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Dell Refuses to Sell Ubuntu to Business

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the now-that's-just-weird dept.

Businesses 522

An anonymous reader writes "I had a surreal experience with Dell today. My boss asked me to order a new computer for our small, non-profit business. Wanting to support Dell in their decision to sell computers with Ubuntu installed, I decided to order one. First, I talked to a small business representative, who informed me that I could not order one of the Ubuntu-based computers through the small business department. I had to go through the "home and home office" department. I called the Home office department. I asked the representative if I could buy one of the ubuntu computers for my company. She said (and I quote), "these Dell computers are designed for personal use only, as long as you use it for personal use, you can purchase one." So I lied and said I would.... Next, I tried to buy it on our business credit card. They would have none of that. She told me that I had to buy it through a personal card. Now, as a non-profit, our business does not pay sales tax (10% in Tennessee). Had I bought it with my own card, I would have had to pay tax (~$90), which my company would not have reimbursed me for. So.....no Dell today."

cancel ×

522 comments

So... (5, Insightful)

cs02rm0 (654673) | more than 7 years ago | (#19577883)

...take your business, literally, elsewhere?

parent: -1 redundant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19577927)

So.....no Dell today.

I do believe, that's what he did.

Re:parent: -1 redundant (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19578369)

He didn't actually say he took his business elsewhere. Just that he didn't buy Dell _today_.

Re:So... (5, Insightful)

ronadams (987516) | more than 7 years ago | (#19577943)

Except if you're looking for FOSS OS laptop, where do you take it? Even most custom build places push Windows to every system. This is a real disappointment. Is Dell trying to avoid supporting these machines in a corporate environment? That's half-assed support, and Dell should be held accountable for it. Either stand behind your product, with the disclaimer that Linux-based may not work for everyone, or don't sell the damn things at all.

Re:So... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578123)

Well there is Apple, Sure you get OS X but you can always put Linux on instead if you want to. You pay the Apple Tax instead of the Microsoft Tax. But at least your purchase says Hey I don't want a Windows Laptop. Otherwise you go with Windows or if you can find a company that sells a OS Less Laptop, and Install Linux on it.

Re:So... (4, Interesting)

ronadams (987516) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578195)

Except that I don't want to pay for OS X if I'm just going to use it for a FOSS OS... another user did point out, quite correctly as I found, that you could just purchase a Dell with FreeDOS for businesses... why, why, why.

Re:So... (1)

psxman (925240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578141)

Except if you're looking for FOSS OS laptop, where do you take it?

System76? (dunno how good they are for businesses, but the way I hear it they're alright for home users)

Re:So... (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578403)

LinuxCertified [linuxcertified.com] sells laptops with various Linux distros preloaded and fully supported.

System76 (5, Informative)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578535)

http://system76.com/ [system76.com] Great laptops, reasonable prices, Ubuntu ships on the beasts. What more could you ask for?

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19577947)

Ummm.... sounds like that's what he did... it's there in the last line or so of the post... I know this is Slashdot but at least read all of the blurb :)

Re:So... (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578349)

...take your business, literally, elsewhere?
How is this redundant if it's the first post?
Not trolling, but come on, guys...

Re:So... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19578475)

People are silly. Bush would probably win again if he ran again.

Re:So... (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578479)

The poster of the article already stated he was taking his business elsewhere in the summary. So a post telling him to take his business elsewhere really is redundant!

Re:So... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578633)

The poster of the article already stated he was taking his business elsewhere
No he didn't. He said "No Dell today". If you think that means the same as "I bought a HP instead" you should drop advanced smugness and take English comprehension 101 instead.

Call me a "usage Nazi," not a "grammar Nazi." (1)

captainjaroslav (893479) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578533)

So, you mean he should move to a new building? A new city? State? If you mean he should buy from somebody besides Dell, you are misusing the word "literally."

Now, many of you will refer to somebody who makes a comment like this as a "grammar Nazi." However, this really isn't a grammar issue. You might call it a usage issue or a meaning issue or... I don't know. Using a word to mean something that it doesn't mean really has nothing to do with grammar.

OTOH, the original story did mention the high sales tax in his area, so maybe the parent really did mean he should move somewhere else. Hey, how about the Cayman Islands?

Employee Gift (5, Insightful)

lathama (639499) | more than 7 years ago | (#19577887)

Why not purchase as an employee gift. I would not buy from Dell myself but if I did that is what I would do.

"Its Mary's 30th year with the organization, we want to do something special for her."

Re:Employee Gift (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19578509)

30 years and you're going to buy her a computer with Linux on it? I thought it was supposed to be a reward.

hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19577905)

Just load it on yourself

Re:hmmmm (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 7 years ago | (#19577995)

There may be support issues the bosses aren't comfortable with, but yeah... when I've bought machines from Dell and other large assemblers, the first software I run on them is fdisk and then some OS installer.

Why? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19577915)

No wonder, who'd want to buy a computer running an OS violating hundreds of patents?

Oh wait.

and also mandatory

1. Refuse selling computers running Ubuntu
2. ???
3. Profit!

The bigger they get... (1, Informative)

krovisser (1056294) | more than 7 years ago | (#19577937)

The seemingly more stupid and less customer orientated they are. Those damned corporations.

The word is "oriented", you drooling mongoloid. (1)

Old Ike (637987) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578159)

Take an English class.

Re:The word is "oriented", you drooling mongoloid. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19578353)

I too cringe when I hear "orientated." However, for some reason this time I decided to look it up.

Main Entry: orientated
Function: adjective
Usage: chiefly British
: ORIENTED

Buy the old school Open Source systems (5, Informative)

thebdj (768618) | more than 7 years ago | (#19577949)

Dell has been selling systems through the business end with FreeDos for a while now. Purchase one of those and install Ubuntu yourself. It really isn't that hard and you can actually customize the install to what components you actually need. Or you could purchase one and install any free distro you want.

I can list the millions of reasons why they only want to sell it as "personal use". Remember, Dell (and any other PC company) is still a business designed to make money and if they cannot please everyone all of the time, oh well.

Re:Buy the old school Open Source systems (4, Informative)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578089)

Furthermore, Dell business support and consumer support are TOTALLY different groups. It's quite probably that the business group has no ability (training, etc.) to support Ubuntu boxes.

Re:Buy the old school Open Source systems (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578391)

This is absolutely the case. If you want business support for linux, you can get SUSE support and RedHat support, and that's it.

Re:Buy the old school Open Source systems (1)

Psychor (603391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578339)

Please list millions of reasons why Dell only wish to sell it for personal use.

Re:Buy the old school Open Source systems (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578409)

1.Tech support
2.Tech support
3.Tech support
4.Tech support
5.Tech support
6.Tech support
7.Tech support
...
I think you get the idea.

Re:Buy the old school Open Source systems (-1, Offtopic)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578623)

This is one of the few cases where I think a redundant mod would be applicable.

Re:Buy the old school Open Source systems (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578637)

I would think that providing support for a business would be easier than a consumer. One point of contact, someone hopefully an experienced tech who understand the Support Drone's support-by-script, instead of Consumer who has to look at their mouse to click it.

Re:Buy the old school Open Source systems (1)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578645)

Yes, however Dell offers business systems with FreeDOS. Do you think that Dell actually supports FreeDOS?
business user: "My business dell with FreeDOS doesn't support my USB device."
Tech: "Please type see dee space see colon back slash ...."

I doubt Dell is doing any real business support for FreeDOS. This is probably some contract thing with MS, IMO.

Probably Red-Tape (4, Insightful)

genmax (990012) | more than 7 years ago | (#19577955)

They probably have a system in place that allows only businesses to buy business PCs, irrespective of whether its running Linux or not. And they probably see Ubuntu as only being appropriate for personal work, hence ..

Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence. Doesn't make this any less annoying though !

Re:Probably Red-Tape (4, Interesting)

sYkSh0n3 (722238) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578239)

My guess is this probably has a lot to do with tech support. They outsource their support to the lowest bidders, and the lowest bidder then runs their support through a call center in India or some little podunk town in the states. These people then hire anybody able to speak into a headset. Some don't know anything about a computer other than how to play solitaire, others can barely turn one on. Teaching a whole new operating system to them would take years, IF it could be done at all. That's why they dropped the hardware support, and why they can't sell them to businesses. They know they have no way of offering reliable support for them, and they dont want to piss off their business customers with horrible tech support and risk getting a lawsuit against them for lost revenue.

I loath Microsoft, but I understand where Dell is coming from with their lack of support for Ubuntu, it's just not financially viable to train agents to support it. They have to protect the stockholders first and customers come second. I disapprove of this system, but that's a rant for another thread. I see a day in the distant future where Dell will slowly begin expanding it's Ubuntu selection and support. But i think it will be a long long time, and people complaining about how poorly they are doing now is only going to discourage their effort.

Re:Probably Red-Tape (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578361)

Your guess would be wrong. Dell pulled back its support for businesses to the US because they had so many complaints on the outsourced 'support.'

Re:Probably Red-Tape (1)

sYkSh0n3 (722238) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578467)

A lot of companies are pulling back to the states, but they still outsource it, and the companies they use place centers in towns with lower incomes. They get huge tax breaks to bring the business in and can pay much lower wages. These towns have smaller populations and it's hard to get knowledgeable people to work there, so they hire anyone that can say "Thank you for calling tech support". The English is better, but the support is not.

Re:Probably Red-Tape (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578431)

'but I understand where Dell is coming from with their lack of support for Ubuntu, it's just not financially viable to train agents to support it.'

Right, which is why they don't support it. They only support the hardware.

Re:Probably Red-Tape (1)

sYkSh0n3 (722238) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578591)

Right, which is why they don't support it. They only support the hardware.

and i imagine that even that is hard for them. How do you teach an agent to support hardware when they don't know the operating system it's running.

You're all missing the point (4, Funny)

Hic sunt leones (1048372) | more than 7 years ago | (#19577965)

Businesses AREN'T SUPPOSED to have opinions on the likes of SOFTWARE! Only GEEKS do that...

maybe (1)

selket (1117829) | more than 7 years ago | (#19577967)

When a company DONT sell something then this must have very good reasons. I think it has something todo with Licences and stuff. Or Dell is planning to produce a special Company based notbook ubuntu. And they simply dont sell Private ones firstly.

Re:maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19578503)

Your English skills make me weep.

Re:maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19578641)

When a company DONT sell something then this must have very good reasons.

Yeah, but very good reasons to whom? The good reason may well be that they don't want to pi55 Billy Gates off.

I can see (3, Interesting)

niceone (992278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19577969)

I can see why they might want to sell different products in their different "channels", presumably they have different support staff for each one and not all are trained for all products.

I can't see why they won't accept a business card for an item purchased in the "home / home office" section though.

Different support divisions (1)

ohearn (969704) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578169)

Yes, Dell's support for corporate, government, and educational customers is a completely different division than for home users. I can't speak for the home support, but having worked for the division that handle the large accounts like that, they made sure to take pretty good care of the customer. Of course that was several years ago and although I know the divisions are still seperate I can't promise the level of service is any better or worse than when I was there. Of course since employee or student purchase programs still fell under the corporate division, some days it felt like you were doing home user support all day (especially on night shift).

Why go with Dell? (-1, Troll)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19577977)

You do have alternitives. Use them, threaton them with them, "I Guess I will go with HP, Lenovo, Gateway, Apple, Penguin Computer"

I am sick of you stupid Consumers. *Cry* *Cry* *Cry* *Whine* *Whine* *Whine* Companies are Evil *boo hoo*, they wont give me what I want. Guys you control the purse strings if you don't like what the company does go an alternive route don't give them money, speed up the process and tell them that you are doing that.

American Consumers are DUMB!

Re:Why go with Dell? (-1, Troll)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578127)

You do have alternitives.

Indeed, but Americans are bad to have mad love for brands and you might be surprised at what kind of consumer rape they'll take just to stick with certain companies. It's kind of like being the abused party in an abusive relationship who doesn't want to leave. In this case the consumer just can't change companies no matter how bad he/she is treated because "things might be worse elsewhere".

One of my good friends runs a small business and he told me "Never again" would he buy a Dell because of their tech support. Of course the original poster could just buy a Windoze PC from his beloved Dell and install Ubuntuu on it himself, but I guess that kind of thinking is too "out of the box" for many people. By God he wants a solution where Dell sells him an Ubuntuu box AND accepts the business credit card to pay for and he's going to hold his breath until that happens even though he has many other options (other vendors, self-install Ubuntuu over Windoze, etc.).

Re:Why go with Dell? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578425)

Part of buying a dell is for support though, and installing Linux when they sold you a Windows box will surely void your warranty.

Re:Why go with Dell? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578215)

Will HP buy a Dell laptop, install Ubuntu, sell it to me, and support the hardware and OS? Sometimes Dell has the best choice in hardware (especially for an environment where everything else is Dell).

Re:Why go with Dell? (3, Insightful)

quarkoid (26884) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578223)

> American Consumers are DUMB!

Yes. Along with pretty much any nationality you can think of. We're all dumb.

If Dell won't sell one particular configuration through one particular channel, there'll be a reason for it. More likely than not, it's not profitable for them to do so - it'll cost them more to do you a special than they'll make back in profit.

If that's the case, they don't want your money - they may just as well mail you a check/cheque for the difference and call it quits. They're hardly likely to do that now are they?

I never cease to be amazed at the number of people who complain when a company won't take their cash. If they won't take it, they don't want it and your complaining isn't going to do anything about it.

Anyway, allow me to climb down off my hobby-horse. If you want to make Dell pay, buy a normal Windows-ified PC and claim the money back as per the EULA.

So, don't complain - you have no right to complain. However, what you do have is a choice. Use it.

Re:Why go with Dell? (1)

kharchenko (303729) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578257)

>go with HP, Lenovo, Gateway, Apple, Penguin Computer
Out of those you've listed, only Penguin Computer actually sells servers with Linux - and it's a small company with a limited range of products (e.g. no Core2 Duo, only Xeon machines, etc.).
I am facing the same issue as the original poster right now, and would be interested in real suggestions for a high-volume company that can sell you linux workstations relatively cheap (as Dell and such do).

Re:Why go with Dell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19578261)

The poster wasn't whining. He was trying to support Dell for offering a computer with Linux installed. Dell wouldn't sell him one, so he went elsewhere. His post just documents his experience.

Re:Why go with Dell? (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578287)

No, consumers in general are dumb. If they weren't, they would be customers.

Thus I feel vaguely insulted every time someone calls me a consumer.

Re:Why go with Dell? (1)

teslar (706653) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578383)

I agree with your general point, but only in cases where the consumer then goes on to buy something at Dell that he did not originally want. Also, I fail to see why whining in either case, especially on slashdot, would be a bad thing.

Before whining on slashdot:
someone at Dell and the OP were aware that he intended to buy a Dell but did not because Dell refused to sell him the computer he wanted.

After whining on slashdot:
the OP, more than one person at Dell and half the friggin' computer-buying world are aware that Dell did not sell him what he wanted. I guess that if Dell cares at all, this is going to make them address the issue faster than some random bloke telling them he's gonna go and buy an HP instead.

Besides, I doubt telling a sales rep that you are going to the competition will have any effect whatsoever. What's he gonna do, go to the manager and tell him that he lost another 100 potential clients to HP? Would the manager say anything other than 'well, you're not very good at your job then, are you? Go clean your desk.'?

Re:Why go with Dell? (4, Insightful)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578453)

Why is it somehow bad to call out a company for a stupid business decision?

I mean, I don't have to buy for them, but I sure as hell don't have to hold back my "they're stupid monkey fucking gutter slut" comments, either.

Plus, it's nice to know for the rest of us. It's nice to know what businesses to avoid if the situation ever comes up.

It's pretty pathetic that you complain about the right to free speech. American Consumers are dumb? I'd say the idiot who bitches about free speech is dumb. But hey, far be it from me to stop you. Even retards are allowed to get their say in. Freedom of speech and all.

Re:Why go with Dell? (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578521)

Guys you control the purse strings if you don't like what the company does go an alternive route don't give them money, speed up the process and tell them that you are doing that.
Which is exactly what happened here. He also went and told all of his friends here at slashdot, some of whom might now follow his lead.

FreeDOS or Red Hat available on Small Business (4, Interesting)

PowerEdge (648673) | more than 7 years ago | (#19577985)

Dell segments its business based on how customers are perceived to use their systems. This is why a consumer can't purchase a Latitude notebook, yet Small Business customers can. Support is also divided along these lines for the most part. You can purchase Gold Support "highly recommended" on business machines but not so on the consumer machines. Ubuntu Linux, as far as I can tell, is being offered as a consumer grade operating system at this time.

I would wager if you talked to the Small Business sales rep again you could still purchase an nSeries system with FreeDOS on it or you can purchase a Precision Workstation with Red Hat Linux. Simply go to www.dell.com/nseries.

Re:FreeDOS or Red Hat available on Small Business (3, Insightful)

neersign (956437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578491)

www.dell.com/linux [dell.com] still works too, and you can see that they have links to "dell and novell, dell and red hat, dell and ubuntu" as well as "Workstations for Office" and "FreeDOS Desktops for Office", among others. So, I understand that the point of the article was "i wanted to support Dell's decision to sell Ubuntu", but if the end goal was simply to have a Dell system that shipped with Linux then the guy simply missed all of the options that are there.

I still don't think there is anyway to find that page without directly going to dell.com/linux, which is sad.

Motives? (1)

Vulcann (752521) | more than 7 years ago | (#19577999)

The thing this (and the fact that the price of the Ubuntu Dell machine is at par with a Windows box) points to is that Dell jumped onto the Ubuntu bandwagon more for leverage and less for business.

Monty Python: Spam Skit (3, Funny)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578001)

Customer: "I would like a Dell and Ubuntu without Ubuntu on it."

Dell: "You can't have it."

Customer: "Why not?"

Dell: "Well it wouldn't be a Dell with Ubuntu now wou'it?..."

Price.. (2, Insightful)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578019)

It isn't really a huge price difference between XP and Linux after buying it from Dell anyway. I'm guessing the businesses have the option to purchase larger support options, and they don't want to have to deal with that at the moment. Plus, there's probably a pact between them and Microsoft, when it comes to mass orders from businesses.

Ya never know. That is strange though.

Dell is speaking out of both sides of it's mouth (4, Insightful)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578021)

As it would appear that they sell LINUX computers so that they can get positive mindshare from the Slashdot types, but they don't want to make it TOO available to people like businesses so that they don't get Micro$soft too angry when they go to re-negotiate their OEM agreement.

What this basically means is that LINUX is no further ahead at the end of the day.

Re:Dell is speaking out of both sides of it's mout (3, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578079)

Dell wants to sell computers with Linux on them, (or, even better, SAY that they do) they just don't want to have to support computers with Linux on them.

Re:Dell is speaking out of both sides of it's mout (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578519)

That would be why they offer redhat support [dell.com] and SuSE support as well.

The full list of supported linux can be found here [dell.com] . Just because one guy wants to buy one machine that doesn't come with Ubuntu, everyone is up in arms. Dell never claimed that they were going to offer it on every machine. They're damn careful what they offer for business machines in general, and you can always get a business class machine with no OS.

Buncha fricking sheep. Dell's making a good effort on linux.

Re:Dell is speaking out of both sides of it's mout (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578499)

He could have gotten a Red Hat box. Red Hat is supported. The problem is there is a difference between home support and corporate support. Apparently corporate support doesn't know Ubuntu.

Re:Dell is speaking out of both sides of it's mout (1)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578587)

You'd think one time in the conversation Dell would have mentioned that? From what it seems the poster wasn't informed of this because I'm sure he would have accepted that.

Re:Dell is speaking out of both sides of it's mout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19578635)

Stop talking crap. I work for Dell USA and I can assure you the reason why we don't sell ubuntu to small business is because the US based support team are not yet trained to support ubuntu. Small business support is based in the USA. While home customers are sent offshore. I don't think our business customers want to be redirected to our offshore center for ubuntu support.

Small business ubuntu support will come in the coming months. So stop your bitching.

Virtualize it (1)

jarich (733129) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578031)

Buy from Dell to get the support contract your company wants, then put VirtualBox or VMWare on the box and run Ubuntu there. It'll be easier to transfer the operating system to your new box next year, easier to clone the install for other employees, etc.

GPL infringement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19578037)

"as long as you use it for personal use, you can purchase one"

You should buy one after they've told you that, then tell gplviolations.org about the additional restrictions on top of the GPL license for most of the software. They'd have a field day.

Re:GPL infringement? (2, Insightful)

genmax (990012) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578109)

Nice Try. But Dell's not just selling you Ubuntu, its also selling you the computer on which you're running it. And they *can* place additional restrictions on the hardware.

Re:GPL infringement? (1)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578603)

But what if they sell the exact same hardware with XP loaded on it without the restriction? Wouldn't that then be a restriction on the software? If yes, someone should check it out if they're the sort to blow some money on a machine just to bust dell.....

Re:GPL infringement? (4, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578653)

"Nice Try. But Dell's not just selling you Ubuntu, its also selling you the computer on which you're running it. And they *can* place additional restrictions on the hardware."

No they can't. It has nothing to do with the gpl, and everything to do with consumer protection laws (even business purchases are covered in many jurisdictions by the implied warranty of fitness for use). Unless the hardware comes with a per-seat or per-user license, which is not the case here, they cannot tell you how to use it. All they can do is refuse warranty support if its been abused. That is their SOLE option/recourse.

Buy the damn thing and get a refund on the Windows license. The instructions have been posted on the net, including here on slashdot, often enough ... (and tag another $100 onto your claim, for wasted time, since they refused to sell you one without a Windows license, and take them to small claims court for the extra $100).

Re:GPL infringement? (0, Flamebait)

BVis (267028) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578175)

If you ever want to see someone laugh until they puke, try telling Dell's lawyers that they're violating the GPL and there are consequences.

They don't give a shit. Plus, Ubuntu will probably lean on anyone who tries to enforce the GPL on these grounds, since they're partnered (technically) with Dell now and that's a relationship they need to protect.

Re:GPL infringement? (1)

TheBig1 (966884) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578655)

How do you figure this? There is nothing wrong with selling GPL software (especially an OS on top of hardware). The sources are available via the Ubuntu web site, and possibly from Dell.com in the future. What's wrong with that?

Cheers

Re:GPL infringement? (1)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578429)

But would it make a difference? Has anyone been prosecuted under the terms of the GPL?!

Dell turning away business? Sell your stock. (1)

us7892 (655683) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578055)

[she] told me that I had to buy it through a personal card

That is ridiculous. It really makes no sense, does it? Am I missing something here? Why would Dell not take this order on a business card? I just don't get it.

Dell is screwed.

Re:Dell turning away business? Sell your stock. (1)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578221)

Because the support department for Dell Home and Dell Small Business are totally separate entities. It is quite possible that no one in the DSB center has had any training at all on supporting these boxes.

Give them time, and they'll fix it. Dell has shipped servers with Linux pre-installed and fully supported for quite some time. They need time to roll out the training, test applications, test hardware compatibility, etc.

Re:Dell turning away business? Sell your stock. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19578417)

They would sell the person the computer, just not via a business credit card. That was the issue here. That indeed makes zero sense. Unless it is somehow realted to a "fraud" policy, or something to that effect.

Re:Dell turning away business? Sell your stock. (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578435)

You're answering the wrong question.

The question was, "OK, I'll buy it from Home/Home Office. Why can't I pay with a business credit card?" Why the fsck does Dell care HOW the computer is paid for, so long as it is paid for?

And you quit? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19578059)

Umm, and you didn't hang up and call them back and get another salesperson who doesn't give a crap?

Thats the tactic I use. You always run into stubborn people in the service industry, but 9 times out of 10, the next person you reach won't care either way and will process your transaction just fine.

Go somewhere else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19578071)

Try a different company, but let them know that you are doing it. If enough people do this I am sure that they will change their mind

http://sqlservercode.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Smooth move. (-1, Troll)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578095)

My boss asked me to order a new computer for our small, non-profit business. Wanting to support Dell in their decision to sell computers with Ubuntu installed, I decided to order one.

It's a good thing they wouldn't sell you one. Your boss asked you to order a "computer." He likely assumed he'd be getting something with MS Windows. Had an Ubuntu-loaded box shown up, your ass would have been reamed out. Oh yeah, and non-profits are called "organizations," not "businesses," which makes me question the entire truthiness of your story.

I had a similar experience (5, Interesting)

itsjpr (16533) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578129)

I was interested in supporting Dell and it's Ubuntu decision. I'm not traditionally an Ubunutu user. I've SuSE/openSuse on my 3 year old Dell laptop since I got it years (didn't have any hardware compatibility issues and auto-detected everything important) and otherwise use CentOS and Debian but thought it would be worth buying one just to ease hardware selection since laptop hardware changes so much.

I looked at the specs for the Ubuntu laptop. 6 pounds! Holy crap, no way in hell I'm lugging that around. My current Dell laptop is under 3lbs. I brought up the page for Dells smallest laptop and wanted to compare the hardware to their Ubuntu one. I buy under government/higher-ed. Guess what...no mention of Ubuntu as an OS option in that category. Looks like it's only available in the Home section.

Ho hum, back to the old fashioned way. Checked for wifi support before I bought the littlest one, paid the MS tax, and kept my fingers crossed.

Dell's Ubuntu option is a nice idea, but restricting it to a single Laptop isn't all that engaging.

Dell is not first and not unique (3, Interesting)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578135)

I had the same experience with HP a couple of years back when it decided to offer PCs with Mandrake. They were not available through the business channel and that was it.

Further Big-Business Disappointment (2, Insightful)

mnslinky (1105103) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578143)

Yet another big company that looks like it's doing a good thing, that only turns out it's performing some lame marketing stunt. My guess is that these Ubuntu machines will be short lived in their product line-up. This on top of the story (last week?) about Dell also not providing a warranty on these machines? At least their servers are all right. I'd never be caught with one of their PCs.

Re:Further Big-Business Disappointment (1)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578297)

The machines have warranties. That story last week should have read "typo on Dell website", because that is all it was -- a simple mistake that was quickly fixed.

go somewhere else then (1)

Chayak (925733) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578163)

System 76 will happily sell to you where Dell won't

If Dell doesn't want your business... (1)

blindbug (979761) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578219)

... then don't give it to them. It's as plain and simple as that, and goes for any company/person. Big Box companies that refuse to take your money don't deserve your money.

Fuddy fuddy fud fud. (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578255)

It's not about that. Dell makes "Business computers" they have whole lines of "business" computers, very specific models; Optiplex, Precision, PowerEdge. They come with a limited number of OS choices...which includes Redhat Enterprise and SUSE Enterprise.

You can't buy Ubuntu on one of those, and you can't buy windows xp either. Clearly Dell views Ubuntu as "not ready for the server" and is unwilling to put it on a server class machine. You can still buy the machine with no OS, and add Ubuntu yourself.

Buy from a local shop? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578273)

Why not just buy a blank box from a local shop?

If you just need a workstation, my local shop that I use has deals less than $500 [http://www.shoprbc.com/ca/shop/product_details.ph p?pid=19598]. They have boxes in all sorts of ranges [e.g. for $884 you can get a box with a dual core E6400, decent GPU, 1GB of memory, etc [http://www.shoprbc.com/ca/shop/product_details.ph p?pid=21011]]. I'm sure many "local shops" in big enough cities have similar deals.

A blank CD costs $0.30, download ubuntu yourself, burn it, install it. That will take all of a couple hours at most [most of which you can be doing other things during].

You don't have to order from Dell to get a pre-built computer of any quality.

Tom

If you're a business (1, Informative)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578279)

How about getting the laptop with Windows XP anyway? Just make sure you get enough RAM - 1GB or even 2GB.

Then wipe it and install Ubuntu and keep the license key handy. This way if you ever need windows you can run Windows XP on vmware on the laptop if you need it.

It's convenient to have a spare Windows XP machine around esp for most businesses.

At work I run windows XP on vmware server, on suse. And I set up a file share directory for the XP "machine" to write more "permanent" stuff to.

So if something really strange happens to the windows machine I just click "revert to snapshot", and I end up with a working XP. That said so far in my usage, XP hasn't really been a problem.

In fact, IE on XP on vmware sometimes takes up less memory than firefox on suse.

I've had a blue screen of death after just a few minutes of using vista, bad drivers or whatever who cares - that's been my only BSOD this _YEAR_ so far. So I strongly recommend against spending money to _downgrade_ to Vista, endure all the bugs AND help Microsoft extend its monopoly.

Not sure why you're complaining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19578309)

They said it's for personal use only and you want to buy it on company coin and they said noes \0_0/ oh my! Just to tell you, if you buy something with a company credit card it better be for company usage.

You're complaining because they're following the rules they set forth. And obviously Dell doesn't want to have to support the machine in a business sense since it's targeted towards enthusiasts.

Buying things at Dell is not an easy task (1)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578321)

A friend of mine tried to buy a Dell notebook in Germany. First she didn't want to buy a machine with Vista, but that was not possible online. The only choises were Vista or pay more for Vista. At the end she decided to go with Vista and replace it with XP later. After ordering they called her and told her that the machine she selected the other day is no longer available (but still available in the shop). And they really asked her to choose another more expensive notebook. She denied and got it managed to get the Vista thing replaced as well. The cause for not offering this option online was, that Dell prefers to sell Vista. Strange service.

A day later they debited the amount directly (well this is a normal way to pay things in Germany, instead of using credit cards) for both notebooks. She got really angry and canceled the whole thing. Which means both orders and went down to the Mac shop to buy a MacBook which costs here 100 EUR more, but she got the device with her specs right from the shelf.

A yes the cause for ordering a Dell was, so she could have Ubuntu pre-installed, but this option is not available in Germany. So I guess. Selling Ubuntu looks like a good advertising strategy to me, but they are not really interested in selling it.

Why do people want a Dell? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578473)

Why are there so few laptop companies making laptops only for other operating systems? There's certainly a demand for this, and there's hardly any competition in that sector. There have to be enough potential customers to keep the company afloat, and the free advertising they'd get on sites like Slashdot would be well worth the money.

an alternative (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578489)

Buy a PC from NewEgg.com or TigerDirect.com without an OS on it and install Ubuntu yourself...

Stupid Company Loses Sale (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578543)

See, that's how to synopsise.

Dell is in some serious trouble. (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578555)

This habit of jerking customers around is why they're going to follow Gateway down the drain. Good for HP and Apple, sucks for Dell's customers and shareholders.

-jcr

F-Disk/Format/Re-install...do Dah do Dah (1)

theblade (1117125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578567)

I would of just said, send me one with WinXP Pro...then promptly burn it down and install a nice running Dapper/Edgy or Fiesty install. Well, that would of been to do a "told ya so." Time to hit up newegg/tiger other desired flavor and build your box.

That IS surreal. (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578583)

Although, I'm guessing, the summary is a touch on the inflammatory side - more likely Dell "can't" sell Ubuntu through it's small business division. We already know that they have different sales, marketing, and prices, I'm not surprised that a decision by one sales channel doesn't/hasn't migrated to others.

More likely it would be correct to say "Dell can't yet sell ubuntu through business channels."

However, I'm rather surprised you let it drop there. When faced with a flunky unable to make a policy decision, crawl up the authority chain until you reach someone who can make the decision. Recite this tale to supervisors, then managers, then division heads, IMO you will find someone who thinks it's as stupid as you do, and arrange to make the 'impossible' possible - and probably fix the issue for others in the meantime (or at least get a fix started).

Then you really find out if it's "Dell can't" or "Dell won't".

FUD FUD FUD (2, Insightful)

Danathar (267989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578589)

Look, I'm no DELL fanboy but it's obvious that in an organization as large as Dell it's going to take time for the whole company to be on the same track. There could be any of a number of LEGITIMATE reasons for what you encountered. I'm just going to guess, but one reason COULD BE that they are not yet ready to support biz fully and that they are starting off with personal use first and will soon add biz support as soon as the contracts are signed, people are trained, testing and evaluation, etc.

Just because Dell says we will support LINUX today does not mean tomorrow morning everything will be good to go. BTW...the prior sentence uses exaggerations to make a point. If you don't get it you don't get it.

Lenovo (1)

dynomitejj (1113319) | more than 7 years ago | (#19578593)

Have you considered Lenovo ? It still has IBM stamped all over it and when you call ( If you ever have to ) for a warranty issue, you get to speak with "Tom in Atlanta" vs being on hold for 45 minutes with Dell and transfered to "Hamish in India" ( Nothing against Indian people, but I actually called the Dell warranty number and spoke with someone who could not understand me even after I spelled my company name. ) I've been tremendously happy with Lenovo and they support Linux all the way. Their prices are very competitive. On the high end, this X60 tablet I have is the best laptop I've ever had, it rocks ! If your looking for a straight business PC, I think something in the 600-800 range can be done. Over the years, I've bought hundreds of Dell PC's and hardly ever had a warranty issue, but if I had it to do over again, I would have gone with IBM/Lenovo, especially on laptops. Good luck !
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