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Dell To Offer Open Source Bundles 84

Posted by timothy
from the part-of-the-years-long-water-testing-project dept.
ruphus13 writes "Dell has been offering Linux-based machines for a while, especially its Server-class machines. Now, Dell has decided that there are several open source applications that are ready for mainstream consumers. From the post, 'While we've all been speculating about whether Dell is working on Android netbooks, the computer hardware and software vendor was busy bundling open source applications to offer to small- and medium-sized business customers looking for low-cost alternatives to commercial software. The pre-configured "SMB-in-a-box" software is only available in the US for now, but Dell expects to launch a similar offering in Asia by the end of 2009... Although no specifics have been given about which apps are included in Dell's first bundle, it is aimed at the retail sector.' It is going to be interesting to see what Dell picks as the 'must-have' applications for the SMB market."
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Dell To Offer Open Source Bundles

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  • by mr_mischief (456295) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @03:16PM (#28283607) Journal

    I read TFA and also TFA linked from TFA [networkworld.com] (original sources, anyone?). I'm left wondering whether this is a new Dell distro of Linux, a package bundle on top of Linux or Windows, a package list for something like Kickstart or another automated OS installer, or a consulting and integration lineup with a preferred set of software.

    With Dell talking about wanting to be a services company as much as a box-pusher and specifically mentioning training and support in TOFA, it wouldn't surprise me if this was a consulting group within the company. It's worded as if it's just a selection of software pre-installed, though, like they already do with crap bloatware and trialware.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537)

      I kind of doubt it's a new Dell Distro, but my guess-- just from the term "SMB-in-a-box"-- is that it might be their normal Linux desktop/server configurations with some of the configuration done ahead of time. Getting email (including POP3, IMAP, SMTP, spam filtering, webmail) and other groupware up and running in Linux can be more daunting than setting up an Exchange box. I hate to say that because I'm not a fan of Microsoft generally, but it's true. Knowing which email packages to install and how to c

      • Sun and SGI have both done pretty well with their preinstalled Linux (and Solaris and Irix boxes, respectively). I'm hoping Oracle and Rackable systems continue what they started in that regard.

        I always preferred setting up Postfix or Exim and Courier or tpop3d (with our without Perdition) to setting up Exchange. I guess it has to do with what you're used to and what you like. Sendmail is a bitch, though. I hate m4. As for webmail, Horde used to be painful to install, but I haven't tried lately (although I'

  • by snl2587 (1177409) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @03:16PM (#28283609)

    As long as the bundled software doesn't start to act like the ad-ridden "free" software that has come with any PC I've purchased in the last decade, I'll be happy.

  • Retail sector? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NineNine (235196) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @03:26PM (#28283783)

    If this means that they're going to offer bundles to retailers, I'd really be interested in seeing what POS software they decide to bundle. I've been looking for open source POS software for several years now, and there's really nothing out there for small to medium retailers out there that's even remotely competitive with stuff for Windows. If they can find something decent, they'll take a huge share of the retail market.

    • by Chabo (880571)

      I've been looking for open source POS software for several years now

      You mean like Open Office?

      Oh, you mean "Point Of Sale". Ah, okay then.

      I kid, I kid! :)

    • by SwordsmanLuke (1083699) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @04:14PM (#28284511)

      I'd really be interested in seeing what POS software they decide to bundle

      You Linux fanboys are all alike! When POS software comes bundled on a Windows box, you're all "I don't want AOL" and "Who the $&!# is Netzero" or "Bonzi Buddy is stealing my identity" and you whine about having to "uninstall" it. But as soon as it's on Linux you're all excited about it!

      • They just want to see what POS is going to be installed on the box. But if it's AOL, Netzero, or something equally crappy, then they're going to whine about uninstalling.
      • by cptnapalm (120276)

        I thought Windows was POS software

      • by H0p313ss (811249)

        I'd really be interested in seeing what POS software they decide to bundle

        You Linux fanboys are all alike! When POS software comes bundled on a Windows box, you're all "I don't want AOL" and "Who the $&!# is Netzero" or "Bonzi Buddy is stealing my identity" and you whine about having to "uninstall" it. But as soon as it's on Linux you're all excited about it!

        I'm sure that as long as the POS is not a POS everyone will be happy.

    • Well, I don't know all the legality around this, but I can imagine rebranded binaries of OOo or Firefox.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ang31us (1132361)
      I stumble across Piece Of Shit software all the time, both open and closed source.
  • by rwa2 (4391) * on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @03:35PM (#28283883) Homepage Journal

    Less money on software = more money for hardware. I can see how this can benefit Dell.

    • Less money on software = more money for hardware. I can see how this can benefit Dell.

      However, less bloated software == less demand for hardware. People can add extra terminals, made by companies such as NComputing, to their desktop PCs instead of buying more full-blown PCs.

      • by NineNine (235196)

        I agree. All of my business PC's come from thrift stores. My servers are all off-lease models, none of which I paid more than $400 for (RAID 5, redundant power supplies, dual NICs, etc.). Less bloated software = cheaper hardware.

      • I think we may be done with people upgrading desktop PCs just to keep up with increasingly bloated operating systems-- at least for the time being. Anything desktop from the past 5 years is good enough for basic web browsing, word processing, etc. If you're upgrading for faster hardware, there's a good chance that you're a gamer, an engineer, or maybe someone who just wants the latest-and-greatest regardless of whether they actually need it. If I were Dell, I wouldn't be relying on Microsoft bloating thi

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...only available in the US for now, but Dell expects to lauch a similar offering in Asia...

    Ahh, yes. It's good to see they're offering this in both of the world's countries.

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @04:38PM (#28284867) Homepage
    It doesn't say what operating system these applications are going to work under. The immediate assumption is that it will be some kind of Linux based system -- in which case it would be more natural for them to have said RedHat/Suse/Debian/... -- but no, just ''open source applications''.

    I suspect that it could be Thunderbird, Firefox, Gimp, OpenOffice under MS Windows.

    Given the close relationship between Dell & MS (read: Dell accepting MS money to decide what software it pushes on its hardware) I would not be surprised if the ''open source applications'' were things that did not really compete with MS offerings, eg: Gimp, pidgin, games, ... and avoid competing with the MS cash cows that make up MS Office & things like MS IE & Outlook.

    • by JSBiff (87824)

      Well, the fact that they say the bundle is targeted at the retail industry would lead me to suspect that there might be Email, Web, plus some sort of Point of Sale/Inventory Management/Accounting/Customer Relationship Management system (hopefully all integrated together seemlessly, so that the CRM is tightly integrated with the Point of Sale portion, and the Point of Sale portion is tightly integrated with both the inventory control and the accounting). I might be giving Dell too much credit here, but if I

  • Dell is full of crap (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rasputin (5106) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @04:44PM (#28284985) Homepage

    They only have two PCs sold Ubuntu and two PCs sold with no OS - none of which are even halfway modern systems. It's almost like they don't want to make money from Linux users. You'd almost think that some large monopoly was using them for a hand-puppet.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They used to have 3 machines with Ubuntu, but they killed the Insipiron Ubuntu line back in December/January. I ordered it before they killed it and they forced me to order a Windows-lappy instead. Fucking pricks.

      • Same thing happened to me. Beginning of the week, they had the XPS M1530N with Ubuntu, but by the time I put the order in, they remvoed it from the Ubuntu offerings and I had to get a Windows one instead (for more money). Then I checked a minute ago to see if they had brought any models back, but the opposite is true, there are less models with Ubuntu than there was a month ago. It looks as if they are liquidating their Ubuntu inventory. Now all you can get is the XPS 1330N, a Dimmension desktop and the

    • by cptnapalm (120276)

      I've periodically checked the Dell site for the Ubuntu laptops and each time there were fewer options than there were the last time.

    • They only have two PCs sold Ubuntu and two PCs sold with no OS - none of which are even halfway modern systems. It's almost like they don't want to make money from Linux users.

      In India dell is not offering many/no ubuntu options . Dell store India [dell.com] shows 3 netbooks ,all of them with "Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition" :( There is a discussion [google.com] in chennai linux users group [iitm.ac.in] regarding this .

      You'd almost think that some large monopoly was using them for a hand-puppet.

      No need to guess :P

  • Who wants to bet... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tacarat (696339) on Wednesday June 10, 2009 @05:24PM (#28285513) Journal
    ... that the multi-year OEM contract for Dell and MS is about to come up for renegotiation.

    "Why thank you for coming Mr/Mrs Microsoft-Sales-Person. We've had this interesting proposal where we have this free operating system to give out. We only have to pay about half of our prior fees you recieved and we get to customize it so that our product stands out from your other customers... in a way you wouldn't allow before. Tech support will be further outsourced to the internet support as those linux folks do love showing how smart they are (and most decent techs hit google first anyhow). So... what do you have for us today? Besides an unbalanced negotiation not in your favor?".

    It'll be interesting to see if Dell sees this through or drops it once MS meets their pricing demands.
  • I am not a big fan of Dell's Tech support, but I have been buying their laptops for awhile anyways. They have always done me well. My latest purchase is a Dell Mini 9 with Ubuntu. Absolutely love the machine.

    I find it a little amusing that a friend and I were discussing the very possibility of Google coming out with their own computer OS, and debating whether or not it would be a variant of Android, or something else they have been cooking up. So, we are happy to see google talking about offering and

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