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Is Dell Giving Up on Linux?


Is Dell Giving Up on Linux?

Dell is no longer offering consumer PCs pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux on its web store, according to reports from PC Pro.

Just a couple of years ago Dell garnered praise for being one of the only mainstream PC resellers to offer Ubuntu Linux as a pre-install option on consumer laptops, but this appears to be no longer the case.

A search for Linux on the Dell web site brings up only a small handful of machines, such as the Latitude 2100, Latitude 13 and Dell Vostro 1220, all of which are aimed firmly at the business market.

Dell said that Ubuntu is still available on consumer machines such as its Inspiron Mini 10, but only for phone orders.

The company admitted that the move was down to the lack of uptake for Ubuntu.

"The reason why they’re not on our main pages is because Ubuntu systems are primarily targeted towards advanced users and enthusiasts, and the vast majority of consumers purchase PCs with Microsoft Windows pre-installed," a Dell spokesperson told PC Pro.

They went on to say that the absence of Ubuntu PCs would not necessarily be a permanent decision but could not give any time-frame for their return.

This is the latest blow for Linux to attract any kind of mainstream presence in computing, though this could potentially change if and when Chrome OS based netbooks appear.

Via: PC Pro


July 26, 2010, 3:58 pm

As an Ubuntu user I think this is a real shame, however when I looked at what was on offer there was never any real 'must buy' PCs that were visibly cheaper than the Windows equivalents. I wonder if this was due to serious discounts that Microsoft gives to big manufacturers like Dell to install Windows at point of sale?


July 26, 2010, 4:10 pm

Was there ever a significant price difference between the computers coming with Ubuntu and the computers coming with Windows? A friend of mine bought a netbook from Dell not too long ago and he chose Windows XP over Ubuntu simply because the two options cost about the same. He later added Ubuntu himself since it's free.

Andrew Gosling

July 26, 2010, 5:44 pm

As a Linux user who wanted to buy a linux computer through Dell, the reason there was low uptake of Ubuntu computers from Dell is because the option was hidden, offered on a limited number of their models almost always at lower spec than the Windows options, was never offered as a downgrade option when customising a system, and on a number of occasions cost more than an equivalent or better Windows system.

I even tried phone ordering and requesting a downgrade from Windows to Ubuntu on a decent system (xps m1330) that had a low-spec linux option, was prepared to still have to pay the "windows" price, and was told it wasn't possible to do so even after I'd shown the call centre worker where to find the linux options on their website.


July 26, 2010, 6:28 pm

Bit of a shame, so many non tech people I know could get by just fine with Ubuntu. In a way it works nicely for the iPhone generation with the Ubuntu Software Centre being like the app store and the source of all your software needs. Managed to get my friends using Firefox and Openoffice on windows, the next stage is to show them that this exact same software runs on Ubuntu!


July 26, 2010, 6:50 pm

@Malderon: so many non tech people I know could get by just fine with Ubuntu

You are so right!!, apart from getting sound to work 100% of the time :), even with PulseAudio things still are not that simple, and even then PulseAudio is a right resource hog, especially on Atom based machines.


July 26, 2010, 7:35 pm

@Benny: Chrome OS will be eaten alive by MeeGo ;-)


July 26, 2010, 8:37 pm

To be honest until programmers start developing Full games for linux there is never going to be widespread take up. Alot of computer marketing and purchasing is driven by gaming and Since making most games run under Linus is a pain most people wont bother.

But on the above situation Dell never advertised it well, and simple since ubuntu is free, why not get a free copies of windows and reinstall later? paying the same for a ubuntu machine/windows machine when linux is free jsut maeks no financial sence.


July 27, 2010, 1:23 pm

I always got the feeling Dell wanted to tell people they sold Ubuntu, but never actually wanted to sell any! (Think of how upset their bum chums at Microsoft would be!).


July 27, 2010, 2:25 pm

Doesn't Dell have to pay Microsoft to sell their computers with Windows? They could have saved some money if they had pushed out computers using Ubuntu, right? With the software being free, the product could have been sold for less or better hardware could have been used instead to raise the price again. Sounds like an attractive model for customers.

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