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Microsoft Software Portables Linux Hardware

Dell Says High Linux Netbook Returns a "Non-Issue" 324

Posted by kdawson
from the data-trumping-bluster dept.
Michiel Roos notes that at this week's OpenSource World, a Dell executive deflated Microsoft's claims that Linux notebooks have return rates four or five times higher than Windows machines. "Todd Finch, Dell senior product marketing manager, said the number of Linux returns are approximately the same as those for Windows netbooks. He categorized the matter of returns as a 'non-issue.' 'They are making something of nothing,' he said of Microsoft's claims."
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Dell Says High Linux Netbook Returns a "Non-Issue"

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Friday August 14, 2009 @11:26AM (#29067063) Journal
    The end of the article plugs Dell's IdeaStorm [ideastorm.com] which has these as top ideas:

    1. 115170: Pre-Installed OpenOffice | alternative to MS Works & MS Office
    2. 105120: Have Firefox pre-installed as default browser
    3. 103950: No Extra Software Option
    4. 101110: Pre-Installed Linux | Ubuntu | Fedora | OpenSUSE | Multi-Boot
    5. 86980: Provide Linux Drivers for all your Hardware
    6. 72510: No OS Preloaded
    7. 53180: Sell Linux PCs Worldwide - not only the United States
    8. 46690: Stripped down, fast Linux Box
    9. 39970: coreboot (formerly LinuxBIOS) instead of proprietary BIOS

    So maybe only open source users know about IdeaStorm? Regardless, Dell is staring down hundreds of thousands of users looking for more options that should honestly be very easy to provide. So if the returns are a "non-issue" and are similar to Windows returns then what's the deal, Dell?

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday August 14, 2009 @11:35AM (#29067215) Journal
      I suspect that, while the enthusiasm on ideastorm is real, it isn't wildly representative.

      Think about the people who are actually passionate about computer related stuff: You've got the Linux and/or FOSS guys, the hardcore gamers, the Mac-heads, some true Microsofties, and that's about it. Almost everybody else uses them, and wants them to work; but isn't going to spend their leisure time posting on some Dell messageboard about it.

      Of those groups, the hardcore gamers and the Mac-heads wouldn't give Dell the time of day if they were on fire(in aggregate, obviously there are gamers with Dells; and the Mini-9 hackintosh crew; but the more passionately you are a member of those groups, the less likely you are to be running a Dell), while the Microsofties can already get all the MS software they want from Dell, so they have no reason to complain. Linux/FOSS enthusiasts are pretty much the only ones I'd expect to show up.
      • Typical. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Friday August 14, 2009 @12:18PM (#29067821) Homepage Journal

        Being grabbed and screaming to the cold reality that many people out there hate to be constrained to Windows.

        People keep trying to explain what has become now pretty obvious: Linux is mainstream.

        It is high time companies and people interested in computing wake up to this simple reality.

      • Dell UK. () (Score:5, Interesting)

        by NickFortune (613926) on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:07PM (#29068603) Homepage Journal

        I suspect that, while the enthusiasm on ideastorm is real, it isn't wildly representative.

        It isn't representative of Dell UK, I can tell you much. End of last year, I bought the wife a new laptop. She's a fan of Ubuntu, so I got her a Dell Inspiron with Ubuntu preloaed. She loves it - never been the least bit bother.

        A month ago, my old laptop finally gave up the ghost, and I thought (seeing as how the Missus' machine was so reliable) that a Dell machine might be the way to go.

        So I go to Dell's UK website, only to find that the only Ubuntu option they now offer is a minimum spec netbook - and that I suspect only because Michael Dell threatened to remove their testicles if they didn't offer something.

        I suppose ... if I'd wanted to phone them up, and if I'd been willing to spend the time arguing, I could probably have got my preloaded Ubuntu system. Instead, I thought "sod it" and order an Acer instead.

        I do wonder if Dell are aware of they shenanigans going on at their UK subsidiary sometimes. Operating system evangelism is all very well, but this is costing them sales, you know?

    • by ivoras (455934)
      IdeaStorm looks completely useless as the top ideas (>100,000 votes) have been summarily discarded - actually any and all good, radical ideas have been discarded and it looks like the most common reason is "we make more money this way".
    • by mpapet (761907) on Friday August 14, 2009 @12:15PM (#29067769) Homepage

      Dell is staring down hundreds of thousands of users looking for more options that should honestly be very easy to provide.

      I can tell you from personal experience, none of those things are 'easy.' Yes, some of them are very easy for you and I. But we're talking about a huge unwieldy corporate machine where every good intention/new idea from the bottom of the org chart is unwelcome and punished.

      FYI, for most people at any sufficiently large organization, the customer is at the very bottom of the org chart.

      If the CEO drove these changes without endless, mind-numbing discussion and rooms full of people notifying her of the 'dangers' it would be a different story. But that's just not how it works at that level.

      Coreboot would be at the very top of my list. From there, the user is free-er to do what they please with the computer. Words cannot describe how important that project is to the future of computing. Please, go help coreboot out.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Yvanhoe (564877)
        Coreboot is hard, but Dell has the bad habit of installing thousands of software on every machine it sells. Adding Firefox and OpenOffice to the list seems pretty straightforward. OpenOffice and Firefox marketshare are far bigger than the computer enthusiast. Many people know that open office is the "Microsoft Office that is free". The fact that Dell leaves so many clients unsatisfied for a feature that is easy to add is a strong indication that the issues are contractual and commercial, not technical.
    • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday August 14, 2009 @12:19PM (#29067829) Homepage

      you did not put the rest on the list...

      They get wierd after #15...

      16. Sell it with a free pony.
      17. Can I get mine in plaid?
      18. I want fur everywhere on it.
      19. Get rid of the keyboard and put a mouse in the middle.
      20. PONIES!!!!!!!
      21. Stop making them so confusing, What it is with having the whole alphabet on the keyboard.
      22. Send it via Email instead of FedEx.
      23. Make it waterproof, I'm on my third one because of spills.

  • Summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker AT gmail DOT com> on Friday August 14, 2009 @11:27AM (#29067069) Journal

    Essentially most of the initial high return rate was due to unclear advertising leading people to believe they were buying a window machine and getting linux. Dell has cleared up the advertising to make sure people know what they are buying and the high return rate has stopped.

    • Re:Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CannonballHead (842625) on Friday August 14, 2009 @11:36AM (#29067221)
      So in other words, now we should pay attention to sales rates of Windows vs. Linux, not just return rates?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by HermMunster (972336)

        The rates of sales are not relevant in that Microsoft is a monopoly, one convicted of criminal predatory practices, which forced hardware manufacturers into illegal contracts to exclude. That gave them the monopoly, and in case you don't know what a monopoly is and how hard it is to compete with a monopoly you might want to check up on that.

        The only relevant statistic that I can see is one that tracks the rate of behavioral change as it relates to buying an alternative. Not in the number of sales but in t

        • by Desler (1608317)

          one convicted of criminal predatory practices

          If they were convicted of criminal predatory practices who exactly went to jail?

          • Re:Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

            by sbeckstead (555647) on Friday August 14, 2009 @12:20PM (#29067845) Homepage Journal
            A few billion of MS's profits. Well they went somewhere, just not to M$. And whether MS fanboys want to admit it or not what MS did is criminal.
          • by pablomme (1270790)

            Microsoft Bob. He had it coming...

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Friday August 14, 2009 @11:27AM (#29067075)

    Microsoft's Turner said that Linux netbooks are being returned at a rate 4 to 5 times higher than Windows netbooks. Dell hasn't disputed this fact at all. Linux netbooks *are* being returned at a very high rate, and Dell's Finch says so right in the article:

    Where consumers have returned machines, Finch said, it wasn't because of technical problems but because they'd bought a low-priced machine expecting Windows and opened it to find a different interface.

    The difference is that people are returning the Windows netbooks because of technical reasons (broken hardware) and Linux netbooks because they don't want Linux.

    That's a win for Microsoft, no matter how you spin it.

    • by HermMunster (972336) on Friday August 14, 2009 @11:37AM (#29067235)

      I think you are missing the point. Dell says they are not receiving returns except at the same rate. He means that linux netbooks are being returned at the same rate as windows netbook returns. Now, Dell is the company that sells and accepts the returns. Microsoft has nothing to do with it. Microsoft has no first hand knowledge. Since they can't count Linux returns, as it has nothing to do with Windows returns, Microsoft would be clueless except maybe by receiving information from Microsoft funded reports.

      Bottom line is that Dell is giving facts whereas Microsoft is giving conjecture.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Lumpy (12016)

        you are majorly missing the point.

        It's a bunch of people that are ordering a Duck dinner at a resturant and returning it because it has duck in it.

        The returns are from people too dumb to read what they are ordering, clicking blindly and then sending it back because they did not pay attention.

        I bet a large number of them say "Oh, I though when it said it runs linux it means some new game on the internet...."

        This is the way of the consumer, People that wanted linux and ordered linux are happy with their linux

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by digitalunity (19107)

      It doesn't mean what Dell or Microsoft wants it to mean.

      High initial returns on Linux netbooks is most likely due to inaccurate advertising. The market for Linux netbooks is primarily for people who already know what Linux is and desire it. Selling Linux netbooks to people seeking Windows isn't a good business plan. Dell thought it would be profitable and it wasn't.

      It doesn't mean Linux sucks either, just that people prefer to stick with Windows because it's familiar-and we already knew that.

    • by Angst Badger (8636) on Friday August 14, 2009 @12:00PM (#29067581)

      That's a win for Microsoft, no matter how you spin it.

      Well, maybe. The open source ecosystem has long since become large enough to be self-sustaining, so it's questionable how much it matters that Microsoft still has a majority of the market share. If MS went bankrupt tomorrow, it would be a minor win for Linux but mostly a huge win for Apple, and Apple's behavior as a company suggests strongly that they would be no less unpleasant as a near-monopoly than Microsoft currently is.

      The important thing to me is that I have multiple free (in both senses) alternatives to MS and that those are not likely to go away in the foreseeable future. Would I like to buy a laptop without the Microsoft tax. Sure, but then, I pretty much already can, since I usually buy year-old off-lease corporate laptops at a steep discount -- being neither a hardcore gamer nor a videographer, most machines have been more than fast enough for everything else for several years now.

      If the whole Free/Open Source Software movement was a battle for our freedom, we already won, and won decisively. The battle against Microsoft's very existence? Who cares? Odds are, Microsoft will be around for a long time to come, and waiting for it to die is like waiting for Apple or one of the *BSDs or any other stable niche offering to die: time better spent having actual fun and getting real work done.

      Besides, it's not like Dell's products or their customer support are very good to begin with. When I can buy generic, standard laptop parts to build my own laptop as well as I can build my own desktop boxes, then I'll get excited. Until then, the token gestures of companies selling proprietary, closed hardware are really nothing to become overly concerned about.

    • The difference is that people are returning the Windows netbooks because of technical reasons (broken hardware) and Linux netbooks because they don't want Linux.

      I don't know if it applies to the Netbooks, but from experience I found that Dell would put Linux on a computer, neglecting to ensure all the hardware in the device has associated drivers. If Dell still hasn't fixed this issue, then this is a Dell issue and not a Linux issue.

      What would be more enlightening, is why the computers are getting returned.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Microsoft's Turner said that Linux netbooks are being returned at a rate 4 to 5 times higher than Windows netbooks. Dell hasn't disputed this fact at all. Linux netbooks *are* being returned at a very high rate, and Dell's Finch says so right in the article:

      Where consumers have returned machines, Finch said, it wasn't because of technical problems but because they'd bought a low-priced machine expecting Windows and opened it to find a different interface.

      The difference is that people are returning the Windows netbooks because of technical reasons (broken hardware) and Linux netbooks because they don't want Linux.

      That's a win for Microsoft, no matter how you spin it.

      From TFA: "we don't see a significant difference between the return rate for Windows versus the rate for Linux." So, yes Dell has disputed Microsoft's assertion. A return rate 4 to 5 times higher would be a significant difference.
      So, it is not a win for Microsoft, no matter how you spin it.

    • by Sandbags (964742)

      No, its ignorant users not checking the specs before they click "order" is all. They find the cheapest machine on Dell.com and buy it without care, and when that machine arrives and doesn't run Windows, they send it back, and pay a restocking fee.

      Many of these people also return their cheap windows boxes when they find out it can't run the games even their old computer could, but unfortunately most of them find out too late, as they'll have had the machine more than 14 days before they get too far into usi

  • by iCantSpell (1162581) on Friday August 14, 2009 @11:28AM (#29067091)

    That fact that a multi-billion dollar corporation is making up lies about free software on a daily basis is just another sign of true weakness.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by HermMunster (972336)

      I would not mark the parent as flamebait because he's essentially telling the truth.

      • And if I send you $1 million Monopoly dollars, I've essentially given you $1 million dollars. I still prefer my dollars (and truth) to be real, not "essentially" real.

  • Not Surprised.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by schon (31600) on Friday August 14, 2009 @11:29AM (#29067107)

    ASUS said the same thing about the EeePC return rates [laptopmag.com].

    As far as I can tell, the "higher return rates" source is MSI, who shipped a borked distro. Everyone else seems to be doing swimmingly.

  • Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ciroknight (601098) on Friday August 14, 2009 @11:31AM (#29067145)
    People buying these machines know they ship with Ubuntu. It says so right on the website, and the button you click, and repeats it when you checkout. People aren't returning these machines more because they have Ubuntu, they're buying them more because they have Ubuntu.

    Now, if only this would rub off on the rest of the business sectors. I'd love to buy a new Studio 15 laptop with the option for Ubuntu. It'd save me 45 minutes formatting, reinstalling Ubuntu and reconfiguring the system the way I like. But unfortunately their selection for machines with Ubuntu only includes the crap Inspiron line (the Ford Fiesta of laptops).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rxan (1424721)

      People aren't returning these machines more because they have Ubuntu, they're buying them more because they have Ubuntu.

      That's a nice sounding way to spin it. But in TFA it actually says they were buying them because they were cheaper, not because they had Ubuntu.

      Normal people don't know what Ubuntu is. They don't know what Windows is. They just want cheap computers and assume that they all have that familiar OS.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      I'd love to buy a new Studio 15 laptop with the option for Ubuntu. It'd save me 45 minutes formatting, reinstalling Ubuntu and reconfiguring the system the way I like.

      45 minutes??? It took me 4 hours to get my Studio 17 to work flawlessly with linux. The damned WLan and Wireless cards had to be swapped out for standard ones instead of the crap that Dell put's in there. I had to surf ebay for 1 hour alone to fund good quality Intel Cards to buy to replace the dell brand garbage that is a windows only car

  • by starglider29a (719559) on Friday August 14, 2009 @11:32AM (#29067179)
    I wonder what the return rate is of Macs is? Esp from Best Buy?
  • by abigsmurf (919188) on Friday August 14, 2009 @11:35AM (#29067213)
    Incredibly vague wording there that means his quote can be interpreted either way. Windows machines outsell Linux ones so if they're experiencing the same number of returns, it indicates people are less happy with the Windows one. Did he really mean same percentage or same number?

    Also, given that this was a Dell rep at an Open Source show, he wasn't exactly going to go "yeah, Linux hasn't really been working for us, it sucks, we'll be switching to Windows".
    • Your argument is strawman. It has no point. It's meant just to get people to chase a feather in the wind.

      One would not have to question say the return rates of a Ferrari to that of a Ford Taurus.

      In other words, we all know what it means when they say return rates.

    • Later in the article he says, "we don't see a significant difference between the return rate for Windows versus the rate for Linux. " Return rate has a very specific meaning in the retail industry, it means a percentage of units sold.
  • by Seth Kriticos (1227934) on Friday August 14, 2009 @11:36AM (#29067223)

    Oh noes, how could they!

    This will put a serious dent in their excellent credibility track record..

  • Seriously. Get real. If you were about to start shipping Windows 7 and haggling for a better price per copy you *would* say that Linux returns aren't bad wouldn't you? The whole idea is to try to get the best possible deal out of MS.

    Andy

  • by alen (225700) on Friday August 14, 2009 @11:44AM (#29067335)

    if anyone hasn't noticed, Apple and Microsoft have been playing very nice together since last year.

      Apple has licensed ActiveSync for the iphone and MobileMe
    there is Exchange 2007 integration into Snow Leopard
    New MS Office for the Mac will have an Outlook client for the first time with full Exchange integration

    I think MS is playing nice with Apple to get back at Dell and HP for the netbook linux thing. If HP and Dell want to ship linux PC's, then MS is going to help Apple poach Dell's most profitable customers

    • by Hyppy (74366) on Friday August 14, 2009 @11:52AM (#29067449)
      That must be exactly why Microsoft has the astoundingly successful "You find it, you keep it" ad campaign going, with Dell and HP laptops prominently featured.
    • I think MS is playing nice with Apple to get back at Dell and HP for the netbook linux thing. If HP and Dell want to ship linux PC's, then MS is going to help Apple poach Dell's most profitable customers

      How does doing that help Microsoft in any way? So they can laugh at Dell when they both end up like GM? Microsoft is seeing reductions in sales hand over fist [betanews.com] in all divisions and is trying to increase their profit margin and maintain their monopoly any way they can. If that means licensing their stuff

    • Which is dumb, because Dell and HP could just as easily start pushing their Linux machines further. Advertising and user education is all Linux needs at this point (well, aside from a not-crap audio framework). Microsoft should just keep its mouth shut - by default that puts the strain on their partners.
  • While this may be a non-issue in terms of returns... I still find it extremely difficult to actually "find" Linux machines on the Dell.com site.

    • by godrik (1287354)
      heu, it is not... On their search engine you can search by operating system which features ubuntu or freedos/linux. There can not be this choice in all categories, but it was present in the first 3 I just tried.
  • Surprised? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FreonTrip (694097) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {pirtnoerf}> on Friday August 14, 2009 @11:44AM (#29067349)

    And here we see Microsoft making messy and untenable assertions to the detriment of its ostensibly valuable business partners. My charitable side is prone to thinking that these moves are just oblivious on Microsoft's part, but the side that's been reading Slashdot for a decade suggests that they still think they're too big to be affected by their own irked customers... and it's happy to see that notion countered more and more these days. Next slide.

  • Return rates for a new, less familiar product are higher than those for an older product which customers had 15 years to evaluate and decide if they want. This doesn't mean the new product is bad. On the contrary, people who are returning it - and those who are not - bought it because they were not completely satisfied with the old product (on price or other reasons) and wanted to evaluate other solutions.

  • You know why? Because for most folks, perception *is* reality. Once Microsoft succeeds in "planting" the notion that netbooks based on Linux are somewhat inferior, only the geeks will buy them.

    This works for Microsoft. What we should do, is to focus our efforts on make Linix and OSS technologies relevant to the average human being.

    What is going on now with MS Office coming to Nokia's hardware is a case in point. It does not work for OSS in general.

    Firefox, OpenOffice.org and multimedia on Linux continue to

    • Firefox, OpenOffice.org and multimedia on Linux continue to suck big time. Lets work on these so that if one takes the Linux plunge, that person gets pleasantly surprised.

      Well... that is your PERCEPTION of Firefox, OOo and Linux Multimedia, isn't it. Actually I think Firefox on Linux works great, multimedia is pretty good (though Balkanized across several programs, and that OOo is perfect for the "office" tasks I have to do. I also have to say that Ubuntu is the only distribution of any OS (Windows and MacOS included in this statement) that has impressed me with EVERY new version I install. A lot of the perception is just simply because a lot of people haven't used it. P

    • by jedidiah (1196) on Friday August 14, 2009 @12:27PM (#29067955) Homepage

      > Firefox, OpenOffice.org and multimedia on Linux continue to suck big time.

      No they don't. You're just trying to add to the mindless anti-Linux hysteria.

      All of these are quite suitable for the average user and in many cases FAR
      SUPERIOR to the default Lemming option. Linux multimedia software in
      particular is used to bail out both Windows and MacOS from usability and
      functionality issues.

      Time to find a new FUD talking point. "Linux multi-media" is over in this respect.

    • by element-o.p. (939033) on Friday August 14, 2009 @12:35PM (#29068095) Homepage

      What we should do, is to focus our efforts on make Linix and OSS technologies relevant to the average human being....Lets work on these so that if one takes the Linux plunge, that person gets pleasantly surprised.

      Have you looked at one of the Dell netbooks with Linux on it? We bought two Mini-9's for testing where I work; I got one, and one of the other network admins got the other. The things are awesome, except for a couple of minor gripes:

      1) A couple of tools that I expected (sshd, slocate, rsync) aren't available on the install or the on-line package repository, since it's a slightly lobotomized Dell-specific version of Ubuntu that's installed on the Mini-9;
      2) The software update site that Synaptic syncs from worked for about a month, then stopped working (I haven't bothered to call Dell to ask what happened, but I probably should so I can keep the OS updated);
      3) It occasionally will not resume after suspending.

      Item one problem won't matter to most users; just network geeks like myself. Item two is probably the biggest problem, but like I said, I haven't tried to contact Dell to see why synaptic/apt-get update/etc. can no longer connect to the update server. Item three also happens on my wife's Vista laptop, so doesn't seem to be a differentiating characteristic of Linux over Windows.

      On the other hand, the wireless (typically a weakness for Linux distros in my experience) is rock solid, quickly and easily connecting to wireless networks with no fuss and no hassle...very much unlike the wireless on my wife's Vista laptop, which frequently can't find wireless networks, won't stay connected in cases where it does, and/or provides mind-numbingly slow transfer rates when it can connect. Setting up network printers is again far easier and more reliable than the printer setup on my wife's Vista laptop, which has to be reconfigured every single time she reboots. As far as multimedia...I can play DVDs on my Mini-9, I can watch YouTube videos. As far as Firefox and Open Office...on Linux "suck[ing] big time", well...FF may be somewhat slower to run JavaScript and OOo may not have *all* the features or be as pretty as MS Office, but I'll take standards-compliant FF over IE and free OOo with all its faults over MS' $500 price tag and freaking annoying "ribbon" interface any day.

      In other words, I think the FOSS/Linux community has done a great deal to make Linux and OSS technologies relevant to the average human being. I see FOSS/Linux as pretty good already and getting even better, but YMMV.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by SEE (7681)

        I found upgrading the Dell Mini 9 to Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix [ubuntu.com] cleared up #3, and probably fixes 1 & 2, too.

        (Granted, 9.04 Netbook Remix has a different alternative desktop than the one that comes with the Dell version of 8.04.)

    • No, they don't suck. (Score:4, Informative)

      by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Friday August 14, 2009 @12:50PM (#29068343) Homepage Journal

      To say that Firefox sucks is frankly pure spite.

      Many of us are using OpenOffice and exchange files with MS only shops without any issues.

      Audio support in Linux is quite good for most people. Amarok and Audacity cover most bases.

      Video support is patchy, but each release of every video product gets better (there was a time WMV files were not supported, not you can play them out of the box).

  • Possibly the reason for thiese claims and why they are still way behind on technical merits compared to the competition...

  • Who? Microsoft?? Seriously?? Amazing. Noone would ever think of that,...unless take a watch of Microsoft's history of claims since, well, ever (yes, ever, probably they got in the future a time machine and said Eve that glass is the safest food in the history, but she was smart and picked Apple)
  • just think (Score:2, Insightful)

    by flahwho (1243110)
    People who use Linux use it because they CHOOSE to. On the contrary most people who use Windows do so because they're forced to.
  • Kudos to Todd for laying what may be the truth out there.

    If Todd's march to the top of the cubicle farm dung heap doesn't end over this one, then Dell gets my next notebook order.

  • It's really hard to get a Dell netbook delivered with Linux. At the moment, the Latitude 2100 [dell.com] is one of the very few machines to come with Linux. It's $30 cheaper than with a Microsoft OS. Dell's search page has a "FreeDOS and Linux" option, and if you check that, you get "No configurations are valid for the selected options." There's a Linux option for the Mini 10v [dell.com], but the Windows versions has an "instant discount" to bring its price down to match the Linux version. (Also, the Windows version comes wit

  • Just a thought... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:23PM (#29068869) Homepage
    This is not specific to Dell, but Netbooks in general. The goal of the Netbook builders seem to be making them as cheap as possible and that is one of the many reasons why they choose free Linux over costly Windows. However, simply because they are making them as cheap as possible, they're also just shoddy computers and they get returned because of that. I have and likely always will be of the opinion that 99% of computer users don't care what OS they use as long as they can surf the web, check their e-mail, do their taxes, etc.

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