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Dell Refuses to Sell Ubuntu to Business 522

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

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  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cs02rm0 (654673) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @08:56AM (#19577883)
    ...take your business, literally, elsewhere?
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ronadams (987516) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @08:59AM (#19577943) Homepage
      Except if you're looking for FOSS OS laptop, where do you take it? Even most custom build places push Windows to every system. This is a real disappointment. Is Dell trying to avoid supporting these machines in a corporate environment? That's half-assed support, and Dell should be held accountable for it. Either stand behind your product, with the disclaimer that Linux-based may not work for everyone, or don't sell the damn things at all.
      • Well there is Apple, Sure you get OS X but you can always put Linux on instead if you want to. You pay the Apple Tax instead of the Microsoft Tax. But at least your purchase says Hey I don't want a Windows Laptop. Otherwise you go with Windows or if you can find a company that sells a OS Less Laptop, and Install Linux on it.
        • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ronadams (987516) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:12AM (#19578195) Homepage
          Except that I don't want to pay for OS X if I'm just going to use it for a FOSS OS... another user did point out, quite correctly as I found, that you could just purchase a Dell with FreeDOS for businesses... why, why, why.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by e4g4 (533831)
            Even if Apple shipped a machine with no OS installed - you'd still be paying for OS X by purchasing it. Apple subsidizes their OS development with profits from their hardware division.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jellomizer (103300) *
            So you buy a Dell with no OS or Linux on it. You are still probably paying Microsoft for that box, Microsft may charge by number of units sold with or without the OS, so Dell could get a discount on the OS. Dell can use the money you got from the system to purchase more stock in Microsoft, or to help pay Microsoft consulatants to make sure theire systems are Windows whatever version compatible. If you got an Apple without OS X I doubt that the price of the system will be exactly $120 off the price. It wou
            • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

              by edwdig (47888) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @02:55PM (#19584413)
              You are still probably paying Microsoft for that box, Microsft may charge by number of units sold with or without the OS, so Dell could get a discount on the OS.

              Microsoft used to do that. That's the reason we all use Windows today instead of one of the other half dozen better choices that came out at the same time as Win3.0 Anyway, Clinton stepped in around 95 or so and got the wonderful agreement out of MS that said "We're not admitting we did anything wrong, but we won't do that ever again."

          • For example: http://system76.com/ [system76.com]
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by jbreckman (917963)
              Their main laptop, spec'd out to what a macbook has, costs is $1300, $200 more than a macbook. If you want Ubuntu that bad, buy a macbook (probably a better laptop), and throw ubuntu on there.
      • Re:So... (Score:5, Informative)

        by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:24AM (#19578403) Homepage Journal
        LinuxCertified [linuxcertified.com] sells laptops with various Linux distros preloaded and fully supported.
      • System76 (Score:5, Informative)

        by ciroknight (601098) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:31AM (#19578535)
        http://system76.com/ [system76.com] Great laptops, reasonable prices, Ubuntu ships on the beasts. What more could you ask for?
        • Re:System76 (Score:5, Informative)

          by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@NoSPAm.gmail.com> on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @10:13AM (#19579273) Homepage
          http://system76.com/ Great laptops, reasonable prices, Ubuntu ships on the beasts. What more could you ask for?

          I tried configuring a computer on system76 and Dell, and when you put together comparable machines, the system76 one is several hundred dollars more expensive.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by cooley (261024)
          CyberPower PC is a company I've had several good experiences with. They don't sell Linux on their laptops, but you can get them with no OS:

          http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/ [cyberpowerpc.com]
      • Re:So... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Cheerio Boy (82178) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:55AM (#19578957) Homepage Journal
        Here's two FOSS laptop and system choices right off the top of my head:

        http://system76.com/

        Custom Linux laptops.

        http://www.penguincomputing.com/

        Linux servers and clusters.

        Dell's choice to not sell to businesses should give these guys a fair boost in sales.
      • by pyite69 (463042) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @10:20AM (#19579365)
        Microsoft's per-processor licensing survives, but in the form of per-model licensing. I'm sure that Michael Dell had to personally kiss Steve Ballmer's pinky ring in order to provide Ubuntu without having Microsoft double their Windows licensing fees. Part of the agreement being to keep it out of their business computers. Total speculation on my part, but there must have been some seriously tough negotiating at the highest levels of management in both MS and Dell to make this happen.

        I am pretty impressed with Dell for doing this - it is worth it to live with a home PC even though the support sucks and it is harder to purchase.
        • I'm sure that Michael Dell had to personally kiss Steve Ballmer's pinky ring in order to provide Ubuntu without having Microsoft double their Windows licensing fees. Part of the agreement being to keep it out of their business computers.

          I doubt it. For one thing, there's this little area called antitrust law, under which I'm fairly sure Microsoft aren't allowed to pull that kind of stunt any more. For another thing, for a software company that is (relatively speaking) in big trouble to antagonise a hard

          • Re:Seems unlikely (Score:5, Insightful)

            by guruevi (827432) <evi@smokingcCOFFEEube.be minus caffeine> on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @02:03PM (#19583649) Homepage
            Well, we're talking about the US here. Yes, there are antitrust laws but nobody even cares to enforce them especially when it comes to Microsoft. Remember the antitrust lawsuits in the US? Microsoft came off with not even a wag of the finger.

            Yes they are pulling these stunts every single day. Go to any medium-to-enterprise sized business that has more than one SQL Server. Ah, you thought they really paid that 35000 license per server? Well, yes, unless they agree not to use Linux or MySQL.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by bl8n8r (649187)
              > Microsoft came off with not even a wag of the finger.

              a lot of people wagged a finger, just not the index one.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by cayenne8 (626475)
          "Microsoft's per-processor licensing survives, but in the form of per-model licensing. I'm sure that Michael Dell had to personally kiss Steve Ballmer's pinky ring in order to provide Ubuntu without having Microsoft double their Windows licensing fees. Part of the agreement being to keep it out of their business computers."

          Not so sure. I just was playing around on the small business part of the site, seeing what a server would cost to put together. There was an option for NO OS installed. Granted, that's

      • Re:So... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by pjr.cc (760528) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @10:35AM (#19579667)
        Hmm... I find it hard to understand. I bought my laptop from Dell thru work via dell's site and the default was "no os", and that was only about 4 months ago now i think?

        Do they not allow that anymore?
      • by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @11:30AM (#19580657) Homepage
        ... Is Dell trying to avoid supporting these machines in a corporate environment? That's half-assed support, and Dell should be held accountable for it. Either stand behind your product, with the disclaimer that Linux-based may not work for everyone, or don't sell the damn things at all ...

        Dell is doing exactly what you recommend, they do not want to offer half-assed support to businesses so they do not sell it to businesses. Keep in mind that Dell has completely different support teams for home and business. The business side will take a much longer time to train up on Linux than the home side, more variations and usage patterns. Also keep in mind that the economics/profitability of Linux is entirely different for home vs business. Home is probably more likely to just go with a canned configuration, business more likely to customize the Linux installation. Ubuntu should have been a clue that this was home centric.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Micah (278)
        > Except if you're looking for FOSS OS laptop, where do you take it?

        I'd say PowerNotebooks [powernotebooks.com]. They sell most laptops without Windows if you want, and they are pretty cluefull people.

        I ordered a PowerPro A:38 from them, a rebranded ASUS Z84JP. It runs Kubuntu Feisty like a dream. It is truly the ultimate Linux power laptop that I had been looking for. :)
    • by Gazzonyx (982402)

      ...take your business, literally, elsewhere?
      How is this redundant if it's the first post?
      Not trolling, but come on, guys...
      • by bunratty (545641)
        The poster of the article already stated he was taking his business elsewhere in the summary. So a post telling him to take his business elsewhere really is redundant!
    • This is strange (Score:3, Informative)

      by MoxFulder (159829)
      I know that Dell has been marketing the Ubuntu systems as intended for "Home and Home Office". And I know that they play LOTS of games with their prices, selling the same system to different market segments for surprisingly different prices.

      For example, compare the specs of the $699 Home Inspiron 1501 [dell.com] to the $549 Small Business 1501 [dell.com]! The latter costs $150 less but has the EXACT SAME SPECS except for a smaller battery (a $30 upgrade). So you can basically get a 20% discount by buying the small biz version
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MoneyT (548795)
        The difference was, he was trying to make a tax exempt purchase. When it's a consumer buying a business machine, Dell assumes no real liability. When Dell doesn't charge you tax however, they are 100% liable for that tax until they prove to the tax department that your purchase was on the up and up. When you're dealing with tax exempt purchases, you better expect the merchant to follow the book exactly to the letter. If they don't it's their ass on the line. The submitter should puchase on his card and go t
  • Employee Gift (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lathama (639499) <[moc.amahtal] [ta] [amahtal]> on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @08:56AM (#19577887) Homepage Journal
    Why not purchase as an employee gift. I would not buy from Dell myself but if I did that is what I would do.

    "Its Mary's 30th year with the organization, we want to do something special for her."
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MoneyT (548795)
      Because it'a tax exempt purchase. In order for it to be tax exempt the purchase must be made with the exempt organizations funds and must be used for the purposes of the exempt organization's business. Employee gifts would not count.
  • by thebdj (768618) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @08:59AM (#19577949) Journal
    Dell has been selling systems through the business end with FreeDos for a while now. Purchase one of those and install Ubuntu yourself. It really isn't that hard and you can actually customize the install to what components you actually need. Or you could purchase one and install any free distro you want.

    I can list the millions of reasons why they only want to sell it as "personal use". Remember, Dell (and any other PC company) is still a business designed to make money and if they cannot please everyone all of the time, oh well.
    • by walt-sjc (145127) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:07AM (#19578089)
      Furthermore, Dell business support and consumer support are TOTALLY different groups. It's quite probably that the business group has no ability (training, etc.) to support Ubuntu boxes.
      • This is absolutely the case. If you want business support for linux, you can get SUSE support and RedHat support, and that's it.
      • ...or rather... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by C10H14N2 (640033)
        The quality of support they provide in the business division assumes a level of competence on the customer end that is not safe to assume with Linux, which could cause them to lose their shirts as well-meaning newbies stumble through transitioning hand-held and paid for by Dell.

        Ubuntu is pretty straight-forward and I've been using various flavors of Linux for a decade, but if I had a support line to call the first few days I was trying it out for the first time, I would have burned through the price of a ch
  • Probably Red-Tape (Score:4, Insightful)

    by genmax (990012) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @08:59AM (#19577955)
    They probably have a system in place that allows only businesses to buy business PCs, irrespective of whether its running Linux or not. And they probably see Ubuntu as only being appropriate for personal work, hence ..

    Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence. Doesn't make this any less annoying though !
    • Re:Probably Red-Tape (Score:4, Interesting)

      by sYkSh0n3 (722238) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:15AM (#19578239) Journal
      My guess is this probably has a lot to do with tech support. They outsource their support to the lowest bidders, and the lowest bidder then runs their support through a call center in India or some little podunk town in the states. These people then hire anybody able to speak into a headset. Some don't know anything about a computer other than how to play solitaire, others can barely turn one on. Teaching a whole new operating system to them would take years, IF it could be done at all. That's why they dropped the hardware support, and why they can't sell them to businesses. They know they have no way of offering reliable support for them, and they dont want to piss off their business customers with horrible tech support and risk getting a lawsuit against them for lost revenue.

      I loath Microsoft, but I understand where Dell is coming from with their lack of support for Ubuntu, it's just not financially viable to train agents to support it. They have to protect the stockholders first and customers come second. I disapprove of this system, but that's a rant for another thread. I see a day in the distant future where Dell will slowly begin expanding it's Ubuntu selection and support. But i think it will be a long long time, and people complaining about how poorly they are doing now is only going to discourage their effort.
      • by shaitand (626655)
        'but I understand where Dell is coming from with their lack of support for Ubuntu, it's just not financially viable to train agents to support it.'

        Right, which is why they don't support it. They only support the hardware.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by russ1337 (938915)

          I understand where Dell is coming from with their lack of support for Ubuntu

          That is fine. I just want the ability to buy a computer at a good price, on hardware that Ubuntu has been tested to run on (and works on). I'd be happy if Dell said they wouldn't offer software support for Linux, just hardware support. (of course diagnosis of hardware could be an issue if they don't want to even know about the OS but they could always provide some sort of Dell 'live' hardware diagnosis disk)

          I think Dell coul

    • Re:Probably Red-Tape (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kainaw (676073) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:43AM (#19578745) Homepage Journal
      Being in a company that has a license so that every computer/server I purchase must be purchased from Dell, I now know that Dell is very anti-Linux in the workplace. I had one server start blowing white smoke out the back just before it burned up and died. I called Dell to try and get it fixed under warranty. They asked for some Windows code. I told them I had RedHat on it. They said that since I put a non-Windows OS on it, I voided the warranty. Later, I had a desktop PC lose a harddrive. I called to see if I could get a replacement drive under warranty. They told me I had to try to run some Windows diagnostic program. I explained that the drive is dead - so I can't run anything - and it was running Fedora anyway. Oops. Since it didn't have Windows, it isn't covered under warranty. Again, I had another desktop with a broken CD tray straight out of the box. I called to complain. This time, I didn't even put Linux on it because I couldn't - the CD tray wouldn't open enough to get the Linux CD in there. They looked at my history and said that they don't warranty my computers because I have a history of installing unsupported operating systems on them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by laffer1 (701823)
        1. Lie. Always tell tell its their OS and you ran the windows program...
        2. Why did you make the same mistake twice? If they didn't support linux on the server, why tell them about the desktop?
        3. Keep calling. I had a problem with them not honoring systems at my last job because we had our own XP image. I told its normal for businesses to run common images so suck it up and support us. One guy wouldn't but another indian agreed to it. They did support the netware box we had.

        Take your business elsewhere
      • Re:Probably Red-Tape (Score:4, Informative)

        by pboyd2004 (860767) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @11:14AM (#19580363)
        You really don't seem to know what your talking about. Redhat is SOLD by Dell on all of their server models. And I happen to know that they support both hardware and some software issues with Redhat as your OS. They even create alot of driver update packages and other support things for Redhat and SLES on servers.
        • Mod the hell up. (Score:3, Informative)

          by Ayanami Rei (621112) *
          I don't know what the hell people in this discussion are smoking. Dell most definitely supports linux on many of their configurations for small/large business and government divisions. They don't sell SuSE on most of the laptops or desktops, but the higher-end workstation ones do have them as options. They sell RHEL service contracts on the servers, and even go through the trouble of making the configurators hide options that different OSs don't support. And they will never tell you that you voided your war
  • by Hic sunt leones (1048372) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:00AM (#19577965)
    Businesses AREN'T SUPPOSED to have opinions on the likes of SOFTWARE! Only GEEKS do that...
  • I can see (Score:4, Interesting)

    by niceone (992278) * on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:00AM (#19577969) Journal

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

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

    • Yes, Dell's support for corporate, government, and educational customers is a completely different division than for home users. I can't speak for the home support, but having worked for the division that handle the large accounts like that, they made sure to take pretty good care of the customer. Of course that was several years ago and although I know the divisions are still seperate I can't promise the level of service is any better or worse than when I was there. Of course since employee or student p
  • by PowerEdge (648673) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:01AM (#19577985)
    Dell segments its business based on how customers are perceived to use their systems. This is why a consumer can't purchase a Latitude notebook, yet Small Business customers can. Support is also divided along these lines for the most part. You can purchase Gold Support "highly recommended" on business machines but not so on the consumer machines. Ubuntu Linux, as far as I can tell, is being offered as a consumer grade operating system at this time.

    I would wager if you talked to the Small Business sales rep again you could still purchase an nSeries system with FreeDOS on it or you can purchase a Precision Workstation with Red Hat Linux. Simply go to www.dell.com/nseries.
    • by neersign (956437) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:29AM (#19578491)

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

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

  • by Himring (646324) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:02AM (#19578001) Homepage Journal
    Customer: "I would like a Dell and Ubuntu without Ubuntu on it."

    Dell: "You can't have it."

    Customer: "Why not?"

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

  • by 8127972 (73495) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:03AM (#19578021)
    As it would appear that they sell LINUX computers so that they can get positive mindshare from the Slashdot types, but they don't want to make it TOO available to people like businesses so that they don't get Micro$soft too angry when they go to re-negotiate their OEM agreement.

    What this basically means is that LINUX is no further ahead at the end of the day.
  • Buy from Dell to get the support contract your company wants, then put VirtualBox or VMWare on the box and run Ubuntu there. It'll be easier to transfer the operating system to your new box next year, easier to clone the install for other employees, etc.
    • by argent (18001) <peter AT slashdo ... taronga DOT com> on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @10:08AM (#19579187) Homepage Journal
      That sounds like a match made in hell. You get to enjoy all the disadvantages of Linux *and* all the disadvantages of Windows at the same time. Your Windows services and kernel are still exposed to malware, you have all the DRM fun of the Windows world, and you have more overhead when running the UNIX applications you bought the computer for.
  • And you quit? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:05AM (#19578059)
    Umm, and you didn't hang up and call them back and get another salesperson who doesn't give a crap?

    Thats the tactic I use. You always run into stubborn people in the service industry, but 9 times out of 10, the next person you reach won't care either way and will process your transaction just fine.
  • by itsjpr (16533) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:08AM (#19578129) Homepage
    I was interested in supporting Dell and it's Ubuntu decision. I'm not traditionally an Ubunutu user. I've SuSE/openSuse on my 3 year old Dell laptop since I got it years (didn't have any hardware compatibility issues and auto-detected everything important) and otherwise use CentOS and Debian but thought it would be worth buying one just to ease hardware selection since laptop hardware changes so much.

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

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

    Dell's Ubuntu option is a nice idea, but restricting it to a single Laptop isn't all that engaging.
  • by arivanov (12034) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:08AM (#19578135) Homepage
    I had the same experience with HP a couple of years back when it decided to offer PCs with Mandrake. They were not available through the business channel and that was it.
  • Yet another big company that looks like it's doing a good thing, that only turns out it's performing some lame marketing stunt. My guess is that these Ubuntu machines will be short lived in their product line-up. This on top of the story (last week?) about Dell also not providing a warranty on these machines? At least their servers are all right. I'd never be caught with one of their PCs.
    • by chill (34294)
      The machines have warranties. That story last week should have read "typo on Dell website", because that is all it was -- a simple mistake that was quickly fixed.
  • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:16AM (#19578255) Journal
    It's not about that. Dell makes "Business computers" they have whole lines of "business" computers, very specific models; Optiplex, Precision, PowerEdge. They come with a limited number of OS choices...which includes Redhat Enterprise and SUSE Enterprise.

    You can't buy Ubuntu on one of those, and you can't buy windows xp either. Clearly Dell views Ubuntu as "not ready for the server" and is unwilling to put it on a server class machine. You can still buy the machine with no OS, and add Ubuntu yourself.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pavera (320634)
      He stated clearly he was buying a laptop not a server, so this story has nothing to do with what dell thinks about ubuntu on a "server" class machine.

      Further, I think you mis-understand the definition of FUD. Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt... Well, he tried to buy an ubuntu laptop for his business and was told in no uncertain terms "No". That seems pretty certain, I bet if you call right now and try to order an ubuntu laptop for your business they'll tell you the same thing. He isn't spreading FUD here, he
  • Why not just buy a blank box from a local shop?

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

    A blank CD costs $0.30, download ubuntu yourself, burn
  • If you're a business (Score:2, Informative)

    by TheLink (130905)
    How about getting the laptop with Windows XP anyway? Just make sure you get enough RAM - 1GB or even 2GB.

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

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

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

    So if something reall
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@mEULERac.com minus math_god> on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:32AM (#19578555) Journal
    This habit of jerking customers around is why they're going to follow Gateway down the drain. Good for HP and Apple, sucks for Dell's customers and shareholders.

    -jcr

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ericrost (1049312)
      HP is no better. HP sells HP-UX (thus making linux a threat to them), and goes out of their way to NOT offer support to their linux customers in the desktop space. They have denied (until it got publicity) hardware warranty claims on their hardware because it runs linux, and (since I own an HP I know) their new "license" for your hardware claims that you only have the right to use the hardware if you use the preinstalled Vista. I can post the details (would make a good journal entry *note to self*).

      Dell is
  • FUD FUD FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Danathar (267989) on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:34AM (#19578589) Journal
    Look, I'm no DELL fanboy but it's obvious that in an organization as large as Dell it's going to take time for the whole company to be on the same track. There could be any of a number of LEGITIMATE reasons for what you encountered. I'm just going to guess, but one reason COULD BE that they are not yet ready to support biz fully and that they are starting off with personal use first and will soon add biz support as soon as the contracts are signed, people are trained, testing and evaluation, etc.

    Just because Dell says we will support LINUX today does not mean tomorrow morning everything will be good to go. BTW...the prior sentence uses exaggerations to make a point. If you don't get it you don't get it.
  • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2012@virtual-estates.net> on Wednesday June 20, 2007 @09:50AM (#19578881) Homepage

    I know, the subject is simply not true. But this the perception out there nonetheless...

    She said (and I quote), "these Dell computers are designed for personal use only, as long as you use it for personal use, you can purchase one."

    My recent surreal experience went like that (talking to sysadmins in a giant financial company, with thousands of Unix-servers):

    • Hi, can we, please, have the OpenSSH package added to our Solaris 8 boxes?
    • No, not OpenSSH — we can put Foo SSH for you, we have a site-wide license for that.
    • Yeah, but the newer Solaris 10 machines come with OpenSSH, and Foo has some minor incompatibilities with it (scp does not work right)...
    • Sorry, OpenSSH is GPL-ed, and so we can not use it here .
    • What? That's double untrue — OpenSSH is BSD-licensed, and even if it were GPLed, there is nothing preventing us from using it — only if we were to modify it, would we run into any license provisions!
    • Sorry, that's our department's view — talk to such and such... We can disable OpenSSH on the Solaris 10 boxes for you, and install Foo SSH there, if you need the compatibility...

    How do you like that?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by deanlandolt (1004507)

      ...only if we were to modify it, would we run into any license provisions!
      Still short of the mark. Only if you were to distribute those modifications would you run into any restrictions.

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