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Turns Out Ubuntu Dell Costs $225 More

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the implemented-and-reneged dept.

Linux Business 361

An anonymous reader writes "One week ago this community discussed the apparent price advantage of Ubuntu Dell over Vista. The article linked to a Dell IdeaStorm page with the status: 'Implemented.' Today the status has changed on that page to 'Reneged: Ubuntu Dell is $225 More Than Windows Dell.' The full price of a Ubuntu Inspiron 1420N is indeed $50 cheaper than the identical hardware configuration with Vista — except that a $275 free upgrade to 2GB memory and a 160-GB hard drive is available for Windows only."

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Vista needs the space (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823765)

Haven't people been saying the footprint of Linux is a shitload less than Windows bloat.
You simply don't need the extra on linux.

Re:Vista needs the space (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19823777)

that was the argument made by many here. let's see them turn tail and run now. how typical of the linux community.

Re:Vista needs the space (3, Insightful)

VanessaE (970834) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824367)

I've seen a lot of piss-poor arguements in Windows' favor in my time, but this one just takes the cake. According to Microsoft, Vista requires a minimum of 15GB of disk space (I suspect it's actual needs are less). Linux requires a minimum of about 1.5GB, and about 7.5GB if you have a full system with all the eye candy, all the trimmings, and a handful of third-party apps like OpenOffice. That's a difference of 6.5GB or so from Vista's minimum requirement, and 6.5GB of disk space is just plain pocket change by any reasonably modern metric.


Just FYI, according to Pricewatch, a 160GB notebook disk goes for about $90 and 1GB DDR2 to fit an Inspiron 1420 will set you back about $53. According to Microsoft, you'll have to shell out $99.99 for Vista Home Basic.

At the very least, if you price two machines with identical hardware specs, and you don't come out at least a little cheaper without Vista, you are getting RIPPED OFF, plain and simple. This holds true whether the two machines are base models or fully-upgraded-to-the-gills gaming rigs. If they're identical hardware-wise, they should be significantly cheaper without Vista.

What you do with the disk space beyond what your OS needs is generally entirely up to you - not your OS. It's not like you're just storing a bunch of backup copies of Vista or something - you'll fill it with music, movies, photos, p0rn, third-party software, whatever. Same stuff everyone else fills their boxes with - you just have 6-7GB less space to work with if you choose Vista, at least if the vendor did the right thing and offered the same hardware upgrades to the non-Vista customer, at the same prices/differences.

I realize there are people here who need that extra disk space for high-end stuff (Oracle springs to mind), but the majority of people who get one of these boxes will do so with something else in mind besides maintaining a multi-million-record database for a large corporation. Hell, I'd only use one for watching movies, listening to music, or coding.

Sorry to ramble on, it's 9:13am and I haven't slept yet.

Re:Vista needs the space (4, Insightful)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824521)

At the very least, if you price two machines with identical hardware specs, and you don't come out at least a little cheaper without Vista, you are getting RIPPED OFF, plain and simple.

Speaking purely from a business stand-point and ignoring all philosophical issues, this is not definitively true. That is, it may be true that you're being overcharged but it isn't necessarily so. You're looking at one particular cost - the cost of purchasing the operating system - and assuming that every other cost is the same. It may very well not be, even on identical hardware. It's been well documented that Dell gets paid to load crapware on the system. That's revenue that they do not or may not get on the Linux machine, which means they must increase the price to reach the same margin. Its also quite possible that other cost, such as support cost, are increased for Linux machines. This could be due to a number of reasons, such as people using Linux calling in more because they're less familiar with the OS, or help desk people requiring additional training or being harder to find. The bottom line is that computer sellers operate on razor thin margins, and there's a lot more that goes into price calculations than what Microsoft charges for their OS. That doesn't mean that we should set back and pay unwarranted mark-ups without questioning them, but it does mean that simplistic statements such as the one you made above don't tell the whole story.

Re:Vista needs the space (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19823795)

Which makes having it so much more enjoyable.

Re:Vista needs the space (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19823813)

I'm guessing you never used KDE _

Re:Vista needs the space (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19823829)

You mean Gnome ?

Re:Vista needs the space (2, Informative)

sqldr (838964) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823917)

You simply don't need the extra on linux

For what, exactly? 160gb of hard drive space is good if you're a warez hoarder, and 2gb of ram is good if you're compiling software.

If you're just using it as an internet terminal, then both operating systems are bloated. eg. ubuntu will automatically start cupsd, even if you don't have a printer. If you're obsessed with bloat, then you could spend a week fine-combing gentoo or bsd, or try something like syllable, but ubuntu users want something that will "just work", and that means adding bloat.

Re:Vista needs the space (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19824233)

And yet Ubuntu doesn't 'just work'.

Why is the bottom panel on my desktop missing about 20% of the time? I have to log out and log back in. Usually it comes back, sometimes it takes 2 logins.

Why is the application built into Ubuntu to play music named "Movie Player"?

Why do I just get a black square when playing a movie with Movie Player? If I move the window I see the movie playing, but the black box comes back as soon as I drop the window.

Why, when I explicity specify I want 2 workspace, does the second workspace disappear and I'm left with one for half of my logins? Even when I do get 2 the second one has no panels at all 75% of the time.

Why can't I Add/Remove certain software from Add/Remove? Why does it even show up on the list with a checkbox if all it is going to is tell me to run Synaptic?

Why is the Software Update notification so annoying? I know Linux generally makes poor use of screen space, but why is the popup so huge? Why isn't it transparent like every other popup on a modern desktop?

Say I unpack an archive to the desktop and it specifies a directory structure for the files. How come the folder icon is hidden underneath the icon for a drive I mounted a few minutes before?

Why can't the built in Bittorrent client download more than one torrent at a time? Why does it tell me "Error 98" or some other obscure junk if I try?

I don't want a network connection icon to show up in the system tray, I'm on a machine that is wired all the time, I know it is on a network, I put it there.

Why are desktop icons so huge? 5000 icon sets, all of them bigger than a breadbox.

This is a partial list. Work on these and I will provide another.

Re:Vista needs the space (4, Interesting)

sqldr (838964) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824281)

sounds like you need to try a different distro :-)

At risk of fanning the gnome/kde flames on this thread already, you could try kubuntu.. i'm not saying it's better, but it is different. You might be happier.

    I've not noticed any of these things in kubuntu, except the movie player thing, and that's likely to be a driver issue. Try configuring the underlying player to use a different rendering target, eg. X11 or opengl instead of Xv.

Re:Vista needs the space (1)

Teresita (982888) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824333)

Why is the application built into Ubuntu to play music named "Movie Player"?

Because if it was just named music player people would not try to play movies on it.

Why are desktop icons so huge? 5000 icon sets, all of them bigger than a breadbox.

You can resize icons with the mouse.

Re:Vista needs the space (4, Informative)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824455)

And yet Ubuntu doesn't 'just work'.
As a Ubuntu user since 6.05, I have to say that for me it does 'just work'.

Why is the bottom panel on my desktop missing about 20% of the time? I have to log out and log back in. Usually it comes back, sometimes it takes 2 logins.
I have never had this problem, but it seems your gnome setup has some problems (I'm assuming it's not just your screen resolution not displaying the bottom of the screen).

Why is the application built into Ubuntu to play music named "Movie Player"?
It's not, I've never seen Rythmbox (Ubuntu's music player) called "Movie Player". The "Movie Player" (Totem, I think) can play MP3s, but that isn't what it setup as default for music files.

Why do I just get a black square when playing a movie with Movie Player? If I move the window I see the movie playing, but the black box comes back as soon as I drop the window.
It sounds like your video card driver hasn't properly implemented video playback in X11.

Why, when I explicity specify I want 2 workspace, does the second workspace disappear and I'm left with one for half of my logins? Even when I do get 2 the second one has no panels at all 75% of the time.
Again, I've never had this problem. It seems you have something seriously broken in Gnome. Try creating a new user account and logging in with that and don't change anything with Gnome when you do. If the new account has the same problems, the Gnome install is hosed, re-install it. If the new account is fine, then it's something you did in your account that is causing the problems.

Why can't I Add/Remove certain software from Add/Remove? Why does it even show up on the list with a checkbox if all it is going to is tell me to run Synaptic?
I've heard this complaint before, and honestly it sounds like some stupid configuration. I can't say that I've ever actually used Add/Remove, I prefer synaptic for everything, but this seems a legitimate bug.

Why is the Software Update notification so annoying? I know Linux generally makes poor use of screen space, but why is the popup so huge? Why isn't it transparent like every other popup on a modern desktop?
Uh, huge? It's tiny for me. What is your screen resolution? Are you running 640x480? Because that might be causing some of your other Gnome display problems. And transparent? The notifications I get on Windows XP aren't transparent. Are you using Compiz or Beryl? Those could cause some of your other problems if your video card can't handle them.

Say I unpack an archive to the desktop and it specifies a directory structure for the files. How come the folder icon is hidden underneath the icon for a drive I mounted a few minutes before?
Again, never had this problem. Could be caused by extremely small screen size as I mentioned above.

Why can't the built in Bittorrent client download more than one torrent at a time? Why does it tell me "Error 98" or some other obscure junk if I try?
I never had this problem with the default Bittorrent client, but I'll admit that I installed Azureus because I like it better.

I don't want a network connection icon to show up in the system tray, I'm on a machine that is wired all the time, I know it is on a network, I put it there.
So take if off, what's so hard about that?

Why are desktop icons so huge? 5000 icon sets, all of them bigger than a breadbox.
Icon sets come with different sizes for each icon for different applications. Are you using the biggest size when you don't need it, or again is your screen resolution so low that even 32x32 looks huge?

This is a partial list. Work on these and I will provide another.
Worked on, got any more?

Re:Vista needs the space (1)

funky_vibes (664942) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824385)

160gb of hard drive space is good if you're a warez hoarder, and 2gb of ram is good if you're compiling software.
I think you're missing the point, Vista will barely even _work_ without at least 2G ram and a 160G drive whereas just about any computer device created after 1991 and running Linux is still useful (for real men ;)

Re:Vista needs the space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19823919)

I don't care what OS you use, 160 GB less pr0n is nothing to be sneezed at.

Re:Vista needs the space (2, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824083)

I don't know about sneezing but it could certainly save on tissues.

Re:Vista needs the space (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824303)

For simple, basic functionality, that's true, but for what most would consider a comfortable and reasonably useful system, that extra space/memory is still necessary.

WoW on Ubuntu takes the same space/memory as WoW on XP/Vista, even if Linux might be able to reliably get away with half the memory of vista while using what a normal user would call a comfortable session manager (i.e. KDE or Gnome, not Console1, Console2, Console3 or TWM...)

And a 300MB div-x file takes 300MB, no matter what OS, etc.

What's the incentive? (0, Redundant)

IndieKid (1061106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823811)

What incentive does Dell have to only provide the free upgrade to Windows users? This could be an honest mistake, but if I were a conspiracy theorist (which I'm not) I'd assume Microsoft have something to do with this.

Re:What's the incentive? (5, Insightful)

Geek_3.3 (768699) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823843)

Or Dell really DOES make a lot of money off of the crap-o bloatware (6 month's free AOL etc) and this is their way of compensating.

Re:What's the incentive? (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824403)

If Dell really is selling more hardware for less, with the only catch being that it has to have Vista + bloatware, someone could buy them, wipe their hard drives, install a free OS, and sell them at a profit. Heck, Dell could covertly do this through some special partnership.

So, I'm skeptical. Like others said, this offer was probably good for about 3 hours. Dell's like Amazon in that respect, although fortunately for them, they haven't accidentally discounted and entire purchase to "free" yet!

Perhaps, but it will backfire (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824515)

The linux community was willing to push Dell. Now, that they have set up a much more costly system, the Windows ppl will wonder how these bloatware companies make their money and the Linux groups will wonder why they should buy from Dell. And that will include Dell's nice Linux servers that make them so much money.

Re:What's the incentive? (5, Informative)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823847)

Dell's promotions and stuff is err..."dynamic", to say the least. You can find the same system at like 5 different price depending where you look. So its no surprise that stuff like that would happen.

Re:What's the incentive? (2, Insightful)

Geek_3.3 (768699) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823887)

True... it would be interesting, if somewhat complicated, to see the price fluctuations over a couple month period to see how the prices really stack up.

Re:What's the incentive? (5, Funny)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823907)

Considering it's already down (see my other post in this thread), I guess it's safe to say that Dell's dynamic pricing moves faster than Slashdot's submission acceptance system.

Re:What's the incentive? (3, Funny)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823959)

Considering it's already down (see my other post in this thread), I guess it's safe to say that Dell's dynamic pricing moves faster than Slashdot's submission acceptance system.

It's the Slashdot corollary to the Cartoon Law of Falling Anvils (Law IX) [funnies.paco.to] :
Everything moves faster than Slashdot submissions.

Re:What's the incentive? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824077)

Don't worry, no-one dupes stories faster than Slashdot, so the repeat offer at Dell will be along just in time. :-)

Re:What's the incentive? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824231)

Mod parent up! I've actually watched Dell's price for particular system change twice in a given day! Maybe they were just updating their deals or whatever, but still, if you don't Dell's price, wait a minute, it'll probably change!

Re:What's the incentive? (4, Insightful)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823865)

There is no conspiracy. They are simply reacting to competitive pressures. They probably determined that Linux laptop sales would not be dramatically higher with the extra RAM promotion since they don't really have any competition for Linux laptops; they are the only game in town among the big vendors. Conversely, in the Windows world I think HP is eating their lunch (HP is heavily discounting their new Santa Rosa dvx5 series), and so they need these discounts to shore up sales.

Re:What's the incentive? (1)

IndieKid (1061106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824031)

There is no conspiracy. They are simply reacting to competitive pressures. They probably determined that Linux laptop sales would not be dramatically higher with the extra RAM promotion since they don't really have any competition for Linux laptops; they are the only game in town among the big vendors. Conversely, in the Windows world I think HP is eating their lunch (HP is heavily discounting their new Santa Rosa dvx5 series), and so they need these discounts to shore up sales.
I tend to agree with this (and other similar comments); it's probably just marketing/competition. Still, it's always fun to throw in a "maybe it's all Microsoft's fault" whenever possible ;-)

Re:What's the incentive? (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824093)

I think HP is eating their lunch (HP is heavily discounting their new Santa Rosa dvx5 series),

I'll take this chance to comment about the HP laptop power Jack problem [google.com] (which seems is quite common), I've just recently experienced it in my Pavillion ZV5000, unfortunately this has lead me to look after buying another notebook. The question is could anyone recommend me a notebook that does not suck. I do NOT need anything powerful as I only intend to use it for standard office tasks (plus a bit of Eclipse Java programming which can be fixed with 2 GB of RAM). But I would like a not-very big screen (15 in would be nice) as I ended hating my 3KG laptop I've got now. I have been watching the Lenovos and Dells but I would like to know if someone has any recommendation.

Oh! and bonus points if it is Linux friendly... I really would like to have XP+Ubuntu on this machine (without having to buy an external CardBus wireless adaptor).

Re:What's the incentive? (2, Informative)

Dr. Smoove (1099425) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824185)

The current Lenovo T60's are totally Linux compatible. I love mine.

Re:What's the incentive? (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824181)

There is no conspiracy. They are simply reacting to competitive pressures. They probably determined that Linux laptop sales would not be dramatically higher with the extra RAM promotion since they don't really have any competition for Linux laptops; they are the only game in town among the big vendors.

It's probably that, and possibly that somebody didn't think to update the pricing for the Linux packages. As someone else mentioned, their prices are highly dynamic, and configuring the exact same system from two different entry points can give you different pricing. Personally, I wish people would stop giving them a hard time. It's like a bunch of little kids calling "no fair! I'm gonna tell my momma!" all the time. If there's going to be a public outlash (on blogs and in the news) every time Dell treats the Linux buyers differently from the Windows buyers, they are going to get disgusted and stop even bothering to provide Linux. At this point, if I were another large vendor watching, I would have already decided not to offer Linux to non-business users on my systems because it just wouldn't be worth the hassle. The right thing to do? Stop posting on blogs and notify Dell directly. Give them a chance to fix it.

Re:What's the incentive? (1)

diskis (221264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823951)

It's the marketing department. Those people simply fail.

Re:What's the incentive? (1)

timster (32400) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824035)

This is just how Dell operates; you can never know what the price will be for a given configuration on a given day until you go to the Web site that day and spec it out. If you don't want to play games with price, you don't buy a Dell.

Re:What's the incentive? (-1, Flamebait)

Teresita (982888) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824121)

Can you put a price tag on the fact that Ubuntu works and Vista doesn't?

Re:What's the incentive? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19824075)

No conspiracy here. Dell has very odd pricing plans, bonuses, sales, and specials that change all of the time. You can configure the same computer from three different locations on the Dell website and come up with 5 different prices. They typically offer "upgrades like memory, 19in LCD, HD etc on bundled deals that are even cheaper then without the upgrades. This is regardless of the OS the machine comes with.

Given the choices on their various buying portals, it should be no surprise for advertising sake, they have very specific configurations for a specific price that are cheaper then what you could together using configuring their own. These same specific machines with upgrades are what ends up in the mailed out advertisements and the back of magazines and may even be a loss leader for them but it gets people to the site in hopes they can get an up sell as well.

Some don't like the choices of configurations, some do. For those that do a little leg work on Dells site, you can get a really good combo deal. If you want to buy one with minimal effort and do not feel like browsing around, you can do that as well. Dell is trying to maximize profit AND cater to the person with some extra time that does some research. I view that the same way as a grocery store putting smaller higher priced items near the register lines or selling a cold 20oz bottle of Pepsi for $1.29 and a warm 2 liter bottle for $0.89 back in the pop isle. You have a choice, convenience or lowest price.

Re:What's the incentive? (1)

smartdreamer (666870) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824183)

As most Windows users don't know what RAM is, they don't use this free upgrade. On the other end, every GNU/Linux user would take it. So, DELL probably did the math and realised that it was more lucrative to be unfair.

Re:What's the incentive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19824275)

There are news reports of $275 bills appearing in the desk of Mike Dell, with "Thanks, Bill". Many suspect these are not actually legal tender, but Mr. Dell seems happy.

Meanwhile, Mr. Shuttleworth sits at his desk, confused.

Re:What's the incentive? (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824617)

Real simple... Windows support costs much less that Ubuntu support. Duh.

Astounding. (5, Funny)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823819)

There's two things I need every morning - a cup of coffee, and a blatant "flame Microsoft" Slashdot article. Bravo.

Re:Astounding. (0)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824155)

This is more flaming Dell, but the principle is the same. Now all we need is an article about how Nintendo is the second-coming of Jesus, and an article about software licenses with 75k of legalese comments, and the day will be complete.

Re:Astounding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19824637)

This is more flaming Dell, but the principle is the same. Now all we need is an article about how Steve Jobs is the second-coming of Jesus, and an article about software licenses with 75k of legalese comments, and the day will be complete.


There fixed that typo for you.

Re:Astounding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19824259)

Hmmm... if you don't like flaming Microsoft, slashdot might not be the forum for you.

60606 (0, Offtopic)

jackson123r (1117227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823825)



PlayStation 3 is not only an expensive game console but also an excellent video player. It could play high-def Blu-ray movies in addition to standard DVDs with a Blu-ray drive

www.mp4-converter.net/ps3-converter/

Just buy it with Vista (XP would be better) (4, Insightful)

Lightjumper (532700) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823827)

and download and install Linux on it.. Maybe Dell should include a free linux cd with it..

Re:Just buy it with Vista (XP would be better) (1, Interesting)

Evets (629327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823857)

I think that's the point. It improves Vista's sales numbers while showing that the Linux product has very weak sales.

Why would anyone not buy the Vista version if a quick download and a 30 minute install nets you bargain basement upgrades?

Re:Just buy it with Vista (XP would be better) (1)

Yo Grark (465041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824067)

Big Store support. Dell wouldn't support me if I did that.

I will never get used to all the damn registry edits (ok config edits) at the command line level to do things.

I'd love to call Dell and ask, why can't I copy files to \\root?

I used to have more time to play around learning, now I just want it to work the way I expect it to.

Damn aging.

And before you flame me, this post was dumbed down for the sake of a redneck calling into dell.

Yo Grark

Re:Just buy it with Vista (XP would be better) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19823871)

Better yet. Buy it with Windows (for less than an Ubuntu system), then install Linux right out of the box on it. Then call Dell and request your refund for the OEM cost of Windows that you are not using to make it even cheaper.

Re:Just buy it with Vista (XP would be better) (1)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823889)

I'm sorry, but I think this is complete and utter bullshit!

By telling people to just buy Vista, you are only allowing Microsoft's hold on the software industry to continue. This is all about free choice, and I for one am glad that there are people out there who are keeping an eye on these things and pointing them out to Dell and its customers.

I don't care if it's an oversight by Dell, or part of a major conspiracy by Microsoft against Linux or whatever. The point is that this gives Microsoft an unfair advantage over other OS providers and it must be dealt with.

Sorry about the rant, but I'm tired of people saying "Just buy Vista!". If you want Vista, fine! But if you don't want it, you shouldn't have to buy it. It's that simple!

Last time I checked.... (4, Insightful)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824011)

Last time I checked you could disagree with the EULA, send the Vista disk back to M$ and get your money back and then install ubuntu. Why not do that?

Re:Just buy it with Vista (XP would be better) (4, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824015)

By telling people to just buy Vista, you are only allowing Microsoft's hold on the software industry to continue. This is all about free choice, and I for one am glad that there are people out there who are keeping an eye on these things and pointing them out to Dell and its customers.

I'm not eating $225 for 'free choice.' Incidentally, I don't want Ubuntu anyway. What I want is a laptop that I know will work with Linux. As long as the Windows and Linux versions have the same hardware, I'll buy either one since I'm going to wipe and reinstall anyway.

The point is that this gives Microsoft an unfair advantage over other OS providers and it must be dealt with.

Love the use of the passive voice there - who's doing the 'dealing'? Not sure what is 'fair' anyway. Do you mean it's a violation of Sherman anti-trust? If not, you're just whining.

If you want Vista, fine! But if you don't want it, you shouldn't have to buy it. It's that simple!

And I 'should' have a pony. Unfortunately, the world doesn't work on 'should.' The fact is, Dell does get a lot of revenue from pre-loaded crapware, cost savings by making essentially identical Windows computers in volume, etc. The best you have to hope for is the Linux version doesn't cost *more*, and I do agree $225 is excessive. However, the wipe/reinstall option is always available.

Re:Just buy it with Vista (XP would be better) (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824319)

And I 'should' have a pony. Unfortunately, the world doesn't work on 'should.' The fact is, Dell does get a lot of revenue from pre-loaded crapware, cost savings by making essentially identical Windows computers in volume, etc. The best you have to hope for is the Linux version doesn't cost *more*, and I do agree $225 is excessive. However, the wipe/reinstall option is always available.

If the Windows version is actually cheaper (and this is not just a temporary glitch in Dell's weird pricing system), by all means buy the Windows version and wipe/reinstall. Of course you might want to check alternatives from other vendors...

If Dell chooses to eat the cost of paying for Windows OEM where they could get the same price for hardware with Ubuntu, their problem. If the makers of pre-loaded crapware pay the bill, that's also fine. Eventually, some vendor will find the combination that is most profitable for pushing hardware (Linux and crapware pre-loaded?) and we can still wipe/reinstall ;-)

Re:Just buy it with Vista (XP would be better) (0, Flamebait)

Ignignoc (1124325) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824337)

last time i checked i could buy an apple without osx or a sun box without solaris. why not just be upfront with your intentions and state that you want linux to dominate like windows has so the countless linux users can finally have bragging rights. the hard truth is linux will never take over desktops. possibly in third world countries that can't afford to purchase retail OS's - but thats about it.

Re:Just buy it with Vista (XP would be better) (1)

st0nes (1120305) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823911)

In South Africa it looks as though XP home is R600 (~$85) dollars more expensive than SUSE. I have no idea why the Dell Ubuntu machines would be more expensive. Doesn't make much sense. http://www.techdigital.co.za/category.aspx?categor yID=1459&affid=52 [techdigital.co.za]

Really, I Loved That Idea (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823937)

Then I thought, wouldn't this screw your tech support for this computer, if you needed it? You'd call them up, then they would assume you have Vista, not Ubuntu, and might refuse to support Ubuntu. (Of course, this is all theoretical, since the last time I called Dell tech support, I wanted to reach through the phone and pinch the guy's head off.) Just sayin'.

Re:Just buy it with Vista (XP would be better) (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824119)

That puts us right back where we started. The idea, at least from the consumers, was that having linux pre-installed -should- be cheaper (or at the very least the same price) and that could bring people who otherwise wouldn't go to linux. Dell appears to be trying to make it even less attractive to try linux. Not only do you pay the same even though the OS is free, but you get inferior hardware. Where do I sign up? -.-

Re:Just buy it with Vista (XP would be better) (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824567)

Dell preloads a lot of crap with a windows computer. It might be possible that the free upgrade is directly associated with that crap and what they get paid to preinstall it on every computer. I suggest you start making crap and pay Dell to include it on their linux offerings in order to get us discounts too.

And the idea isn't necessarily to get a cheap computer. If that is what your looking for, buy an Emachine and do a net install of some distro. The idea behind Dell and linux computers is to have an officially supported platform that will just work with linux and that you can get support on if you need it.

Re:Just buy it with Vista (XP would be better) (1)

Alchemar (720449) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824191)

I see a lot of replies about just buying the Vista version and installing Linux would artificially boost Vista numbers. I would be much more worried about having to reinstall Vista just to get tech support if you have a hardware failure. Laptops are the one item I will actually purchase the extended warrenty and there is a decent chance I will need to use it. Last time I had to get hardware replaced by Dell, I had to jump through all the stupid hoops for a week before they would replace the failed harddrive. When I asked about erasing the data (I had unfiled patent information and information that was covered under Non-disclosure agreements), they told me just to format it, I explained the drive was not accessible, and gave them the URL to their own web site stating that a format was not considered a secure means of erasing data. That took two more weeks to resolve. (I am now a firm beliver in Truecrypt partitions on laptops and removable drives). I can't even imagining trying to explain that I do not need the latest Vista driver for their CD writer in order to make the door open when I press the physical eject button on a machine that does not even have Vista anymore.

Maybe a better solution would be to outsource a reverse call center. You call and give them a description of the problem, then they call the warrenty company and spend the hours on the phone pretending to do all the stupid things designed to make you just give up on the claim. Would also be usefull for dealing with phone and electrical companies.

Re:Just buy it with Vista (XP would be better) (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824475)

One of the reasons they make you do the stupid things over the phone before replacing the hardware is because a lot of time the stupid things work.

Not everyone with a computer is as competent as you are. Also, there is no way to tell how competent you are outside of listening to you explain it. As most of us already know, certifications and degrees don't necessarily mean you know your stuff. Although the the lack of them are used as reasons not to give out raises and such quite often.

Generally, what I do is asked for level 2 support and hope I'm not just given to another seat filler in the call center. And I'm not afraid to ask for someone who speaks English as their first language. You still have communications issues but generally not as much.

Re:Just buy it with Vista (XP would be better) (2, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824299)

Rather than Dell having different 'models' of computer with Vista and Linux, what I would like to see is have an option for every Dell to 'customize' it with Linux instead of Vista. When you buy a computer, they currently let you customize it by choosing various hardware and software options. The 'Operating System' customization screen currently only offers the option of different Vista flavors. It would be nice to have a Linux OS option on that page (with an appropriate credit on the cost). This would make Linux pricing transparent... but perhaps they are not interested in making Linux pricing transparent.

Fluctuating price (4, Informative)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823837)

Seems like it's hard to determine the exact difference. From a post in the linked article:

The price has been updated and the Ubuntu system is now $25 cheaper, thought the RAM Upgrade to 2GB will expire tomorrow. The price discrepancies, and promotions, fluctuate too much..."
And from a blog linked to from the linked article:

Update 07/11/07: The given components and prices on the 1420 Notebook have been updated. The price difference is now $25, in favor of the Ubuntu system. Note that the RAM Upgrade expires tomorrow for the 1420N. Among frequent price and component discrepancies, price fluctuations, and Windows favored promotions, Im not sure if Dell is serious about selling open-source [as Dell calls them] systems, rather than generating publicity. Considering that expected sales are at 1% of total systems shipped, and Microsoft could break Dell in half by increasing Windows License costs or decreasing co-marketing funds, I have no choice but to assume the latter.

He said publicity?!? (0)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823901)

...rather than generating publicity.

Ah! I as wondering what folks were talking about. I overheard this in the super market: "Did you see American Idol last night?"
"Screw that, Dell is selling open source!"
"Really!"

Yeah, ratings on American Idol were actually hurt when Dell started selling machines with Linux.

Re:He said publicity?!? (0)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823933)

I know you're trying to be sarcastic, but think about the target audience here. The publicity is aimed at people ready to buy a new computer/laptop, a group of people that may include, but not exclude, American Idol viewers. His speculation about publicity is more along the lines of Dell earning the good rep for actually selling a Linux system compared to other vendors, while really not following through on their word, not that the average Joe will give a crap.

Dell tech support (0)

texastexastexasdfw (1057110) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823841)

Just wait till you call Dell and tell them you have Ubantu on your laptop -- they will tell you to turn your head the next time you sneeze.

Nice 'moderation' on ideastorm (0)

fatphil (181876) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823867)

Notice where the guy with the 'Dell' logo placed his vote? Yup - tried to bury this story.

I wonder how many of the other demoters are shills or sock-puppets?

You could always buy a PC (1)

woodchip (611770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823869)

from New Egg or Tiger Direct instead, and install whatever damn OS you want on it.

Re:You could always buy a PC (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823977)

the point i believe is to have it preloaded AND have tech support with warranty and all that goodness without having to purchase windows and support microsoft when you're not going to use Vista anyway.

Re:You could always buy a PC (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823989)

What a New Idea!... And not be bound by only buying from Dell for every internal part? That is crazy talk. ;) As Dell feels, if we buy one item from them, we must buy everything from them, and then Take down a forest for the next month or two of paperwork of ads. ;);)

I don't see a problem here (3, Informative)

Sunkist (468741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823891)

Other than stating the upgrades to windows are FREE! You still save $45. What I am missing?

Inspiron Notebook 1420 N
Intel® Core(TM) 2 Duo T5250 (1.5GHz/667Mhz FSB/2MB cache)
Ubuntu version 7.04
2GB Shared Dual Channel3 DDR2 at 667MHz
Size: 160GB2 SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)

Price: $774

Intel® Core(TM) 2 Duo T5250 (1.5GHz/667Mhz FSB/2MB cache)
Genuine Windows® Vista Home Basic Edition
Anti-glare, widescreen 14.1 inch display (1280x800)
FREE! 2GB2 Shared Dual Channel3 DDR2 at 667MHz
FREE! 160GB4 SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
24X CD writer/DVD Combo Drive
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
Dell Wireless 1390 802.11g Mini-Card

Price:$819

Re:I don't see a problem here (4, Informative)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823963)

Those were the prices quoted in the original Slashdot story that was about Ubuntu computers being $50 cheaper. A post further down talks about configuring it and it "now" is $225 more (free hardware upgrades etc) and then ANOTHER post even further down mentions that it's back to being $25 cheaper.. I'm getting a headache just trying to follow this.

DUH! (4, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823903)

I love how these "revelations" happen far later when the rest of us that looked at it saw right away that the "specials" or "instant rebates" only apply to the windows machines.

There has been people here on Slashdot posting for a few months that the Open source and now linux laptops are in fact more expensive by around $200.00.

Statistics (3, Interesting)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823905)

"Torture numbers, and they'll confess to anything." ~Gregg Easterbrook

I'm quite impressed how the (quite obvious) spin was placed on this claim. It's only $275 more if you WANT to upgrade.
Still, i'm definitely disappointed in Dell; i'd have liked that upgrade for free too...(Although Vista would need it to Pagefile usage, whereas Ubuntu would use it for the hoards of FOSS that's available...)

Re:Statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19824125)

It's a *free* upgrade, surely anyone given the option would take the upgrade path. Also, if the upgrade is 'free' then the cost of those components must already be rolled up in the base cost of the machine.

If I gave you the choice of a computer decked out with 1GB RAM/100GB HDD and another with 2GB/160GB for *exactly* the same cost and you chose the lesser of the two, then you would be, technically, an idiot, or I suppose, the manufacturers' accountants' best friend.

Re:Statistics (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824503)

...Or somebody with VERY specific requirement.
Granted, it's uncommon, but it happens more than you'd imagine.

Re:Statistics (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824639)

I'm quite impressed how the (quite obvious) spin was placed on this claim
I noticed that too, but did you notice the spin opportunity that was missed?

"Dell can't sell Vista against Ubuntu without throwing in free upgrades?"

Is zealotry just getting lazy these days or what?

AKA Microsoft is paying for the upgrade (2)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823945)

Or rather Dell is getting a kickback from microsoft that is paying for the upgrade.

Re:AKA Microsoft is paying for the upgrade (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824017)

No Installee crappy [OS]... No Kicky Backee [$$}

Re:AKA Microsoft is paying for the upgrade (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824143)

You think Microsoft is giving Dell kickbacks worth around $200 to gain an extra sale of an OS probably worth well under $100 at trade rates? Interesting logic you've got there, but I don't recommend management as a career path!

Re:AKA Microsoft is paying for the upgrade (1)

topham (32406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824171)

No; Microsoft is giving a kickback to Dell to prevent Linux from gaining market share by poisoning the price.

And this arouses suspicion because...? (4, Insightful)

Mr. Roadkill (731328) | more than 7 years ago | (#19823997)

Dell are hardly known for offering sane or consistent pricing across models or market segments - try browsing their website some time as a home user, then as various classes of business customer. Why should it come as any surprise that they've omitted a special offer from a machine with a non-standard OS?

Personally, I have no plans to upgrade to Vista any time soon - at least not at home. If faced with the prospect of getting a machine with Ubuntu at $X, or a machine with double the RAM and a bigger hard drive with Vista at $X, I'd take the machine with Vista, thank you very much. Shrink the partition as far as practical, install Ubuntu, and you're ahead - you've got the higher-spec machine, AND the ability to boot into something that the Dull PhoneMonkeys won't hang up over. Okay... that's a path a geek would take, not a regular consumer, but I doubt at this time that there would be very many non-geeks opting for Ubuntu over windows anyway on a new Dell.

Besides... if you're going to criticise Vista, you should at least have first-hand experience of what it is that you're criticising.

Productization and Marketing (0, Flamebait)

PowerEdge (648673) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824003)

Has anyone considered that the incessant whining and gimme gimme gimme attitude of the linux community as a whole is not good for the cause of open source? Try chaging the tone. Understand that it might take a while for a new product line to be available to all the marketing opportunities of the rest of business. It's called segmentation and that's that. There is no evil sly hand of Microsoft at work here. Just paranoia amongst a whole bunch of people who probably haven't even entertained the thought of buying a Dell system with Ubuntu on it. If the demand is strong enough the market will be made. Don't expect to get too far with negativity though. At least Dell is offering it now. Can't say the same about all the other Tier 1 OEMs. Perhaps all the energy whining about Dell's offering should be spent and directed at Toshiba, HP, Acer et al for not offering it yet. When they start offering it, perhaps there will be COMPETITION amongst vendors and all the benefits that come to the consumer with said competition. Until then, it's all a bunch of empty whining to me.

$275, that's nuts. (1, Interesting)

smallmj (69620) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824013)

$275 upgrade for a bigger HD and more RAM?

Let me check my price lists... A 160 GB Hard Drive Costs $10 more than an 80 GB HD.

2 Sticks of 1 GB DDR2 cost $36 more than 2 Sticks of 512MB DDR2.

So that upgrade costs $46.

Those are wholesale prices in Canadian Dollars available to Mom and Pop shops. I'm sure Dell gets things cheaper.

Re:$275, that's nuts. (1)

smallmj (69620) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824135)

Sorry, I didn't realize this was for a laptop.

Make that $52 to go from 2 sticks of 512 to 2 sticks of 1GB.

$26 to go from 80GB to 120GB Mobile SATA. I can't get any 160's right now.

Thats still WAY less than $275.

I always knew that Dell makes its money on the upgrades.

Re:$275, that's nuts. (1)

Monchanger (637670) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824311)

I'm no fan of Dell, but this and many other posts are not fair.

Do your "price lists" include labor, or just the parts? Are they identical to Dell's parts? You also ignore that Dell buys in bulk, and likely pays even less than wholesale.

Each upgrade requires that they create a non-standard computer, meaning it's going to cost them extra to build.

Besides, they're doing just what Alienware does. Want a premium computer? Pay for it. Remember how little Dell makes on hardware, and you'll understand why they need to do this.

I'd give Dell the benefit of the doubt first. Contact them to question the matter and see if they'll call this a mistake and correct it. If they don't, you can not only keep calling them rotten bastards, but have some proof.

Nothing like a good knee-jerk in the morning... (5, Informative)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824039)

So Dell's base 1420 with Ubuntu costs $747 [dell.com] with these specs:

  • Intel® Core(TM) 2 Duo T5250 (1.5GHz/667Mhz FSB/2MB cache)
  • Ubuntu version 7.04
  • Anti-glare, widescreen 14.1 inch display (1280x800)
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
  • 2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz
  • 160GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
  • 24X CD Burner/DVD Combo Drive
  • Intel® 3945 802.11a/g Mini-card
  • No Camera
  • 56Whr Lithium Ion Battery (6 cell)
  • Integrated High Definition Audio

Meanwhile, Dell's Windows equivalent has exact same specs, except for these differences:

  • Genuine Windows® Vista Home Basic Edition instead of Ubuntu
  • Dell Wireless 1390 802.11g Mini-Card instead of the Intel 802.11a/g card

And the Windows version costs $869 [dell.com] . So the Ubuntu version is $122 cheaper and has a better WiFi card.

Remind me again... what did you step in?

CORRECTION (3, Informative)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824063)

Sorry, I transposed numbers on the Ubuntu price -- the machine is $774, not $747, so the difference is $95, not $122.

My apologies. But Dell's Ubuntu system is still cheaper.

Moving price targets (2, Funny)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824163)

And, checking the Windows price again, it's dropped $50 from when I checked it before (for a price difference of $45).

I give up. Maybe if I check again in 20 minutes, Dell's Windows systems really will cost less than Ubuntu.

Re:Nothing like a good knee-jerk in the morning... (1)

scottv67 (731709) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824189)

Intel® 3945 802.11a/g Mini-card
...and has a better WiFi card.


I take it that you've never had to support the Intel ProSet software in a large business environment. I would never use "Intel" and "better" in the same sentence when describing Intel's wireless NICs. Yes, it's baby-and-the-bathwater time: I hate Intel wireless NICs because their ProSet software is so sucky. We are going to be taking a serious look at the Juniper (used to be Funk) Odyssey Access Client to replace the crappy ProSet software on all of our laptops. It's worth $30 a seat to have wireless management software that works consistently.

Re:Nothing like a good knee-jerk in the morning... (1)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824223)

I take it that you've never had to support the Intel ProSet software in a large business environment.

No, I haven't, so I will defer to your expertise in this. I was simply commenting on the apparent feature differences: the Intel card covers 802.11 flavors "a" and "g", while the Dell only supports "g" (according to the specs I pulled from the Dell site).

FFS, isn't this a no-brainer? (4, Insightful)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824055)

Isn't this a no-brainer?

1. Buy the PC that gives you the best hardware for the lowest price. If that means taking a Windows PC that has "free" extra memory and a bigger hard disk drive then do it.

2. Shrink the Windows partition (that extra disk space is a boon), install Ubuntu and/or other operating systems of your choice.

3. Go about your business as normal.

4. If you ever have to speak to Dell tech support, you have the additional benefit of being able to tell them that you're using a Windows system (true), and them not giving you the cold shoulder when you tell them that you're using Ubuntu, etc.

5. If you sell your PC at sometime in the future you give yourself a more attractive package to sell and thus recoup more of your initial sale price. More RAM, more disk space, Windows Vista Home all have a value, and the Vista Home alone may make a huge difference to the resale price on eBay. Remember, 90 percent of PC users won't even have heard of Linux, so why cut them out of your resale equation?

Dell is simply trying to protect its standard business model, which includes making money from pre-installing offers from third parties (such as ISPs and AV vendors) on their Windows installations. There's no reason why you can't let them do that and still benefit from their reluctance to abandon that model.

Saving $50 (or is it now $25?) if it means half as much memory and half as much disk space (1GB/80GB vs 2GB/160GB) seems to be a false economy.

Re:FFS, isn't this a no-brainer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19824157)

You're absolutely correct, but don't expect the rabid Linux fanboys to accept it. They want nothing less than "world domination"

Re:FFS, isn't this a no-brainer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19824379)

I agree with this.. however, if you buy the Windows version, then Dell sees higher % windows sales vs linux sales and then decides that testing against Ubuntu for compatibility is a waste of resources. If this happens, then your back to where we were with buying a laptop "in the dark" and hoping everything is compatible.

While out-of-the-box laptop compatibility is getting better and good enough for me for a personal computer, if Linux gains traction in the business world, its really nice to know that the hardware OEM supports the operating system you are wanting to standardize on.

Actually it is about a $600 cheaper (3, Insightful)

codepunk (167897) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824081)

1. Does not come with all that crap ware installed add $200 in savings for a great deal of time cleaning the trash off of the system.

2. Add office professional (ships with open office) I am sure that is at least a $200 savings.

3. Scratch having to take the machine into a shop every three months to clean all the spyware, crap etc out of the machine to make it actually work again. There is another few hundred bucks $200

I did not even list the other software it ships with and the equivalents would likely run you into the thousands.

Re:Actually it is about a $600 cheaper (1)

Count_Froggy (781541) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824273)

If you do as WIAKywbfatw (307557) suggests, AND do not boot the Win partition: 1-You don't have to 'cleaning the trash off'. It doesn't matter! And it adds to the resale value since you can claim 'exactly as purchased.' 2-OOo is available on Win too, Why buy MSOffice? 3-No spyware/virii to deal with on the Win partition if you don't boot into Win or mount it in Linux.

Of course Windows will make it cheaper in the end (1)

davmoo (63521) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824111)

Of the replies I've read here so far, everyone is over looking one thing. Someone made a joke about Microsoft giving Dell kickbacks.

Well, of course Microsoft gives Dell kickbacks. So does Yahoo, so does AOL, so does McAfee or Norton, and so does everyone else who has their software pre-installed on Dell's Windows machines. You think Dell puts all that crapware there out of the kindness of their heart, or because they think its useful? Hell no, they put it there because they are being paid to put it there. And that kickback money makes the final cost of the Windows machine cheaper to produce.

In the meantime, how much does Ubuntu/GNU/Linus etc pay Dell for every Ubuntu-installed machine they kick out the door?

Its pure economics people. Welcome to the real world. Please see our kind hostess for your complimentary rose-colored glasses.

Dell: We sell what you need (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824161)

Makes sense, doesn't it? I mean, you only need that HD space and ram if you use a system that wastes it carelessly.

Like buying Fairtrade Bananas from Wal*Mart... (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824239)

Given that MS are probably not going to be $50 worse off because you buy a PC without Windows (I can't believe that Dell don't have some sort of fixed-price license agreement) I'd get the one with Windows on the grounds that if I ever did need to run Windows (often hard to avoid under our Windows-loving Overlords) getting a "full" copy costs 3x as much as a bundled copy.

If, however, you see this as a matter of principle then there are plenty of smaller suppliers/system builders who do price Windows separately.

Dell (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824347)

They were going to make their money one way or another. People were better off to just order a cheap Windows box and load their free version of Ubuntu when they got home. I think that most linux fans expected this to bring more users to the linux community for a stronger foothold, but Dell didn't want to deal with users inadvertently choosing an OS that was cheaper, when they didn't know the difference in the 2 systems.

You've got to agree that most linux users don't even buy proprietary systems, and 60% of Dell customers (minus business) wouldn't pay attention to the OS. Therefore it would cost them customers when people were unhappy with the system they got when they opened up the box.

Re:Dell (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824595)

60% of Dell customers (minus business) wouldn't pay attention to the OS. Therefore it would cost them customers when people were unhappy with the system they got when they opened up the box
I'd put forward that a signifigant portion of that 60% wouldn't pay attention to the OS after the box was opened either. Sure, it would be different, but they're expecting that. Its a new computer...

If the system is good to go and everything 'just works', I imagine they might not even become 'unhappy' until their first compatibility problem comes along.

AND, since we're talking Intel graphics here, we're not talking about gamers. Nor is the Ubuntu system likely to offer MS Office 2007 as a pre-installation option, so that's also one less surprise.

Am I missing something here?

Who knows what a Dell costs? (3, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824411)

Dell's prices fluctuate more rapidly and more widely than the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Identical systems may vary by significant amounts depending on whether you talk to a "home office" or "small business" rep... or whether you talk to them on Tuesday or Wednesday... or whether you get the price on the Web or over the phone or in a mailing.

I'm not sure anyone knows what a Dell costs unless they are a business negotating a deal for a few thousand of them.

No biggie (2, Informative)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 7 years ago | (#19824453)

It makes sense, you gotta have 2gb of ram for vista to even perform marginally well...and it requires more disk space too.
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