get me wrong: my boyfriend’s cock was great and I still miss it sometimes. But it had such a big head which made it a total bitch to take. After about a year and a half of that, I wanted to try something else, see what I was missing.

One day when my boyfriend was at work, I got kind of ballsy and started cruising the men seeking men page of the Kansas City Craigslist personals. Eventually, I found a guy who sounded sane, and lived a few miles away in a town of like two hundred called Freeman. He was thirty-nine, had a super muscular build and a nice patch of chest hair. In his emails he seemed kind of demanding, which turned me on.

We met in the parking lot of the local Family Center Farm & Home hardware store in Harrisonville. He was sitting in his Ford pick-up, the type that has six wheels Two in the front, four in the back. I drove up, rolled down my window, and just looked at him without saying anything. He rolled down his window and said, ‘Are you ready?’

‘Yes’, I replied.

Then he rolled up his window and drove off. I followed in my silver Ford Focus on Highway 2 until we got to his ranch in the middle of nowhere. He pulled over onto the grass, I stopped a few yards behind. There was a swing set in the backyard. He opened the door to his pick-up, and pulled out a bottle lube from underneath the seat. Then he walked over to me, pulled my shirt off and pushed me to the ground. ‘Hope you don’t mind’

He took his shirt off, pulled down his pants, started working his cock, jerking off and slapping it across my face. Then he grabbed my head and shoved his cock down my throat. I didn’t really get a feel for how big it was until I was gagging on it. It was a bit bigger than my boyfriend’s cock. He tasted sweaty, had that musky, ‘I’ve-been-plowing-a-field-all-day’ smell.

At one point, he stood me up, bent me over his truck, pulled my pants down and started finger-fucking me. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see him jerking off with his other hand. Then he pushed me back to the ground, stuck his dick in my mouth again, grabbed the back of my head and started fucking my face. My eyes were watering, and he was yelling at me to swallow it all.

When he came, I could feel it shooting on the back of my throat. And his cum tasted so good — better than my boyfriend’s cum which just tasted bitter ever since he’d become a chain smoker. But this guy, this guy’s cum was liquid candy. It was sweet and thick — what cum should taste like. I wanted to bottle it and take it home with me. It was that good. When he was done, he pulled me up and started jerking me off. In about thirty seconds, I came all over his arm.

As I was putting my clothes back on, he looked over at me and said, ‘If you ever come back here, I’ll shoot ya’.

I never did venture back to Freeman, but I saw him a few months later, grocery shopping at Price Chopper.

Re:Free? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688955)

Oh look, it's Harry "Faggot" Squatter. What's up, faggot? (Score:0, Funny)

When did I time travel back into the early 90's?

Re:Free? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688989)

Shut up, faggot.

Re:Free? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688615)

Not anymore. I left the church when I got married to a Methodist.

Re:Free? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688617)

Hey, Harry the faggot. You still a faggot? Thought so. Faggot.

Re:Free? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688653)

Is that faggot Harry Squatter still on Slashdot? OH, hi, faggot Harry.

Can't wait.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688337)

...to buy one, wipe off that buggy, proprietary OS and install Debian on it.

Re:Can't wait.... (3, Interesting)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 2 years ago | (#40688479)

... because you can't do that now with a windows-based dell machine?

yes yes, I know, it's fashionable to hate ubuntu. Because if there's one thing that unites hardcore linux fanboys, it's hating any other distro except their own. Sometimes I wonder if they hate other distros more than they hate MS.

Re:Can't wait.... (4, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40688577)

Linux is so divided over each distro that I sometimes wonder if MS doesn't have agent provocateurs stirring the pot just to keep the community divided (and forever ineffectual). But then, like my grandma always used to say "Kid, never attribute to conspiracy what can be attributed to sheer blind fanboism."

Re:Can't wait.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688847)

Your grandma does not say that.

Re:Can't wait.... (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 2 years ago | (#40689033)

yes yes, I know, it's fashionable to hate ubuntu. Because if there's one thing that unites hardcore linux fanboys, it's hating any other distro except their own. Sometimes I wonder if they hate other distros more than they hate MS.

Ubuntu still is very popular, and for good reason. Its very good, because a lot of work is done on it and it is based on Debian unstable, which in itself is pretty good, unsurprisingly this means immature technology gets rolled out [pulseaudio, Intel drivers] for the sake of features over stability. Some users prefer the stability move to Debian, Some users get bitten by bugs/regressions from running more unstable options. Overall though most benefit from the new features because even unstable...is pretty stable. It may seem more fashionably to speak out against Ubuntu, not because of Ubuntu itself, but because of Unity, but then a large number of users are objecting to having these tablet interfaces forced on us. I myself have moved to Mint/Cinnamon [Ubuntu with traditional interface]. Now Ubuntu lately have come up with a fairly unpopular fix!? for Microsoft locking computers. I see no good solution other than a legal one.

Now I posted that whole damn paragraph, which is true and factual, which states how it is. Notice I how I am not mentioning "fanboys" or "hate", because emotive language is not necessary. That is because the choices made are not being made emotionally.

Re:Can't wait.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689149)

I don't mind Unity after I get rid of :

  • the vertical bar on left side of the screen
  • HUD
  • Hot keys being activated on pressing Alt

After this Unity stops getting in the way and I can focus on what I want to do. Unity gets rid of the bottom horizontal bar in Gnome and hence increases the usable screen space.

Re:Can't wait.... (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40688629)

>>>to buy Ubuntu, wipe off that buggy, proprietary OS and install Debian on it.

Debian sucks ass too.

Re:Can't wait.... (1)

Hadlock (143607) | about 2 years ago | (#40689201)

Good luck getting your $0 reimbursement check from Canonical. You think it's difficult to get in touch with a US company... try a South African one!

Re:Can't wait.... (4, Interesting)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 2 years ago | (#40689227)

You joke, but the big benefit of computers sold with Linux pre-loaded (any Linux- even crap) is that there's a good chance that it'll be 100% Linux-compatible hardware. Makes life far easier when installing your actual distro of choice.

We'll see (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 years ago | (#40688341)

Last time I bought a Dell laptop, it was because I needed a high end laptop workstation, and it had to run Linux. I ended up buying a Windows one and putting ubuntu on it because ubuntu had restricted linux to only the really low end laptops.

At least they've got an ultrabook this time.

Re:We'll see (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688785)

"because ubuntu had restricted linux to only the really low end laptops"

I guess you mean that Dell had restricted Linux to the low end laptops.

Is this announcement from Dell, or Canonical? (3)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#40688351)

Is this announcement definitely from Dell, or is it more bullshit from Canonical? Canonical has previously announced various machines as coming with their Linux preloaded. Canonical claimed that for an EeePC model. [slashdot.org] Didn't happen.

Re:Is this announcement from Dell, or Canonical? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688571)

It most definitely did happen, but not in all geographies. Asus ships Ubuntu on a number of machines (including those EEEPc models), both online and in retail. Sorry that it is not available in your location - Canonical are working on expanding the reach of Ubuntu with Asus, Dell, and other OEMs.

-- A Canonical employee

Re:Is this announcement from Dell, or Canonical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688891)

I know Asus has a 1025c listed with Ubuntu on their site, and it has been sighted on sale in Italy.

And right now it seems Dell is limiting their Ubuntu efforts to english speaking markets.

yay (0)

misfit815 (875442) | about 2 years ago | (#40688357)

My aging Dell laptop is due for replacement. I'm familiar with their hardware, BIOS, support site, etc, so I was not eager to have to shop elsewhere.

Re:yay (1)

DeTech (2589785) | about 2 years ago | (#40688401)

News flash: Dell has nothing to due with the hardware or BIOS in the laptops they sell.

Re:yay (1)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about 2 years ago | (#40688627)

Two beers later and I still can't figure out what you're trying to say....?

In any case dell actually seem to put some effort into their BIOS version... As do ASUS.

Will it be any cheaper than Windows? (5, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40688375)

Last time I looked at one of these Linux laptops, the price was higher than the $350 Windows laptop I saw at staples. Therefore it saved me money to buy the Windows version, download Lubuntu, and install a dual boot, rather than support Dell Linux offering.

Re:Will it be any cheaper than Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688991)

Not surprised. Dell seems to offset the bulk discounted Windows License by getting payed by Symantec and others for bundling their 30 day demo programs. And likely accounting goes "hang on, these will likely sell less than our normal fare so they need to be priced higher to bring in the usual margin!". All in all it is a uphill battle.

Re:Will it be any cheaper than Windows? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#40689009)

And Staples saved themselves having any support for Linux, testing for Linux, returns because the buyer didn't really want Linux or it didn't work out for them. And if you say geeks support themselves I think you'll find that switches quickly when they've paid for a Linux laptop, they'll be expecting that it works far more smoothly than a DIY install that may or may not run well on that model. If it did, great for you. Linux is niche. Niche usually means expensive to stock, expensive to test, expensive to support. If Windows has an issue maybe you fix it for a million users, if Linux has a similar issue you fix it for ten thousand. That means a lot fewer people to spread the cost on. So the license is free, big whoop. With all the trialware they get paid to install on Windows I doubt it costs them much at all. So why exactly should it be cheaper?

Re:Will it be any cheaper than Windows? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#40689121)

Last time I looked at one of these Linux laptops, the price was higher than the $350 Windows laptop I saw at staples. Therefore it saved me money to buy the Windows version, download Lubuntu, and install a dual boot, rather than support Dell Linux offering.

All that crapware that comes with your new PC pays for the Windows license AND a bit of the hardware. Software vendors basically beg, plead and bargain their way onto the default image with an OEM, and the OEM gets paid a per-unit fee for doing it.

Heck, Microsoft offers "Premium PCs" that are free from crapware (through their hard to find Microsoft store). Guess what? They cost more!

Until you can get vendors paying to preinstall crapware for the Linux version, the price will always be higher.

Very cool, no Microsoft tax! (3, Funny)

toygeek (473120) | about 2 years ago | (#40688389)

Now I can get a cheaper laptop and put on my pirated Windows 7 Ultimate! w00t!!!!!

(because *nobody* pirates the home edition)

Re:Very cool, no Microsoft tax! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688583)

Actually .. you'd be surprised how many people actually want to pirate the Home edition based on download in "alternative" sites. My guess is that some people fear the Enterprise/Ultimate editions as they "might be bloated".

Obviously we're talking about Home Premium. Who the fuck came up with a boxed edition of Home Basic?

Re:Very cool, no Microsoft tax! (4, Funny)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#40688607)

"(because *nobody* pirates the home edition)"

Since you mentioned, I checked and (at the moment) this has 421 seeders and 145 leechers! Comedy Gold!

http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/6863991/Windows_7_home_premium_64_bit_by_(oldBen) [thepiratebay.se]

Re:Very cool, no Microsoft tax! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689097)

Err, last time i checked Windows 7 holds the ability to install all editions. The only difference is the serial used.

Really? (3, Funny)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 2 years ago | (#40688393)

I've always reserved "skunkworks project" for what I thought were interesting, kinda secret, complicated pursuits.

You know, like the exact opposite of dell slapping ubuntu on a laptop and selling it on their website. ;)

Re:Really? (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 2 years ago | (#40688833)

I noticed that too. I also got a kick out of something called "skunkworks" kicking out something called "Sputnik".

Looks like it's time to negotiate OEM pricing with (5, Interesting)

melted (227442) | about 2 years ago | (#40688395)

Looks like it's time to negotiate OEM Windows pricing with Microsoft. Out comes the old pal, Linux, and stays there right up until Microsoft complies with Dell's demands. This is getting tiresome. It's the third or fourth time they've done this, there's no element of surprise to anyone but people with Alzheimers.

Re:Looks like it's time to negotiate OEM pricing w (5, Interesting)

slazzy (864185) | about 2 years ago | (#40688439)

Normally OEM licences are often on a 5 year term, so this would make sense timing wise.

Re:Looks like it's time to negotiate OEM pricing w (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40688699)

>>>It's the third or fourth time they've done this,

Don't you mean second? You can draw a line with two points, but you can't establish a pattern. You can't claim this is Dell's modus operandi with only 2 samples.

Re:Looks like it's time to negotiate OEM pricing w (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 2 years ago | (#40689123)

Yep. Dell kept doing the same thing for years with AMD, threatening to start selling AMD-based systems to keep Intel motivated to give them sweetheart deals.

By the time Intel got tired of the tactic, the Core 2 had been released anyway so AMD was no longer the best. Kind of how Ubuntu's interface is no longer as-good-or-better than Windows' now that it's saddled with Unity.

Cool! (2)

davidwr (791652) | about 2 years ago | (#40688397)

$write you "Dude, you're getting a Dell"

Re:Cool! (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40688635)

I wonder whatever happened to the "Dude, you're getting a Dell" kid. I'm betting drug addiction and eventual homelessness. Even as I write this, I bet he's somewhere selling his blood for crack. Kinda warms my heart.

Re:Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688665)

You don't sell blood, you sell plasma or semen. My guess is he's on the receiving end of one of those bodily fluids.

Re:Cool! (4, Informative)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 2 years ago | (#40688853)

On February 9, 2003, Curtis was caught attempting to buy a bag of marijuana on Manhattan's Lower East Side.[2] Curtis was arrested and charged with criminal possession of marijuana. Due to recognizability of Curtis, word of the arrest spread quickly through the media. A chain email of the story even cropped up as it was forwarded around the internet using the iconic parodied phrase "Dude, you're getting a cell!"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Curtis_(actor) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Cool! (0)

tburke261 (981079) | about 2 years ago | (#40688905)

'On February 9, 2003, Curtis was caught attempting to buy a bag of marijuana on Manhattan's Lower East Side.[2] Curtis was arrested and charged with criminal possession of marijuana. Due to recognizability of Curtis, word of the arrest spread quickly through the media. A chain email of the story even cropped up as it was forwarded around the internet using the iconic parodied phrase "Dude, you're getting a cell!"'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Curtis_(actor)#Arrest [wikipedia.org]

Re:Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40689101)

Well, funny you should mention drugs, because he got busted for pot a while back, and after the new stories, I never heard from him again.

Dell has never stopped selling Ubuntu machines (4, Informative)

hweimer (709734) | about 2 years ago | (#40688411)

Even now, there are some notebooks [dell.com] available on their website, and you can probably get even more options when you ask them on the phone.

Its a shake down (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688455)

Pressuring MS to give deep OEM discounts on their upcoming WIndows 8?

It happened at the same stage of the Windows release cycle before and probably worked.

so the headline is (2)

nimbius (983462) | about 2 years ago | (#40688457)

dell gives linux laptops another chance, implying they were never a viable idea from the get-go. Personally? Fuck Dell. id rather take my business to system76 or penguin computing, or even los alamos if i had the cash. these are places where linux on the desktop is something thats existed and will continue to exist as long as your favourite linux is produced, so you dont need to worry about getting redmonds buy-in on how powerful your linux desktop is allowed to be, or at what pricepoint its required to be set.

TL;DR: stop buying linux from people who pander to the community for extra scratch in the fourth quarter earnings report.

Why now? W8 for it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688489)

Well, if you didn't get it... I was saying that Windows 8 is looking so bad that Dell is hedging their bet.

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook (1)

C_Kode (102755) | about 2 years ago | (#40688523)

I was actually very interested in a XPS 13 Ultrabook. It had good reviews, a decent price and Linux would work on it. My only problem was that it supported a max for 4GB of memory. If it had at least supported 8GBs, I would probably own one right now.

The always-high costs of "free" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688553)

Isn't it amazing how much work (meaning money) Dell has to put in to offering a "free" operating system on it's computers?

Bad for Dell, but definitely good for the legions of high paid consultants who provide incompetent support for Teh Lunix.

Re:The always-high costs of "free" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688721)

By legions you mean the company in India they farm their level 1 support out to.

By high paid you mean - I have no idea what you mean... see previous clarification.

By incompetent support you mean the same people who provide incompetent support for Windows?

Yeah, now I get what you're saying.

Re:The always-high costs of "free" (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40688863)

In two years, first level support: "What is this Linux? You must reinstall windows 8 and send it back or warranty invalid!"

You need the right accent, too.

great idea (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#40688569)

Hmmm typical Dell customers + Linux OS + Dell's legendary support quality = fantastic idea! I'm sure they won't have any problems with people calling in, asking how to do basically everything.

I'll buy (1)

randallman (605329) | about 2 years ago | (#40688593)

I currently have a MacBook Air, which is a nice piece of hardware, but I've yet to stamp out all issues (hangs on external display, random suspend borks, etc) running Ubuntu. If they deliver a laptop of similar quality with everything working nicely, I will buy it.

on-off-relationships are painful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688603)

so why accept such an offer?

What do you mean, "again?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40688799)

dell.com/ubuntu

Vostro 1440 still for sale, as always.

It's still a Dell. (1, Informative)

NalosLayor (958307) | about 2 years ago | (#40688819)

I'll be honest, I haven't given a Dell laptop a serious look in years, but I handled tons of them through the late 2000's and the build quality was so poor that I really don't even look at their equipment anymore when picking a laptop for myself or someone else. I don't know if they've changed recently, but I haven't heard anyone make that claim. It doesn't matter to me what OS ships with the hardware if the hardware itself is flimsy. A laptop that won't bend, crack or break at the hinges within a few weeks is worth a $50 premium, IMO.
I actually feel that Asus and Toshiba build much nicer laptops at about the same price point, but I'm sure someone will disagree (after all, this is /.)

Re:It's still a Dell. (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#40689117)

I'm posting this mainly because you mentioned Asus, and I've sworn an oath of vengeance against them.

Asus sucks. It seems to have started sucking recently, last year or two. But they suck.

Dell laptops crack within weeks. My Asus laptop fried itself within hours. And then took over a month to repair. And when I finally did get it back, it was in a cheap cardboard box instead of the original packaging they had insisted I use, and the power cable they had also insisted I return was half-missing as well. And this was after they'd already fucked me over by taking two months to get ship it out in the first place.

So yeah. Fuck Asus. They're worse than Dell, in my book.

as a long time Dell user... (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40688839)

As a user of Dell for Linux before the N Series came out and as a person that still uses an N series laptop and Ubuntu, I can tell you my next laptop, even if the are partnering with Ubuntu, will not be from Dell. Over the years I've felt pretty screwed over as a Linux user and the last re neg of their commitments to Linux users has convinced me to no longer be their customer. My next laptop purchase in on the horizon, and it will be from a vendor like System 76 or someone else that seems committed. Who knows when Dell will decide to defecate on the Linux community again.

Buyer beware (0)

Alaska Jack (679307) | about 2 years ago | (#40688935)

After a long time on Macs, I took the plunge into Linux with a Dell Mini 10.

I was amazed to find out that, once purchased, you were pretty much stuck with the OS as it shipped. If you upgraded, you broke the graphics driver.

There were gigantic, epic forum threads (this I think is the main one -- 543 pages. Not comments -- pages.) devoted to fiddling with command-line settings to try to get things working again. Eventually, it just got to be too much and I installed XP on the thing.

||||| Alaska Jack

Windows 8 also launches this fall (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#40688957)

Windows 8 is also launching the same time as this change. We've never seen them in the same room together. Coincidence? I think not!

Retaliation (1)

HikingStick (878216) | about 2 years ago | (#40688979)

Perhaps this is Dell's way of jabbing back at Microsoft, after they announced their tablet, undermining many of their partners.

Lenovo make the best Ubuntu laptops (2)

HangingChad (677530) | about 2 years ago | (#40689257)

I was going to order a Dell with Ubuntu, but the price was almost the same!

Instead I buy lightly used IBM and Lenovo laptops and add Ubuntu. They rock.

Be nice if I could find Linux drivers for the fingerprint reader and my camera is kind of dark, but other than those minor niggles, they're great Ubuntu boxes.

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