The More Dell Lies, the More Ubuntu Community Embraces Dell

Having priced similar Dell Ubuntu and Vista systems in the past, at a real difference of 10 dollars, I was curious to check in again and see if Dell has implemented anything the users of IdeaStorm have asked for.

One particular thread caught my attention:
Ubuntu Dell is $50 Less Than Windows Dell — Implemented.

Lets take The Flavor Challenge and build two same-spec 1420 Notebooks:

Note “Jet Black [Included in Price]” on 1420 Ubuntu
Downgrade to “Jet Black [subtract $20]” on 1420 Vista

Note “FREE! 2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz [Included in Price]” on 1420 Vista
Upgrade to “2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz [add $150]” on 1420 Ubuntu

Note “FREE! 160GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM) [Included in Price]” on 1420 Vista
Upgrade to “Size: 160GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM) [add $125]” on 1420 Ubuntu

Note “Intel 3945 802.11a/g Mini-card [Included in Price]” on 1420 Ubuntu
Upgrade to “Intel 3945 802.11a/g Mini-card [add $25]” on 1420 Vista

Total:

Inspiron 1420 [Vista] $824
Inspiron 1420N [Ubuntu] $1,049

The people asked, and Dell delivered! And only at $225 more for the Ubuntu laptop!

Say this with me: Dell has no intention of selling non-Windows consumer and commodity PCs/Notebooks. They simply can’t as the net profit on a Dell system is derived directly from the Windows OS via “Desktop Real Estate” and any Microsoft leads and co-marketing funds [kickbacks] provided — and not from the base hardware.

The Linux community is being used to generate free publicity and in turn sell Windows Licenses.

A bit ironic, don’t you think so?

Update 07/11/07:

The given components and prices on the 1420 Notebook have been updated. The price difference is now $25 [assuming no change in Wireless NIC], in favor of the Ubuntu system.

Among frequent price and component discrepancies, price fluctuations, and Windows favored promotions, I’m 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 that Microsoft could break Dell in half by decreasing the received Windows License discounts and co-marketing funds, I have no choice but to assume the latter.

Update 04/30/10:

Seems like its back to $200 again.

124 thoughts on “The More Dell Lies, the More Ubuntu Community Embraces Dell

  1. Did it ever occur to you that those “Free” upgrades could have been partially sponsored by MS and not by Dell?

  2. And on every other system, and every other time? No.

    MS sponsors Dell in may other ways… Volume discounts for licenses, marketing kickbacks, and maybe even pay Dell for having Office pre-installed, or setting up MSN search as the default.

    This example is purely Dell’s work. They have no intention of selling non-Windows systems. This is what they have done so far: price a minimal system, sell a few, then quickly put free upgrades on the Windows-counterpart.

    They really have very little choice here, as there is no profit to be made on the Ubuntu offerings. So might as well use it for publicity and drive traffic to the Windows systems.

  3. “This example is purely Dell’s work.” – I’d like to see some kind of proof behind that statement.

    “MS sponsors Dell in many other ways…”
    I see that as a reason why Dell can afford to discount a Vista PC by near $300 in free upgrades vs Ubuntu PC. At least this makes more sense than “purely Dell’s work”. Also, why blame Dell (a for profit capitalist) for steering people to more profitable products? Common now, it’s a business, not a charity. I’d buy what makes sense to me (as a consumer). In this case, I’d buy a better equipped and cheaper Vista model and dual boot it with my Linux of choice (and be happy that I did not pay $300 more for the same PC).

  4. 1) Would you also like me to prove that water is wet. And doesn’t the burden of the proof lie on you considering you are the one claiming some type of a MS/Dell “free-upgrade” conspiracy.

    2) Dell is not discounting the Windows system, price already reflects upgrades. This is the price they sell other similar systems at.

    3) I’m not blaming Dell for anything. They are using this situation to their advantage. I just think it’s rather ironic [both sad and funny] that Linux is being used to sell Windows Licenses and the Community is blindly all for it.

  5. 1) Only if you blame water for being wet.
    2) “The More Dell Lies” in the title sounds like an accusation and blaming them for some wrong-doing.

    Take it easy. It’s all good and funny at the same time. I heard so many times how Linux is supposed to be cheaper and better choice, but in this unfortunate case, it seems to backfire :(

    Also, on the other hand, in order to run Ubuntu, you don’t need to upgrade your hardware specs to the same levels.

  6. “The More Dell Lies” in the title sounds like an accusation and blaming them for some wrong-doing.

    I don’t blame them for being a business. Never the less, they are still “lying”, or at best, “deceiving.”

    Also, on the other hand, in order to run Ubuntu, you don’t need to upgrade your hardware specs to the same levels.

    I’d rather pay $225 less and get the same system with Vista.

  7. “Linux is being used to sell Windows Licenses and the Community is blindly all for it.”

    I agree that it is sad and unfortunate, but what do you suggest the Community should demand at the time? Stop offering Ubuntu? Or provide same “free” upgrades on Ubuntu PCs? But that entitles Dell to ask “Pardon me, but whose pocket the free upgrade comes out from?”

    As far as “MS/Dell conspiracy”. I would rather call it “business partnership” than anything else. I don’t expect MS to come out and say “Hey Linux Community, here is my market share. Just take it”. MS needs to make sure that Vista sells one way or the other, and I do think MS can afford to take a small financial hit by sponsoring free hardware upgrade on Vista PC.

  8. …and I do think MS can afford to take a small financial hit by sponsoring free hardware upgrade on Vista PC.

    I think it’s rather the Ubuntu priced systems that are being manipulated.

    And the price difference is anything but small.

    Dell has no intention of selling Ubuntu systems. There is no profit on commodity hardware. The net margin comes from “Desktop Real Estate” [crapware], Microsoft marketing kickbacks, and anything else that streams directly from the OS.

  9. “I’d rather pay $225 less and get the same system with Vista.”

    Me too. Think of it as a nicely equipped Ubuntu PC, with $225 paid back to you for your troubles of removing Windows and replacing it with Ubuntu.

  10. “Dell is not discounting Windows systems, free-upgrades included.”

    The bottom line is same no matter how you look at it:
    Base PC with free upgrades worth of $225 OR
    Fully loaded PC with a $225 instant discount.
    The words are different, but the outcome is same. Let’s play nice and not argue about it anymore :) I will admit I am the stupid one:)

  11. Mr. Admin (or Ms.)

    It would be easier to keep up with you if you did not edit your answers after posting those :)

    “And the price difference is anything but small.”
    for you and me it is not small, because we’re not multi-gazzillioneers (I took a liberty to assume you’re not). But I think MS can drop a couple of hundreds/PC to make sure that it retains it’s “Desktop Real Estate”. You invest into real estate – you can charge your rent later :)

  12. I usually post quick, so I have to edit for spelling mistakes and maybe insert that other random thought.

    On the current point, I think we’ll just agree to disagree.

  13. This is a joke! it’s obvious that Dell get a lot of money from MS, and they are protecting that income by making the ubuntu machines less attractive to buyers.
    Most linux users will be happy enough to format the drive and install Linux, but it still means that MS can claim their tax and another copy of Vista sold!

  14. Well, at least something useful came out of this blog entry…

    The status of the above IdeaStorm ‘idea’ has been changed from “Implemented” to “none — Dell has no shame!”

    And I’ve edited the entry to reflect the link to the Microsoft 1999 Anti-Trust “Findings of Fact” which outlines how OEMs profit when they play ball with Microsoft.

  15. Then why are you comparing a computer that is on sale to one that is not? Also why didn’t you apply the $350 off coupon to the Ubuntu machine, which you can NOT apply to the Windows machine?

  16. I don’t believe it’s “on sale” anymore than any of the other systems I have priced before. And I’m comparing the exact same 1420 and 1420N systems.

    Coupons are a bit funny… Are the coupon codes provided on the Dell site for everyone to find? Is it valid on the actual system? For how long? And at what price? Do I have to spend another $700 to get it?

    Just follow the offerings and you will see a pattern emerge. This is nothing new. Even when the systems are “$50″ less, the real difference is around $10 when you consider free shipping on the Windows system, or an extra $20 for the coloring of the Laptop, and/or the difference of a “Dell” branded Wireless NIC. And sometimes I have seen the same exact upgrades cost more on the “N” system.

  17. Do a search for “Dell coupons”, Dell regularly offers 50% off coupons on their website prices. Also, it seems you don’t know how the computer business works. I’m sure you know that it doesn’t cost Microsoft much more (if anything) to print up a copy of Vista Ultimate then it does to print up Vista Basic. The same applies to hardware. The XPS laptop doesn’t really cost that much more to produce then the stock $500 laptop. Dell is offering upgrades that cost them almost nothing. That’s why Dell offers crazy coupons. If Microsoft offered a 50% off Vista Ultimate coupon, which is at $400, and they make $200 – that is still more then what they’d make from Vista Basic Upgrade at regular price. Dell doesn’t make some set percent on every computer they sell. Some sales they can make $1000 in profit, others they can make -$200 in profit. Buying a $2000 XPS laptop at $1000 likely nets them more profit then a $500 regular priced laptop. Basically, from the standpoint of Dell, the “free upgrades” cost them pennies.

  18. I’m not even sure what we are arguing about here.

    Yes, I’m more than aware that Dell does not make a fixed price one each system. And they make a little more off non-commodity, premium hardware systems.

    And I’ve never seen Dell offer 50% coupons. At best, once in a while 30%. And sometimes $350 off some set price at around $1299 or more [$300 off $999 is usually the best you get once in a blue moon]. And they are not advertised on their site, just via email, ads, and 3rd party sites. Most of them are limited quantity use, expire quickly, and a lot are even not ‘technically’ valid and slip thought the cracks on certain systems.

    While I could not find the coupon you are talking about, I did find another one that gets the Windows system ANOTHER $200 OFF!
    http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?t=555963

  19. Is it just me, or isn’t Ubuntu still free? Why argue about it? Grab the cheap Vista machine, wipe it, and install Feisty Fawn for free. Driver support should be available at Dell if the same model laptop (which will have the same chipset, sound, nic, video…) is available with Ubuntu. Who cares who gets the money as long as you get the best deal?

  20. Putting the money issue aside, Dell is the first major OEM spearheading linux pre-installed on desktops for the public concept.
    If they keep it up for a while other vendors are sure to follow suit (competition) and a chain reaction will begin (drivers, compatible peripherals, software, etc.); that is something we all want. So Dell makes a few $ in the interim. Let them. Consider that this time last year Ubuntu Dells weren’t even on the radar.

  21. Did you get Photoshop and MS Office with that Vista?

    If you need to buy MS Office and Photoshop your Dell+Vista is not that chepper. And after that you must get and antivirus right?

    Try to configure your Dell with Windows Vista Ultimate?

    The last question: Do you think that the Linux gurus that work for Dell don’t get salary?

  22. Putting the money issue aside, Dell is the first major OEM spearheading linux pre-installed on desktops for the public concept.

    I’m all for it, but I just don’t see how this is possible.

    There are several huge problems here…

    1) Microsoft is the life-blood of Dell. They say jump, Dell says how high. Since we know that most of the profit Dell rakes in on PCs and Notebooks is the result of Microsoft “benefits”, Microsoft could easily drive Dell right into the ground.

    2) There is no profit to be made on non-premium hardware.

    3) The market for consumer Linux systems is extremely small. Dell was quoted as saying expected sales were going to be 1% of their 20,000,000 systems.

    4) The “vocal” segment of the Linux user-base is never satisfied. Price the systems $50 lower than the Windows counterpart, and they will demand $100 off. Not only that, but they also never buy anything to begin with. They only complain. And as soon as a new fad comes, they jump ship.

  23. Did you get Photoshop and MS Office with that Vista?

    Did you get Photoshop and MS Office with Ubuntu? Or are you suggesting that Gimp and OpenOffice are 100% genuine alternatives? Most people that use the actual tools would disagree. Either way, most of these apps have win32 ports.

    And after that you must get and antivirus right?

    No.

    Try to configure your Dell with Windows Vista Ultimate?

    Okay. I’ll just add another $300 for the Ubuntu support just to even things out.

    The last question: Do you think that the Linux gurus that work for Dell don’t get salary?

    I’m not following.

  24. The important thing is that the hardware is compatible with Ubuntu and that Microsoft has been unable to twist Dell into doing something that denies the computers to Linux users. However, Microsoft is winning the image war, because you seem to get more for your money with their OS. Del is not going to confront MS head on and promote the real value of Linux OS over Vista. To do so would be suicide. Someday the idiot consumers of these computers will wake up. Will Linux be ready for them then?

  25. I just performed the same test as you did (building the system below either with Ubuntu and Vista Home respectively), and every upgrade is now priced the same, regardless of the OS. So now the final prices are $774 (Ubuntu) and $779 (Vista)…

    SYSTEM COLOR Jet Black
    PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5250 (1.5GHz/667Mhz FSB/2MB cache)
    OPERATING SYSTEM Ubuntu version 7.04
    DISPLAY Anti-glare, widescreen 14.1 inch display (1280×800)
    VIDEO CARD Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
    MEMORY 2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz
    HARD DRIVE Size: 160GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
    OPTICAL DRIVE 24X CD Burner/DVD Combo Drive
    WIRELESS CARDS Intel® 3945 802.11a/g Mini-card
    INTEGRATED WEBCAM No Camera
    BATTERY OPTIONS 56Whr Lithium Ion Battery (6 cell)
    SOUND OPTIONS Integrated High Definition Audio

  26. I make the test too, between a 1420n and a 1420 “Best” selection, and I got 774$ for Ubuntu system and 824$ for Vista. The memory and hard drive upgrade are free in both cases.

  27. The problem in this case is that it will serve as an example to others in the future. If all linux users will buy the Vista version because of the price difference, linux sales will be very low. And Dell and other suppliers will never adopt linux in their offerings because the evidence shows that it doesn’t sell well.

    Practises like this only provide a “I told you so” for pro-windows people in future.

    And if it is not sold, it is not supported. And if it is not supported, you are screwed when you buy new hardware and it doesn’t work out of the box.

    THAT is why this is bad!

  28. I’ve just ran the comparison again, and the price difference for the 1420 Notebook is now $25 cheaper in favor the Ubuntu model. While I don’t have a problem with this, I do have a problem with knowing that this will not last, as it never does. In a few days, or weeks, the price will change back, and/or the promotions provided will again benefit the Windows system.

    Has anyone noticed this on the Ubuntu system?


    FREE 2GB: $150 Value!
    Expires Thursday, July 12, 2007
    - $150.00

    That’s right, it goes away tomorrow. Maybe Dell will extend it, but the fact remain that Dell is playing with how they advertise the “open-source” systems to minimize sales.

  29. What an irrelevant comparison. It sounds like you comparison shop based solely on price, while I bought a Dell Ubuntu system simply because it’s better. Vista machine: $774. Ubuntu machine: $799. Speed, security and stability: priceless.

    I also compared the TOTAL cost with my Windows machine. A previous poster’s point about the inclusion of extra software and the lack of need for an Internet security suite is a good one. Although you were dismissive of the point, I personally spend close to $2,000 over a 3-year period on Windows software that I now have solid equivalents of with Ubuntu. And, I dare you to run a Windows machine with no add-on security… not the questionable free programs you can download, either, but something solid like ZoneAlarm or Norton 360 (initial cost + annual renewal + slowing down your system).

  30. Speed, security and stability: priceless.

    You’re still living in the Windows 95/98 times. Windows 2000 and XP have been stable for myself and many others.

    …I personally spend close to $2,000 over a 3-year period on Windows software

    Is that your TCO?

    and, I dare you to run a Windows machine with no add-on security…

    Dare accepted and completed.

    I’ve been running Windows with no firewall s/w, and anti-virus protection since 2000.

    How do I do it? I know how to use a computer.

    1) I have a router. Routers operate under DNAT, which has the effect of preventing any connections from establishing that did not come from the LAN side. Which takes care of some security issues involved.

    2) Updates are kept current.

    3) I don’t download random junk from the net.

    You might also want to consider what would happen if the desktop market share was switched between Windows and Linux… No one writes exploits for the other 1-5% when they can have 95% from the start.

    Linux does not have some secret formula that makes it immune.

    And this does not even begin to touch on the issues of having OS deployment figures in the 100s of millions, spread out over a very diverse userbase, major 3rd party applications, backward compatibility, etc…

    With an increasing market share, Linux will have the same exact growing pains and problems as Microsoft.

  31. i think the real point that all this has overlooked is that dell is now actually selling computers with ubuntu installed and ready to run, straight out of the box – the first (and currently, only) major vendor to do so. if they stumble a bit during this introductory phase of a new business model, can they really be blamed? of course they owe allegience to ms as that company is still their major bread and butter, and whether dell or ms is responsible for the discounts mentioned, ultimately it’s irrelevant. even the fact that those discounts make a linux system slightly more expensive (or slightly less inexpensive) than a comparable ms system is of minor consequence; the ultimate goal is to have linux offered to the general public via a well-known distribution channel, and dell has done this. because of this, hp is now rumored to be readying their own linux product line.

    the door has been opened and that opening appears to already be widening, allowing more people to be aware of new, exciting possibilities beyond ms’s mental midgetry.

    those who would buy a ms system and replace it with linux defeats the purpose of this whole exercise – to make linux viable on its own merits and to deny ms their unwarranted “tax”. the more who will buy a linux system rather than “repair” an ms system – even if it should mean a slight increase in out-of-pocket expense (not too far removed from the increased initial frustrations of a new learning curve when first introduced to linux, yet we all did it) – the sooner unjustified subsidies to ms will be an historical footnote.

    some of the benefits from this:

    additional free promotion for linux to the world at large
    dell helping ensure viable driver support for any offered hardware
    additional vendors looking into offering linux
    gradual reduction in ms’s market strength

    personally, my finances have taken one hell of a beating this year but as soon as i can i will support dell in this new venture in the hopes it will help open that door just a bit farther

  32. It’s not just that the Linux version of the same machine costs more. Dell is probably going to stop offering the Linux version because they don’t sell (ignoring the fact they cost more). That’s been the Dell/MS plan all along, to discredit Linux and prove that nobody will buy them. At the moment the main benefit to a Linux user of Dell offering a Linux PC is that it guarantees the hardware works with Linux, even if you buy the cheaper version with Windows installed. When Dell stops selling the Linux version because “there’s no demand” then Linux users won’t be able to buy a Dell system that’s known to be compatible with Linux at any price. That’s the real tragedy.

  33. “I’ve been running Windows with no firewall s/w, and anti-virus protection since 2000.”

    You are too good for your own good!

  34. I will admit I recently installed AntiVir [free edition] to scan a few downloaded isos, but I usually switch it off as soon as the system boots.

  35. That’s been the Dell/MS plan all along, to discredit Linux and prove that nobody will buy them.

    I’m not crazy after all. Someone else shares my views on the matter.

  36. I’ve been running Windows with no firewall s/w, and anti-virus protection since 2000.

    How do I do it? I know how to use a computer.

    Oh I see. My Dad, Sister and kids are not in your league. They are typical Dell customers, not like you. All of them have Windows PCs in various states of disability in spite of security software. But, I suspect you will have a smart retort to that. You have an answer to everything, don’t you? I’m not certain why you would bother posting your opinion and accepting people’s feedback. No one’s viewpoint or experience matters.

  37. But, I suspect you will have a smart retort to that. You have an answer to everything, don’t you? I’m not certain why you would bother posting your opinion and accepting people’s feedback. No one’s viewpoint or experience matters.

    They matter so much to me that I actually take the time and effort to read, understand, and respond.

    “How do I do it? I know how to use a computer.”

    Oh I see. My Dad, Sister and kids are not in your league. They are typical Dell customers, not like you. All of them have Windows PCs in various states of disability in spite of security software.

    If your Dad, Sister, and kids have problems under Windows, they will certainly have even more problems under Linux. Perhaps not of the same exact kind, but numerous never the less — from the basics, to the moderate, to the advanced.

  38. I am just happy to be an expat living in switzerland and not have to deal with all of this paranoia and self doubt. Get a life and do want every you want, but why waste time in writing, when words alone will accomplish nothing? Do it!

  39. “If you Dad, Sister, and kids have problems under Windows, they will have even more problems under Linux.”

    You are not only good, you are a psychic . You da man!

  40. “…they will certainly have even more problems under Linux.”

    Absolutely not true. If I am any guage (as a typical lifelong Windows user now using GNU/Linux), I have had very few problems compared with my Windows XP install. The difference is that I was able to easily resolve any issues I had because that’s the nature of a GNU/Linux distro. That’s not the nature of any Windows version.

    Considering all factors, many GNU/Linux users have decided that using Windows has more disadvantages than its worth. I’m sure that we appreciate being made to feel like idiots for making that choice and that we should go back to Windows.

    “…I actually take the time and effort to read, understand, and respond.”

    For what purpose? Review the replies you’ve made and the rising frustration of the posters. You concede absolutely nothing.

  41. “Speed, security and stability: priceless.”

    Bunch of baloney, you can price that. Availability of software is almost a mute point too:
    1) Most of open source software provided in Linux can be used in Windows. No additional price to pay. Security, well it never hurts to educate yourself on proper use of PC (or any equipment in general).
    2) Just because Linux has some SW (that claims to perform a similar task to it’s Windows counterpart), this does not mean that it works. Try to price inability to perform a certain task :(

    I will elaborate on 2. At its’ current state, Linux is NOT capable of handling the most trivial task: INTERNET BROWSING. Fast, secure, stable? Does it even matter if I cannot see my favorite web site? It has nothing to do with sites designed for IE. There are sites that work just fine in FireFox/Windows and crap out in Linux (FireFox, Konqueror, Opera,…). It is either the page is not rendered correctly or dynamic content fails to work (with plugins installed and configured). Anybody cares to price that?

    On the other hand I know how it feels to lose your data because of faulty security. Solution: dual-boot and use the best of both :)

  42. If I am any guage (as a typical lifelong Windows user now using GNU/Linux), I have had very few problems compared with my Windows XP install. The difference is that I was able to easily resolve any issues I had because that’s the nature of a GNU/Linux distro. That’s not the nature of any Windows version.

    And for every 1 experience such as this, there are 50+ experiences along the lines of “Tried Linux, went back to Windows.”

    I’m sure that we appreciate being made to feel like idiots for making that choice and that we should go back to Windows.

    I hope I have not said anything that made you feel that way. My motto is use whatever you are most productive in.

    I have no emotional attachment to an OS.

    But as you don’t appreciate ‘others making you feel like an idiot’, I’m sure that many consumers don’t appreciate having Linux forced on them.

  43. Solution: dual-boot and use the best of both :)

    I like how you think but I would take it a step further: install VMWare Player or Server [both free], or any other VM alternative such as VirtualBox [the new upcomer based on qemu -- give it another 6 months], and run Linux as a guest OS under Windows.

  44. The one point not mentioned by responses indicating that because Dell makes little money on hardware, they are catering to Windows financial support – is that: Dell will incur “significantly” less costs from help desk operations with Ubuntu than on Windows, especially Vista, and therefore should strongly promote any solution that will in the long run provide greater profitability.

    Note: Dell “knows” that GNU/Linux in business saves millions to customers over comparable Windows installations.

  45. “…for every 1 experience such as this, there are 50+ experiences along the lines of “Tried Linux, went back to Windows.”

    Since you are using this statistic, I’d like to see the documentation. I’ve been a journalist for 26 years and I’ve seen this strategy used many times. I simply don’t believe it without evidence.

    “I hope I have not said anything that made you feel that way. My motto is use whatever you are most productive in.”

    Yes, you have. It’s your tone. You come across as: “I really don’t care what you say, I will shoot down any arguement or opinion you may have.”

    What you say about using whatever you are most productive with is really the bottom line. I spent a year with various distros and dual booting with Windows. I have been fulltime on GNU/Linux for the past year with no dual booting. I am completely satisfied that it meets my needs and have found no task that cannot be done as well as I could on Windows XP.

    Although I have reacted negatively to your postings, I am grateful that I live in a GNU/Linux community that does question and challenge everything. It’s part of the open-source hacker mentality and it has led to some amazing work. If Microsoft had people like you in their corporate community — and actually listened to you and responded to you — Microsoft would continue its dominance of the software world.

    It is my personal belief that the past year has seen significant progress in the development of GNU/Linux for the desktop. I believe that acceptance in the general home computer userspace is just beginning. Thanks to companies like Dell (who say Ubuntu sales have exceeded their expectations and are expanding availability, with HP rumoured to soon follow) GNU/Linux visibility is sure to increase. Then, consumers can make their own choices and you and I can trade comments until the cows come home. What will be, will be.

  46. “I’m sure that many consumers don’t appreciate having Linux forced on them.”

    Since you love statistics, please let me know how many average home computer users over the years have been forced to use Windows simply because that’s what came preloaded? Tens or millions… hundreds of millions? These people, on average, are unaware that there are alternatives, let along aware of how to get them.

  47. The one point not mentioned by responses indicating that because Dell makes little money on hardware, they are catering to Windows financial support – is that: Dell will incur “significantly” less costs from help desk operations with Ubuntu than on Windows, especially Vista, and therefore should strongly promote any solution that will in the long run provide greater profitability.

    That’s very true. But considering its all been outsourced to India [except for the business unit support], the cost is very low to begin with.

    Also, consider that Dell charges almost $300 for a year of Ubuntu support proxied to Cononical.

    The original problem still remains thought:

    The current net profit margins on Dell boxes are extremely low, rumored to be around 2% avg. Most of this is streamed from Microsoft.

    How will Dell neutralize this loss by selling Ubuntu systems, without selling those systems at a higher price?

  48. Admin Says:
    “And for every 1 experience such as this, there are 50+ experiences along the lines of “Tried Linux, went back to Windows.”

    Stephen Wilson Says:
    “Since you are using this statistic, I’d like to see the documentation. I’ve been a journalist for 26 years and I’ve seen this strategy used many times. I simply don’t believe it without evidence.”

    It’s obvious Admin is pulling it out of Admin’s posterior.

  49. I have no specific statistics to site for how many people failed to switch from Windows to Linux. They might exist, in some form, or might not.

    I’m simply going on an educated guess, from everything I have experienced. And you are doing the same.

    While I can mention previous documented failures of desktop Linux, and/or OEM Linux failures [as I have in previous blog entries], and provide links to “general” forums where people are not too thrilled about Linux [such as the above slickdeal.net thread], I have no referenced studies.

    Just my experience and the power of reasoning.

    Anyone want Windows TCO studies? [just kidding]

  50. You are correct. For every problem they have in windows, they’ll have 10 different ones in Linux.

    I consider myself an advanced user, so I would have no problem tweaking Linux when it needs tweaking.

    My wife’s PC runs Xubuntu. She was fine and dandy. But she couldn’t do anything but surf the net (sans Flash and Java), type docs, and use Instant Messenger. When she needed Flash 9.0, I had to install the plugin. When she needed Java Runtime Environment, I had to install it.

    With windows? Easy as pie in Firefox to get the Java plugin. Even easier to get the Flash plugin.

    Having Linux is similar to the days of Windows 3.1 on top of MS-DOS. Except now, it’s Ubuntu/Fedora/OpenSUSE/etc. on top of BASH…

    For advanced users that are tired of messing with Microsoft, Linux is da bomb.

    But for the average, soccer mom/dad user, Windows is still the best choice.

    Computer Literate doesn’t mean the same thing it used to. Technically, now you’re either Computer Literate or Windows Literate…MS has made us lazy.

  51. Although, I failed to mention, that since my wife has me to bail her out on our Xubuntu system, she still uses Linux and likes the experience better.

    But if I weren’t around to help her, she would’ve switched back a long time ago.

  52. For advanced users that are tired of messing with Microsoft, Linux is da bomb.

    That’s very true, among everything else you have said.

    I will also add my experience…

    I’ve been playing with Linux for ages.

    I mostly use it as a testing environment and as a server.

    But at the end of the day, I use Windows for everything else as it is much more “convenient.” I have too many tasks to perform to worry about tweaking this and that when I can have it right out of the box. It saves me time and effort, which I redirect elsewhere.

  53. Admin, can I make a minor, minor nitpick?

    “Linux does not have some secret formula that makes it immune… With an increasing market share, Linux will have the same exact growing pains and problems as Microsoft.”

    I assert that Linux does have a “secret formula” and that it will not have the “same exact growing pains” – like many unices, it is simply engineered better.

    Can you, as someone who does not have access to Windows source code, prove your assertion empirically? With Linux you can – you can examine the source code to see if it’s badly engineered or well engineered. The best empirical evidence we have of Microsoft engineering is the OOXML spec that they’ve published – and if that’s accurate, all I can say is it’s no wonder Windows is so susceptible to viruses. (As I’m sure you’re aware, the OOXML spec contains things that don’t belong in specifications – such as “This should operate as Word95 does” – and things that would be a mistake for a second year CompSci student, such as the lack of specifying units when doing geometrical formulas.)

    The reason Windows is inherently less secure is the fact that Microsoft must develop under an unwiedly beauracracy, and they must concentrate on adding functionality to get people to buy things they really don’t need. There are lots of stories around about Microsoft’s development processes. Point blank, Linux is simply a better design than Windows. It’s simple, it’s elegant, and it’s efficient – where Windows has so many API calls that it’s very easy to find a hook into one to create nefarious wares…

  54. “MS has made us lazy.”

    I don’t agree.
    1) We made ourselves lazy.
    2) Convenience is more appropriate word to describe the situation. We, the humans, always make tools easier and more convenient to use. For “the average, soccer mom/dad user” a PC is a tool/appliance. So, it should not be a surprise that not that many care about tweaking things in Linux. After all, a mechanic does not need a CLI to adjust a wrench, just twist a knob and get back to work.

    “For advanced users that are tired of messing with Microsoft, Linux is da bomb.”

    Are we really talking about users here? Or enthusiasts, whose hobby happen to be computer tweaking??? And therefore, Windows does not provide enough opportunities to tweak…

  55. “Point blank, Linux is simply a better design than Windows.”

    Ohhh, that explains why I cannot see some of my favorite web sites in Linux. It is a part of “better design” :)

  56. “Ohhh, that explains why I cannot see some of my favorite web sites in Linux. It is a part of “better design” :)

    That bad taste in your mouth is your foot.
    Linux !=Browser

    Is it possible that Linux stands on its own merits?
    Most Linux users would say yes.
    Use of Linux does not represent a rebellion against Microsoft and Linux stands on its own as a user preference.

  57. “Linux !=Browser”

    Duh-duh-duh, do you assume that everybody is dumb around here? Of course, there is more to any OS than just a browser. Browsing is only ONE of many negative experiences you might get while trying Linux.

    “Is it possible that Linux stands on its own merits?”

    Of course it does. But to blindly say Linux is better design,…. Well it is something you’d expect from a narrow minded fanboi. Or should we say “Linux is better design”, but there are side effects, just like in pharmaceutical ads on TV (you know: constipation, blood pressure, drowsiness)?

    “Use of Linux does not represent a rebellion against Microsoft”

    Once again, it is not the vibe you get from the fanboiz. Unfortunately those morons (they know who they are) do more harm to Linux rep than they do good.

  58. I assert that Linux does have a “secret formula” and that it will not have the “same exact growing pains” – like many unices, it is simply engineered better.

    It might be designed “better”, but only on a technical level and perhaps only for a specific task and type of user-base.

    Catering to the majority of the desktop marketshare that exists right now requires more of a “practical level” type of design/thinking, with marketing leading the way.

    …where Windows has so many API calls that it’s very easy to find a hook into one to create nefarious wares…

    What choice to they have?… When you cater to the lowest common denominator, where is there to go but down.

  59. “Duh-duh-duh, do you assume that everybody is dumb around here?” no

    “But to blindly say Linux is better design,….”

    it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.

    http://www.lege.com/unix-nt/

    “Unfortunately those morons”
    What’s with the name calling?

  60. Another point I missed…

    A design is only good for the task it was designed for. Designs are not open-ended, and ever adapting. At least not without serious consequences and major roadblocks.

    Linux shines when used for the developer, by the developer… Not truly meant for mass consumption.

  61. “When you cater to the lowest common denominator, where is there to go but down?”

    Linux community is better in that sense. It does not have to go down. There is Slackware, and then there is Ubuntu. One thing Linux community will have over Windows: wider variety of choice.

  62. “A design is only good for the task it was designed for.”

    With your logic, Rolls Royce makes cars and Chevy make cars. Is there a better design?

    `UNIX is a mature, technically superior group of operating systems with a proven track record for performance, reliability, and security…`

    “Linux is for the developer, by the developer… Not truly meant for mass consumption.”

    I don’t think you’ll know what Linux is.?
    Your cell phone or next cell phone runs Linux
    just to name one mass consumption device.

    Linux is NOT Windows Lite.

  63. Four Observations:

    #1: If you compare the VISTA laptop to the Ubuntu Laptop (instead of comparing the Ubuntu to the VISTA–AS YOU HAVE DONE!), your assertion falls apart. The $50 savings has been reported before.

    #2: You are “crazy” to purchase a RAM/memory upgrade from Dell. Crucial.com is almost 1/2 of what the Dell upgrade cost is! (Crucial memory comes with a better warranty, too!) The ease of upgrading RAM/memory on a Dell laptop make this a real option for anyone.

    #3: Your arguement is a “straw-man” arguement and is, therefore, fallacious.

    #4: You need a life. Dell has delivered what was requested by the members of the Linux community that responded to their web-site questions. Dell, with the addition of the second laptop, is doing more than what was requested. Dell has announced plans to offer Ubuntu PCs and laptop to the Small-Medium Business community and to European markets.

    Sometimes I wonder if some of these Linux pontificators even turn a computer on. Their analytical skills are lacking.

  64. “A design is only good for the task it was designed for.”

    With your logic, Rolls Royce makes cars and Chevy make cars. Is there a better design?

    Better design for what specific task? To drive on an unpaved road or for luxury?

    I don’t think you’ll know what Linux is.?
    Your cell phone or next cell phone runs Linux
    just to name one mass consumption device.

    I think we both know I was not referring to embedded Linux.

  65. Admin,

    You’re not comparing apples to apples here.

    Let’s look at core operating system functionality: allocating memory, managing files, managing network activity, managing devices.

    Core OS functionality does NOT include the applications themselves, web browsing, or things of that nature.

    When you consider this, your assertion that Linux is engineered better only for a certain task and certain userbase fails, because this level of the OS has zero visibility to the end-user. The Linux and Windows kernels both open files, open network connections, and perform similar tasks.

    This is where the similarities end. On Linux systems, the graphical interface is completely and absolutely in User space. The Linux kernel does one thing and does it well – it does kernelly-stuff. In Windows, this isn’t the case – the Windows kernel itself must manage graphical devices, graphical input, selection, etc. Now, consider that many scriptable things, such as IE, and VBA, have hooks into these kernel-level routines. In Linux, the corresponding scriptable things – FireFox, StarOffice – do not have hooks into Kernel-level things, only user-level things.

    As you may be aware, Kernel-level code can do a lot more damage than User-level code. So, when malware takes advantage of scriptable things, under Windows it does a lot more damage. Tell me this: under Windows, is it possible to lock down a file so tightly that only JoeUser can access it? When I say “only JoeUser can access it”, I mean that very strictly: i.e. no Admin user, no System-level process (since on Vista processes can have higher privilege than Admin), no process at all, can access the file, unless it’s JoeUser?

    Marketing-driven engineering is not proper engineering. In MDE, you take a core that might be solid, and when marketing wants a feature, you add the feature – and then you add enough duct tape and bailing wire patches to the rest of the codebase until it works. After you’ve done this for 10 years it’s just a gigantic, planet-sized ball of duct tape. If you don’t believe me, scan any of the Microsoft blogs where insiders describe their dev process.

    And, please elaborate, what specific limitations of Linux mean it’s only “by developers, for developers”? The only limitation of Linux in today’s arena is the fact that there aren’t more SMB apps for it, because the market doesn’t exist. There’s nothing inherently “hard” about using Linux.

  66. Marketing-driven engineering is not proper engineering.

    I agree completely. And all your other points are valid.

    My point was that better ideas do not win over worse ideas, “just because.” The world is corrupt.

    Linux might look great in a test tube over Windows, but I’d rather see how the market reacts to gauge it’s true success. And desktop Linux has been failing since 2000, OEM by OEM.

  67. Your cell phone or next cell phone runs Linux
    just to name one mass consumption device.

    I think we both know I was not referring to embedded Linux.

    Just to reduce the tension and cool things off:
    Linux Phone Customer Service: “Hi Sir, may I help you?”
    Joe Customer: “Hi, I upgraded gcc compiler in my Linux Cell Phone to the latest version available from unstable repository and recompiled the kernel and several other applications with it. And now my Linux Phone would not iron my pants anymore”.
    Customer service: “Oh, it is simple Sir. You need to include ‘this’ and ‘that’ optimizer flags for gcc. After that you should be just fine. But in future, we advise you to use gcc from stable repository. Have a nice day”

  68. And, please elaborate, what specific limitations of Linux mean it’s only “by developers, for developers”?

    That wasn’t really meant to be taken out of the context it was placed in.

    Just that overall, Linux is better delivered server-side, or for specific technical tasks at hand, and not to the masses.

  69. Why is it that every article that mentions both windows and linux always reopens the whole windows versus linux debate YET AGAIN?

    That is not the issue here!

    The issue is that dell gives more reduction on the same hardware if choose vista as OS instead of ubuntu.
    It does not matter if one is better then the other. It does not matter that ubuntu has a smaller footprint and doesn’t need it anyway.
    What matters is that if you buy the same hardware, your OS choice will determine the price of that hardware.

    This is unfair.
    This will result in bad sales-figures. And this will set a bad example.

    It will result in a missed chance at finally getting the driver support from hardware vendors WE NEED to get hardware to work out of the box.

  70. It is funny the so called ‘admin’ talking about ‘windows stability’ somewhere above, and in other place saying that one doesn’t necessarily have to put an antivirus on a windows box. At work we have ‘windows xp sp2′ and still after inserting a CD and opening the ‘my computer’ the window _freezes_ until windows is able to read something from the disk, that is, that window becomes usless for a few seconds. Is that a behaviour of a _stable_ OS? If so – then what is the experience of the above ‘admin’ (hehe) working with a modern Linux desktop where practically nothing ever freezes (not to mention the server side)?
    You’re indeed as someone above mentioned one of the best anti Linux trolls, by the huge amount of your posts you’re prolly also paid for that (or just need to get a life).

  71. Are you talking about the OS crashing, or a specific multitasking issue with the OS and the initial access or spinup of a CD?

    Don’t know, maybe I just never noticed it.

  72. “a modern Linux desktop where practically nothing ever freezes”

    I’ll smoke whatever he/she smokes. Really, pass me that magic pipe.

  73. The window freezes until it is able to read something, and even worse, if the CD is unreadable you end up with a CTRL+ALT+DEL magic combination. This is just a small issue out of _many_ ‘stability’ complains I have about windows. At work I’m missing what I have for granted on Linux by default – multiple Desktops, ability to keep a window above others, manage transparency, a rich repository with thousands of programs which are qualitative and free (like firefox and gimp), and lots of other things which have been said on different posts on the web ad nauseam.
    To those living in ignorance fighting viruses (thus having to reinstall windows every few months) and managing loads of software licenses keeping track of their expiration date: Ubuntu Linux is much better in all regards. It would take too much to describe the huge relief you get with such an OS. I used to be a vivid windows user, now I don’t care who and what says about any OS, I know with Linux I don’t have any problems anymore.
    You can get a free Ubuntu CD (also shipped for free): https://shipit.ubuntu.com/

  74. Bryan Says:

    “I’ll smoke whatever he/she smokes. Really, pass me that magic pipe.”
    ..where there’s smoke there’s … pollution.

    You know the saying …the squeaking wheel gets … annoying!

  75. “You know the saying …the squeaking wheel gets … annoying!”

    Trying to compensate lack of the balls by insulting others? It so new and fresh and cool. I promise to ignore pathetic loosers in future.

  76. A lot of valid points here.

    I believe that the Ubuntu systems that Dell sells are nothing more than loss-leaders designed to show the consumer that they are getting a better deal when buying the Windows counter-part…. More features to select from, better promotions/deals, better components/upgrades, and sometimes cheaper upgrades.

    I think a more valid comparison would be that of a typical consumer configured Laptop [camera, something above the integrated video chipset, better audio, better CPU, etc...], vs. the best fit ‘open-source’ model that Dell can provide.

    I think that comparison would be much more valid.

  77. Oops! I guess the original point of this blog is meaningless now!

    From Desktop Linux today:

    ["Bottom line this was an oversight, pure and simple," a Dell spokesperson told DesktopLinux.com. "We will be posting a comment to IdeaStorm to that effect by tomorrow." In the meantime, Dell says that the prices have been reset to the appropriate prices... Now, Dell has corrected its mistake. If you go to the Dell Inspiron 1420 page, you'll find you can get the same offer for the free upgrade to 2GB of memory and 160GB hard drive for the Ubuntu Inspiron 1420.]

  78. Well, now that it is squared away. What happens if one buys Ubuntu laptop for $50 (or whatever) less than Vista laptop, and a month later decides that he/she wants his/her Windows back. Will Dell send them a Vista install disk for extra $50 or charge a full retail for Windows copy?

  79. Argumentative question. Honestly, anyone who bothers to ferret out the Ubuntu machines on the Dell site, wants one. It’s not as if it hits you in the face when you open the site.

  80. Agreed about not hitting in the face when you go to Dell.com.
    But the reason I asked: it is quite possible that a person who never used Linux/Unix in their life heard the buzz. And decides to give it a try while feeling good about $50 saved.

  81. I suppose anything’s possible. What happens is someone buys a Vista laptop and a month or so later decides that they should have bought an Ubuntu laptop? Does Dell send them an Ubuntu disk and a check for $50 plus the retail cost of Vista?

  82. Not likely, before you start using Windows you agree to the license :(
    I wonder if there should be a some kind of grace period for those situations?

  83. Oops! I guess the original point of this blog is meaningless now!

    Not at all.

    “Bottom line this was an oversight, pure and simple, a Dell spokesperson told DesktopLinux.com.

    The original point was that Dell is using the Linux offerings to drive traffic to the Windows counterparts, via generated publicity.

    I’m entirely open to the idea that this was an oversight. But this is not the 1st time this has happened. Perhaps they are experiencing hiccups, and are working it out. They will also need to address the issues of Windows favored deals.

    And the question still remains: If this is a genuine attempt to provide Desktop Linux systems, how exactly will Dell profit from selling Ubuntu systems at a cost of $10-50 less, when a good portion of the profit streams from the Windows OS and the partnership with Microsoft?

  84. Well, I was being sarcastic (how unusual for me), but you raise an interesting question. I have several friends who have bought new PCs with preloaded Vista and have varying levels of unhappiness with it. As you pointed out, Ubuntu may not be everyone’s cup of tea, either. Interesting that we have a situation today where some average home users may not really have a choice of OS that they are completely satisfied with.

  85. Admin says:
    “I’m entirely open to the idea that this was an oversight.”

    What constitute as fact to you?

    “how exactly will Dell profit from selling Ubuntu systems at a cost of $10-50 less”

    Other OEMs, hence: HP are asking the same question.

  86. Admin says:
    “The original point was that Dell is using the Linux offerings to drive traffic to the Windows counterparts, via generated publicity.”

    Baseless!

  87. Tried to buy one and the “Customize” button ended up going nowhere in there browser. Got some garbage survey instead so filled in survey to show I was very unimpressed with their website since it made it impossible to order the system I wanted…

  88. FYI: http://direct2dell.com/one2one/archive/2007/07/12/20891.aspx


    Earlier this week, the DeveloperSide.NET Blog posted a reaction to a pricing error on the Inspiron 1420N configurator page. User the_watcher brought the discussion into IdeaStorm shortly after. We fixed the pricing error this morning. Erik_d, a member of our Consumer pricing team issued an update in the comment thread earlier today.

    Here’s what he said:

    “As a member of Dell’s consumer pricing team, I want to let you know that the recent pricing error on the Inspiron 1420 with Ubuntu was a simple oversight – the pricing promotions available on the Inspiron 1420 with Vista were not applied to the Ubuntu systems. But we have now fixed this error. If you check today, you should find the same promos in play on both the Ubuntu and the Vista systems. Thanks for calling this error to our attention – and keep the feedback coming.”

    I’d like to reiterate Erik’s sentiment: thanks to the blogging community for bringing the error to our attention, and sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.

  89. Thanks for the heads up, Limulus. I didn’t expect Dell [well, direct2dell.com] to post a link back to this blog, especially the URL that points directly to our “Dell” category. Ouch!

    Time will tell how this turns out.

    As of right now, I’m thinking Dell will make good on keeping the prices on same model, base h/w, systems consistent, and not pull anything like that one incident where the shipping was free on the Windows box, but cost $30 on the same exact Ubuntu setup.

    Thought I’m still very concerned that the Windows models might have promotions that undermine the value of the Ubuntu counterparts…

    And I’m not talking about the ‘FREE — double your RAM and HD’ deals… Rather, better spec-ed Windows boxes receiving coupon codes that drop the price considerably enough to make the Ubuntu models seem like a bad deal.

  90. 2: Mistitled

    I have one regret about this article. I never suggested it be called “Why Linux failed on the desktop”, and I actually never said that Linux failed on the desktop. My perspective was on how the Linux _kernel_ and its development treats the desktop.
    Con Kolivas (1 days ago)
    reply

  91. In regards to the above ‘for the developer, by the developer’ quotes…

    I’m not sure how relevant this is today, but this is what Linus said about v0.01…

    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~awb/linux.history.html

    I can (well, almost) hear you asking yourselves “why?”. Hurd will be out in a year (or two, or next month, who knows), and I’ve already got minix. This is a program for hackers by a hacker.

    Roots and foundations tend to persist in some respect.

  92. I think buying preinstalled Ubuntu from Dell is probably one of the best ads for linux systems. I thin that statistics can force hardware companies to support driver developement.

  93. I cannot help but notice that if one goes to that Slick_deals forum and pages a little further in, one will find some very different feedback about the Ubuntu Dell. I see Admin didn’t hasten to point this out.

    Truly, you are one of the most obtuse Blog-trolls I’ve seen in a while, “Admin”.

  94. Anyone can search for “Ubuntu” on that thread to get all the related comments.

    It’s odd how people will gravitate to grabbing onto any trivial matter once the main points have been argued and won.

    The proverbial “I use Ubuntu, it’s the greatest OS in the world! Microsoft proprietary s/w sucks.” type of comments and nonsense does not impress me… Those people are living in a bubble.

    Neither does the logic of ignoring comments I posted due to a few contrasting ones.

  95. with linux one can use the machine untill it breaks, I have a compaq persaro 1200 laptop(ex windows 98se, 6gb, 256ram) running kubuntu linux, meaning that if I buy the dell ubuntu machine now I will still be able to use it for as long as I wish, whereas I am sure that windows will not support vista from some point, agreed I have no proff of user’s needs but I suspect that most people just want their laptops for simple stuff these days, so someone buying ubuntu gets a long term system computer whereas microsoft only offers one a shortterm lease of a system which microsoft can then choose withdraw support from forcing one onto their next system, (and what about officeworks and protection), anyway imagine someone trying to run vista on a windows98se computer and one soon see that price advatage of going to linux,

    Anyway, I don’t mind dell being honest or dishonest in their motives, thanks to them both Levono and HP and now joined the fray, and the distro-war may now turn serious

  96. i just ordered my ubuntu dell through my school and only upgraded to the high res screen ($840 after shipping). i did what you did and parted out the exact same machine with vista, both WITHOUT my student discount and got these results:

    1420n: $994 (plus shipping)
    1420: $1,164 (plus shipping)

    now who’s lying?

    you are.

  97. I am a ubuntu user and previously I owned macs and their forums are filled with the same crap! Windows people go and be happy! I would also like to say that has nobody stopped to think that probably 0.00005% of windows users work in IT whereas probably about 20% of linux users do. So by Dell offering Ubuntu systems they are probably appealing to alot of people who have a say on corporate IT spending?

  98. I have been asking Dell for machines with No OS for many years. The answer is still no. I think they should be honest with people and tell them the true cost of the machine and the OS.

    I think anyone using any version of Windows c TM should ask for their money back on their current version and then use that money to buy the next version of Microsoft’s operating system.

  99. If it is cheaper to buy the machine with Windows installed then this is what I will do:

    - Buy the machine with Windows installed
    - Format the hard drive, throw away the Windows OEM disk
    - Install Ubuntu

  100. The discounts are being offered because Vista is a pig. Yes, it seems unfair to charge less for a PC with an expensive and bloated OS, but nobody wants it and that’s how the market works.

    But if you compare a PC with the same specs running Ubuntu vs. Vista? Ubuntu wins, hands down.

    You could buy the Vista PC cheap, install Ubuntu on a partition and have a dual boot system (in can come in handy to have windows so you can do your taxes once a year, etc).

    Then consider what you save on software licenses, anti-virus and anti-spyware programs you have to buy, and then factor in the time you’ve spent watching the windoze hourglass, waiting for something to happen or the value of the work you lost to the blue screen of death.

    My bust-ass 5 y.o. Compaq laptop with a 1.4 ghz Celeron processor and 512m of memory outperforms a state of the art laptop running Vista. As long as my laptop still runs, there will be no need to replace it.

    Nuff said.

  101. “You could buy the Vista PC cheap, install Ubuntu on a partition and have a dual boot system (in can come in handy to have windows so you can do your taxes once a year, etc).”

    True and I can play games on Ubuntu at 1/2 speed 1/2 the frame rate and watch it crash every 15-20 minutes.

    “Then consider what you save on software licenses, anti-virus and anti-spyware programs you have to buy, and then factor in the time you’ve spent watching the windoze hourglass, waiting for something to happen or the value of the work you lost to the blue screen of death.”

    With the money I save, I can buy lots of this if I needed it.

    And trully its been near 10 years since I saw a blue screen of death. But strangly I have seen a lot of X11 crash’s or reboots to a (prompt) due to X11 going south.

    “My bust-ass 5 y.o. Compaq laptop with a 1.4 ghz Celeron processor and 512m of memory outperforms a state of the art laptop running Vista. As long as my laptop still runs, there will be no need to replace it.”

    Well thats only partially true, you most likley are trying to make Vista Work, while surfing listing to music, and typing emails in Ubuntu.. you know the resource intensive stuff……

  102. A Dell without an operating system I don’t ever see happening. The problem is they are customer service based so they don’t want anything out there that doesn’t have an OS they can support. That is the only reason they are offering Ubuntu is because of commercially available support and that partnership.

    Ubuntu on Dell’s is a major advancement of Ubuntu as THE face of Linux and to gain more mainstream support from major software companies like Adobe who already have Windows and Mac flavors out there. Just as the Intel based Macs was a step towards software companies making Linux software, since the architecture is one step closer to PC based Linux OSes.

  103. 1 year later and no real progress and no other OEM following suit by offering Ubuntu. Naturally, there’s no money in it and almost no demand. Dell will dump Ubuntu when the recession hits. It’s the perfect exit strategy for Dell. They get to save face with the mostly Linux constituency over on Ideastorm by blaming the recession as to the reason why they can no longer offer Ubuntu.

    The failed and farcical Ideastorm project which hardly represents Dell’s consumer base and which backed Dell into a corner will also probably be shut down.

  104. hey there. perhaps it’s a bit too late to post, but i feel like no one is getting to the point here.
    big oem’s such as dell, don’t care about ubuntu. it’s a fact, and you don’t need to discuss it. why is that? because dell offers its products based on the concept that they are easy to use, easy to buy, cheap and they offer “tech support” over the phone. if you were to buy a computer and use it with ubuntu (being computer savvy) then you would assembly it yourself, and get to choose each component. Dell branded computers are only that, “branded”. they all have chinese motherboards (asus, msi or whatever else they come accross), which in turn have chipsets made by somebody else, like ati or nvidia. then they assemble this pcs in china or mexico, just like hp does (serial numbers starting with MX, CN, that’s where the pc was manufactured) and finally, offer tech support in india, the phillipines, mexico or any other ‘developing’ country (which by the way, is not ‘guru’ on anything at all, just a bunch of people with a 2-months training at most). that is what lowers their production costs as it does to preinstall vista and the crapware you usually get with their pcs. there is no real tech development here. they are just oems and that is what they do. get used to it, or learn how to build a computer yourself and get the os you like the most. the 80′s are over. there is no real difference between computer manufacturers, not even between computers (see the intel macs).
    sorry about my english, i’m not a native speaker.

  105. add the fact that dell is selling support services they NEVER give.
    and the FACT that both DELL and UBUNTU are perhaps not LYING but
    “forgetting” to mention at SALE that the PRINTERS they are SELLING to
    their customers are USELESS and a waste of their money *CON*….

    then the FACT that shipments are DELAYED –
    days to find out what SUPPORT is and then DAYS to
    get it. NOW that the stench is surfacing – the very “curteous”
    techs inform you that your 21 days refund is expired and u can
    take the useless equipment and shove it …. up a dark corner of your closet storage space.

    put that ontop of DELL seeds and “sharing”….
    which is ONE reason that ubuntu users PREFER ubuntu….

    I thought it was a good thing…
    till i PAID the bucks and EARNED my lesson.

  106. Inspiron 15n
    Starting Price…… $619.00
    http://www.dell.com/us/en/home/notebooks/laptop-inspiron-1545/pd.aspx?refid=laptop-inspiron-1545&s=dhs&cs=19&~oid=us~en~29~linux_2~~
    Software & Services
    Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T6600 (2.20GHz/800Mhz FSB/2MB cache)
    Ubuntu Version 9.10 with 30 days of Starter Support
    250GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
    3GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 800MHz
    6-cell battery
    1 Year Limited Hardware Warranty (10-14 Day Mail-In Service After Remote Diagnosis)
    Bright, glossy widescreen 15.6 WLED display (1366×768)
    High Definition Audio 2.0
    8X CD / DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
    Dell 1397 Wireless-G
    Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD
    Jet Black
    My Accessories
    My Service
    Also Includes
    No Webcam Option
    Integrated 10/100 Network Card

    Inspiron 15
    Starting Price…… $399.00
    http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/laptop-inspiron-1545?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19
    Software & Services
    Intel® Celeron® 900 (1MB cache/2.20GHz/800Mhz FSB)
    Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
    1 Year Basic Service Plan
    2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 800MHz
    250GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
    6-cell battery
    No Webcam Option
    Dell 1397 Wireless-G
    Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD
    8X CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
    High Definition Audio 2.0
    Jet Black
    My Accessories
    Microsoft® Works 9
    McAfee SecurityCenter, 30-Day Trial
    Dell Online Backup 2GB for 1 year
    Also Includes
    Bright, glossy widescreen 15.6 WLED display (1366×768)
    Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9.0
    Integrated 10/100 Network Card
    No ISP requested

    Price difference $220.. Windows favor

  107. Indeed
    $399 Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
    configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=dndozg1&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&kc=laptop-inspiron-1545

    $619 Ubuntu 9.10 (upgraded from $579 to match 6 cell battery)
    configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=dncwzl1&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19

    Price difference is $220. Windows 7 wins. Pay $220 more for a free OS? Thanks Dell for at least providing Ubuntu support. Time to dual boot.

  108. CORRECTION: Price of the Windows 7 Dell Inspiron 15 is really $444.00 when you upgrade to match 3GB RAM offered default with the Ubuntu Inspiron 15n.

    Inspiron 15n
    Starting Price….$619.00
    Software & Services
    Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T6600 (2.20GHz/800Mhz FSB/2MB cache)
    Ubuntu Version 9.10 with 30 days of Starter Support
    250GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
    3GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 800MHz
    6-cell battery
    1 Year Limited Hardware Warranty (10-14 Day Mail-In Service After Remote Diagnosis)
    Glossy, widescreen 15.6 inch display (1366×768)
    High Definition Audio 2.0
    8X CD / DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
    Dell 1397 Wireless-G
    Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD
    Jet Black
    My Accessories
    My Service
    Also Includes
    No Webcam Option
    Integrated 10/100 Network Card

    Inspiron 15
    Starting Price ……. $444.00
    Software & Services
    Intel® Celeron® 900 (1MB cache/2.20GHz/800Mhz FSB)
    Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
    1 Year Basic Service Plan
    3GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 800MHz
    250GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
    6-cell battery
    No Webcam Option
    Dell 1397 Wireless-G
    Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD
    8X CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
    High Definition Audio 2.0
    Jet Black
    My Accessories
    Microsoft® Works 9
    McAfee SecurityCenter, 30-Day Trial
    Dell Online Backup 2GB for 1 year
    Also Includes
    Bright, glossy widescreen 15.6 WLED display (1366×768)
    Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9.0
    Integrated 10/100 Network Card
    No ISP requested

    Difference is really $175

  109. I purchased a Dell Inspiron, AMD 64 Durion, 1 Gb RAM a couple of years ago. Had WinXP Pro pre-installed. From the time I received it I had numerous OS issues, file manager operatoins would not refresh when adding/changing file/folder names. Boot/shutdown times rapidly became excessive. updates (every damn day) caused application crashes. Now it has LinuxMint 8 (a Ubuntu 9.50 derivative) with Virtualbox running an old Win2000 copy for 2 apps that a legacy support. The guy who shares my office is jealous of the rapid boot (it is actually ready when the Desktop appears) my multiple Desktops (1 of the greatest features) and updates that just work without having to reboot. Not to mention inherent security. I use this machine daily professionally to run a 3D CAD system and program machine controls. Windows has not been activated on it for 7 months.

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