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Dell Drops Ubuntu PCs From Its Website 473

Posted by timothy
from the too-hard-to-spell dept.
Barence writes "Dell has stopped selling consumer PCs preloaded with Ubuntu from its website, and doesn't know when they're coming back. A search for Ubuntu on the Dell UK website returns only one laptop — the Dell Latitude 2100 from the company's business range. Dell insists that it's continuing to sell Ubuntu systems, but only over the phone, and has no idea when — or even if — the Ubuntu PCs will return online. 'We've recently made an effort to simplify our offerings online, by focusing on our most popular bundles and configuration options, based on customer feedback for reduced complexity and a simple, easy purchase experience,' Dell told PC Pro. 'We're also making some changes to our Ubuntu pages, and as a result, they are currently available through our phone-based sales only.' The move comes after Dell put a page on its website advising customers only to go for Ubuntu if they were interested in open-source programming."
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Dell Drops Ubuntu PCs From Its Website

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  • by BroadbandBradley (237267) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @08:26AM (#33012714) Homepage

    Microsoft Windows is really so much harder to use than Ubuntu. Everything on Ubuntu just works, and you have to fuss with windows to get it to do what you want, keep it from getting a virus, hunt all over the web to get software updates.....

    I think the only reason Dell does this is because Windows is setup like a toll booth where you have to pay extra to get it to do anything useful or keep it running. With the Ubuntu Boxes they don't sell any add-on software because Ubuntu already has everything it needs to work.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 24, 2010 @08:36AM (#33012764)

      I think the only reason Dell ...

      Don't forget that computer retailers like Dell get paid a lot of money to pre-install bloatware, e.g. all those trials, links to subscription services, etc. Even if the customer never buys any of these, Dell doesn't get that money for Ubuntu PCs.

      Wouldn't be surprised if MS made an offer to "more prominently" position Windows or grant Dell some "MS premium platinum reseller" PR-badge either.

      • by loafing_oaf (1054200) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @09:16AM (#33012906)

        Dell could simply adjust the Ubuntu PC prices to compensate for the missing bloatware revenue. Of course, they probably would sell even fewer that way. But with Dell's just-in-time supply chain, it really shouldn't matter whether any particular models sell well because there's no inventory buildup or waste to worry about.

        As for Dell's claim of reducing complexity... it's a single link on the side of the page! At the risk of sounding cliche, I think it's more reasonable to assume that there is some supplier exclusivity contract in play from Microsoft.

        • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday July 24, 2010 @09:33AM (#33012998) Journal

          I think that's what they do, when i bought my sister's Inspiron 10v with Ubuntu last year, the price was only about $20 less for the Ubuntu model IIRC. Mind you the factory-supplied Ubuntu installs are still stuffed to the gills with crapware, i just wiped it and reinstalled from scratch since it needed upgrading anyways.

          And I remember clicking on a link about how to choose your OS and reading that you should "choose Windows because $typical_marketing_spiel, or Ubuntu if you're into open-source programming." |:-|

          • by kyrio (1091003)
            Earlier this month Dell uploaded the marketing page you mentioned. [slashdot.org] You must have some super powers to have seen it last year.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Kijori (897770)

          As for Dell's claim of reducing complexity... it's a single link on the side of the page! At the risk of sounding cliche, I think it's more reasonable to assume that there is some supplier exclusivity contract in play from Microsoft.

          I'm not so sure. It would take very few people ordering Ubuntu because they hadn't understood the difference for the support costs to outweigh the extra sales; this would explain their move to sell Ubuntu only over then phone, since it allows people to buy Ubuntu PCs if they really want to while preventing any possible misunderstandings.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by TheABomb (180342)

            Bullshit. Have you bought a new computer with Windows pre-installed in the last decade? You don't get an actual Windows disc, you get a "system restore disc" that wipes everything to the factory-default state. All they have to do is offer to sell those "very few" upset consumers one of those for whatever the price differential was, and suddenly Dell gets its bloatware commissions, too. Win-win for everyone except technology!

      • by Locutus (9039)
        that bloatware is where things will get interesting with ChromeOS. All that bloatware brings in a onetime income to the OEM but with the ad income Google can provide with ChromeOS, these OEMs will see continued income from long running products and they won't need to rely so much on pushing new sales upgrades so much. A good example of what ad supported income can do is just to look at The Mozilla Foundation income. Those $50+ million come from Google via that little default search box in the upper right co
      • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @11:20AM (#33013624) Homepage Journal

        From what I understand, Microsoft also offers "rebates" to hardware computer vendors that are primarily or entirely Windows only. It's the loophole in their consent decree (rebates instead of discounts).

        It is conceivable that the public exposure Dell's Ubuntu pages made caused one of two scenarios (or a combination of both):
        (1) Someone at Microsoft pointed out to Dell that their Ubuntu efforts (especially with Linux becoming more widely known) was flying in the face of Microsoft's rebate terms.
        (2) Someone at Dell feared that the news exposure their Ubuntu offerings were gaining would cause backlash with Microsoft, and thus minimize or eliminate what "rebates" they were getting on Windows preloaded systems.

        More information (with appropriate login) can be found on Microsoft's pages located here: Microsoft OEM pages [microsoft.com] where such wording as "This campaign is designed to help you communicate the value of Windows 7 Professional ... OEM Software Rebates Accelerate your OEM Sales and earn rebates!" (direct and full quote (from the rotating text at the top), including the use of ellipses) can be found.

        "Help you communicate," has been determined by others to mean "Dont offer competing operating systems such as Linux so you dont "confuse" buyers with any option other than Windows" - such statements (and such a definition of the meaning) can be found by searching the web - often attributed to Microsoft themselves. Makes Dell's statement kinda suspicious in who actually came up with it.

    • by couchslug (175151) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @09:17AM (#33012908)

      Windows works for people who know Windows and have no need to invest time in anything different. The faults we find in Windows don't concern them enough to switch to something not Windows.

      • by Yaa 101 (664725)

        They can't invest time in learning something new because they are too busy removing crap.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cronius (813431)

        The other weekend I was staying at a hotel on work related business. When I was checking out the hotel guy asked me what kind of work I did and I said I was a computer programmer. He started asking me about a windows server problem they were having, and I said I only know Linux and that the company I work for specializes in it.

        At this point he told me that he had just switched permanently to Ubuntu, and that he was really enjoying the experience. He made the switch after his pirated copy of Windows stopped

    • It's not what's easier it's the simpletons that just click on things and end up with an Ubuntu computer and freak out because it's not windows.
    • by Jaktar (975138) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @09:37AM (#33013018)
      In the words of Wolfgang Pauli, "you're not even wrong." However, if you wanted to stay open source on Windows, you can do so. The notion that Windows is a toll booth is a bit off the mark also. Right now I'm dual booting Ubuntu and Vista. The only thing I've paid for in the last two years between Windows and Ubuntu is the OS itself. Everything else is open source or provided free of charge by Microsoft or another third party.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jo42 (227475)

      Microsoft Windows is a conspiracy between the hardware manufacturers and Microsoft to make you have to buy new hardware every couple of years. Best example was going from XP to Vista. XP ran fine. Vista came out and ran like a one legged man in a marathon. Everyone had to buy new hardware to run it.

      Think about it: Do you really need a quad-core processor with 8GB of RAM and a 1.5 TB hard drive to browse the Internet, watch IdiotTube (AKA YouTube) videos and fap to porn?

    • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @10:12AM (#33013178)

      Microsoft Windows is really so much harder to use than Ubuntu.

      I don't know how this got modded insightful but, as someone who has computers with Mac OSX, Windows XP, _and_ Ubuntu, I'm going to have to say that's so utterly wrong that it's actually funny. I like Ubuntu and I look forward to the day that it truly hits the mainstream but it is not, in any way, easier to use than Windows. It may be the easiest of the Linux distros to use (I have no clue if it is since it's the only one I've ever played with to any degree); it may be easy enough for the average person to use; it may be incredibly easy for a hardcore computer user to use, but it is not easier to use than Windows.

      I don't like Windows, at all, but let's be serious...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Pretty much. The linux devs don't realize that they're making cludget unfriendly processes. Number of clicks matter. If I can't, without a manual, install program X onto my computer in 3-6 clicks, it's too hard. "Oh just use the package manager" No. I want to go to their website and click the fucking download button. Then I want to open that downloaded file. Then I want it to install. Anything else is unacceptable for a typical user.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by whisper_jeff (680366)
          To me, what immediately put it as "not easy to use" was the moment that I realized I needed things like "sudo" or any other commands to make things happen. Once Canonical realizes that the average user _NEVER_ wants to enter commands to do run of the mill, average stuff, then they'll truly be a long way towards having an easy-to-use OS. I found myself trying to get things to happen with Ubuntu, being forced to resort to Google (a sign things may not be rosy but not surprising since I had zero Linux experien
          • To me, what immediately put it as "not easy to use" was the moment that I realized I needed things like "sudo" or any other commands to make things happen.

            Usually, if you use the graphical system configuration tools, it will prompt you for the root password.

            Once Canonical realizes that the average user _NEVER_ wants to enter commands to do run of the mill, average stuff,

            The terminal can be faster and easier to use, really, even for a newbie. It can also be easier to describe in written form or verbally how

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by whisper_jeff (680366)
              Perhaps you missed my point. You have no problem with it. I have no problem with it. You and I are not "average" computer users. Ask yourself if it would be overwhelming for your mother to use it. Ask yourself if the counter clerk at the DMV or the bank would find it easy to use. Ask yourself if a truly average user finds what you've described to be easy.

              What power users find easy and what average users find easy are different things. This perception difference is what has holds Linux back, more than anyt
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Risen888 (306092)

                I sell machines with Ubuntu on them. To yoga instructors and flight attendants and 85 year old women. It's easier. Universally, across the board easier. Every single customer says so. You don't have to trust me, but I trust them, because they pay my rent. I mean, if you're comfortable being out-geeked by an 85 year old great grandma, okay, but don't blame the machine.

      • by Draek (916851) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @01:00PM (#33014350)

        Try doing tech support sometimes. Your view of Windows is tainted by your own proficiency with it but I assure you: the average person cannot use Windows, and no, you can't be said to know how to use Windows with a malware-filled machine any more than somebody whose car is full of bumps and signs of crashes can be said to know how to drive.

    • by Locutus (9039)
      there is _that_ but there is also the problems Dell has been having with Microsoft and how they'd been stating how viruses are made for Windows and so Linux is a more secure option. This is an easier option and probably brought Dell some income for doing so.

      we also can't forget that Steve Ballmer himself said they Microsoft is pointing all guns at smartphones and tablets and will not be out done this time around. The way I read that was that they'd be back to paying companies to put Windows 7 and Windows Ph
    • by rolfwind (528248)

      Microsoft Windows is really so much harder to use than Ubuntu. Everything on Ubuntu just works, and you have to fuss with windows to get it to do what you want, keep it from getting a virus, hunt all over the web to get software updates.....

      I've used a lot of OSes in my time, and there is no way Ubuntu is easier than Windows 7 (a major improvement over XP) on anything but the security front. I tried the latest Ubuntu LTS and it actually seemed a downgrade of the Ubuntu a few years back - a lot of things t

    • by eulernet (1132389)

      Windows is setup like a toll booth where you have to pay extra to get it to do anything useful or keep it running.

      Not exactly.

      It's mainly for educating users, I mean consumers.

      Educating users that software is not cheap and must be bought to do anything useful.
      It's better to teach them as soon as they start using computers, so they'll continue paying when they'll be more experienced, the more the merrier !

      And in the same process, they learn that free software is a bad thing:
      this software is free, and this one costs $30 ? Sure, give me the one at $30, its cost surely means that it's better !

      Anything that is good

    • by Kijori (897770) <ward.jake@NosPam.gmail.com> on Saturday July 24, 2010 @11:35AM (#33013708)

      Microsoft Windows is really so much harder to use than Ubuntu. Everything on Ubuntu just works, and you have to fuss with windows to get it to do what you want, keep it from getting a virus, hunt all over the web to get software updates.....

      I think the only reason Dell does this is because Windows is setup like a toll booth where you have to pay extra to get it to do anything useful or keep it running. With the Ubuntu Boxes they don't sell any add-on software because Ubuntu already has everything it needs to work.

      I've been using Ubuntu since 2006 and this claim is, frankly, laughable. Go to the shop and buy some shrinkwrap software - chances are it won't work on Ubuntu. Now buy yourself a new webcam, printer and scanner; unless you checked beforehand at least one of these is likely not to work, and it's unlikely that any of them will work perfectly. These issues might seem trivial to someone who's used Ubuntu for a long time and either knows what works or at least knows to check, but for a new user it's a big deal.

      Second, Ubuntu users are generally assumed to be computer-literate and to have deliberately chosen Ubuntu, which implies that they know the ins and outs of Linux distributions and technologies. This leads to help files that are unintelligible to anyone who doesn't know a thing about Linux - amarok is "a qt media player based on the KDE 4 technology platform", for example, and if you want to install a new chess program you can choose between "X11" and "Gnome" versions. (What does that even mean?). Similarly, help files and forums have people running shell commands and editing configuration files - that's just voodoo to a totally new computer user, and if nothing else ingraining a "just run whatever the forum tells you as administrator" mindset is not good.

      Contrast this with Windows: if you go to the shop and buy new software or hardware it's almost certain to run on your computer with nothing more than a few clicks to install it. And if you run into problems the instructions and help files assume no computer literacy - and every man and his dog knows how to use Windows, so there's no shortage of people to help you.

      I like Ubuntu; I use it every day and have done for four years. But denying its faults - and it has plenty - is enormously counterproductive. For you, Ubuntu's lack of available software has turned into "[w]ith the Ubuntu Boxes they don't sell any add-on software because Ubuntu already has everything it needs to work"; for one of the replying ACs the lack of hardware support has become "[t]he 'my wi-fi doesn't work under linux crowd' just need to be more careful and not buy shitty wi-fi cards". These are legitimate problems, and denying them can only set Ubuntu development back and alienate people who have tried the OS and had problems.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Charliemopps (1157495)
      My guess is people were choosing Ubuntu without realizing what it was, getting home and fining out they could install anything or transfer their old software to it... then calling up Dell and complaining. Windows makes Dell money while Ubuntu was probably generating a lot of customer service calls. I doubt their support staff even knew how to trouble shoot it.
    • by aepervius (535155) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @12:27PM (#33014072)
      Most stuff onn windows is plug and play. I say most, but really it has been years since I did not have something which did not work directly before last month, and last month that was speciality hardware (DVB-T over the air as USB). Instalation went without a hitch, I jsut had to install something on a provided DVD that's it. On Ubuntu I had to fiddle with command line to do various stuff, like watch DVD, mount additional drives as more than read only, I had to fiddle around with (albeit only a bit) with the wireless connection, and more importantly, despite spending 2 week end on it and going over many ubuntu web site , I never got my DVB-T receiver to work.

      Ubuntu work out of the box as much as windows work out of the box. But side step a bit away from the box, and WHAM ! Ubuntu hit you square in the face (more like Linux in general). Windows is much more forgiving. I haven't also to "hunt" software update on the web. Certainly not for the windows OS, only for games.


      I am sorry, but you are seeing this comparison windows vs Ubuntu with what I call a "linux rosy glasses" very biased. As someone which don't care for either windows, or Linux I can only tell you to remove the pink glasses (well not 100% , I still prefer Linux/Ubuntu very very slightly due to work related reason, but that is beside the point here). I would trust my parents and family with a winbox, I would not trust them with ubuntu, even if they get used to the OS. Too much stuff I would have to help them with for which one would have to hunt down obscure forums. Like installing DVB-T.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @08:28AM (#33012718) Journal

    I have been on a recent job hunt. Granted, as a LAMP developer. At each interview I asked, is it possible to use a non-windows desktop. Answer: Yes. Mac or Ubuntu didn't matter as long as you could do your job.

    These weren't small companies either although they weren't the type to run IE6 either.

    There is a slow but steady march towards opensource and for the really old, it is the same march that made Microsoft a household name.

    There was a time when if you asked for a DOS machine at work, you would have had to be working in the technological vanguard to get it. Because HERE we use mainframes kid, not this new fangled dos/windows 1.0 stuff. that is kid stuff, for hobbyists.

    Dell? Missing the boat. But then, they are being surpassed on every front. I can understand why Dell doesn't want to do Ubuntu, they aren't about giving away free customizations. Sure your dell laptop can be pink, that will be 50 euro's thank you very much. All for a different colored piece of plastic. But when you are at the absolute bottom price wise your are just asking to be picked off by the next guy who can go even cheaper.

    I predict that before to long, there will be a chinese company, currently supplying the big names in the west, who starts selling direct. And then Dell will be left with overpriced hardware that doesn't offer anything different.

    • by Nerdfest (867930)
      I don't understand why they don't sell it as an option on all on their machines, even if they don't provide software support for it. If nothing else, it would allow them to become a convenient source for machines (especially laptops) for those of us who object to paying the Windows tax. Perhaps if more people tried to return their Windows licence? An added bonus would be to list the Linux compatibility of each of their machines. This would require a fairly minimal effort and would help buyers out greatly.

      I
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by houghi (78078)

      Mac or Ubuntu didn't matter as long as you could do your job.

      That is why I did not get the job. I am not running Mac, Windows or Ubuntu. I run a different version of Linux.

  • Ok, not having RTFA, I really don't see the point in taking down a working website, which I didn't even know how to reach without typing in the URL directly, because you are working on a new version?

    And wasn't Dell once all about configurability? Now they try to dumb down the configuration options. Seems to be like they are messing with their original core business model.

  • Sounds like Asus (Score:5, Informative)

    by SpzToid (869795) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @08:33AM (#33012742)

    At a major Taiwanese PC tradeshow, the CEO of ASUS abruptly canceled his presentation about new Asus products. Asus immediately began towing the line regarding Microsoft products and co-promotion following that. Dell's recent promoting cohabitation with Ubuntu sounds like exactly the same thing.

    http://blogs.computerworld.com/microsoft_strikes_back_at_linux_netbook_push [computerworld.com]

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Yes thinking back to
      http://www.beincorporated.com/press/pressreleases/02-02-19_msft_complaint.html
      "... through a series of illegal exclusionary and anticompetitive acts designed to maintain its monopoly in the Intel-compatible PC operating system market and created exclusive dealing arrangements with PC OEMs prohibiting the sale of PCs with multiple preinstalled operating systems."
      I guess when the 'request' is made, you stop... or they are just revamping for the next Ubuntu OS ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by pangu (322010)

      Ahhh yes, the ol' Intercontinental Ballistic Chair.

  • I would like to say that I appreciated at least the attempt, but when I went to replace my laptop earlier this year there wasn't a single Ubuntu laptop that didn't suck. They just picked out the bottom spec couple of PC's and stuck it on them, I would be not surprised if they come back saying that there was lack of interest because they didn't have a computer worth buying.
  • Dell's Ubuntu offering was only on a selected bunch of their marketed PCs/laptops anyway, so it may feel like a consumer loss, but I don't see it that way. Heck, I was pricing out a Dell Mini-10 a few months back and wanted to see the differences in getting Ubuntu pre-loaded (since that was what was going to go on it in place of Windows anyway once in arrived to my house) and after jockeying around the sales horn, I found out the only Dell Mini-10 that was offered with Ubuntu was the Nickelodeon Spongebob-

    • Re:Not a big deal (Score:5, Insightful)

      by markdavis (642305) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @09:15AM (#33012900)

      Think about what you just wrote. So you think it is just about time installing Linux? No.

      * For one thing, some of us don't want to pay a Microsoft Tax. If I don't plan on using MS-Windows on a computer, I should not be forced to pay for it.

      * If a computer is available with Linux, it implies at least SOME amount of Linux support- even if it is just a compatibility guide.

      * I wouldn't want to use Ubuntu, anyway, since there are (for me) much better Linuxes. So if they offered a computer with NO OS installed, I would be just has happy.

      You can bet that Microsoft is behind the scenes again, pulling strings at Dell to squash any notion of freedom or choice.

      • You can bet that Microsoft is behind the scenes again, pulling strings at Dell to squash any notion of freedom or choice.

        That's one theory. Mine is that probably half of the Ubuntu purchases were followed by a support call (and subsequent return) by the purchaser because the machine wouldn't run new game x / quickbooks / excel / itunes / whatever.

        If you're thinking, no, the general public is smarter than that, try working in a games store for a year, especially over Christmas. The number of returns of XBo

  • The only reason I bought a Dell netbook a few months ago was because I knew it had fairly guaranteed Linux support. I even requested an Ubuntu install, despite the fact that I figured I would end up doing a clean install. Effectively, I was turning down a Windows license even though it had no effect on the total price.

  • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @08:51AM (#33012808)

    ...that Microsoft had told them that if they continued to market Linux PCs, they would, quote, "rip them a new one", unquote.

    • by markdavis (642305) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @09:25AM (#33012950)

      And almost EVERY page on Dells site says "Windows® . Life without WallsTM . Dell recommends Windows 7." Even on the Linux related page I was trying to read, a damn Javascript popup appeared that said that "Dell recommends IE8".

      Even when I clicked on a Linux Mini 10, it immediately placed the "Dell recommends Windows 7." on every single following screen (not to mention that the price for the Linux version was exactly the same as the MS-Windows model, and with nothing else included".

      Nothing like feeling welcome.

  • by Nutria (679911) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @08:52AM (#33012816)

    http://www.dell.com/ubuntu [dell.com] is still functional in the US.

  • by Palestrina (715471) * on Saturday July 24, 2010 @08:55AM (#33012824) Homepage

    That is what I really want. I can buy a Dell without a monitor, so why not without an operating system?

    I have my own monitor already, and my own OS. It doesn't make sense to force me to by either of them.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "It doesn't make sense to force me to by either of them."

      Sense to you, or sense to Dell? Your choices are buy or not buy.

      "Buy with reduced delight" = "buy" from the Dell perspective.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You can. Just tell them that you'd like it without an OS, reduced my current latitude's price by €90 or so

  • by Exitar (809068)

    How many Ubuntu PC does Dell sell compared to Windows ones?

  • simplify? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuperBanana (662181) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @09:17AM (#33012910)

    'We've recently made an effort to simplify our offerings online, by focusing on our most popular bundles and configuration options, based on customer feedback for reduced complexity and a simple, easy purchase experience,'

    Funny. I still see different websites based on whether I select "home", "small and medium business" (I love that- who says "I work for a medium-sized ____ company"?), or "large enterprise" or "public sector" (of which there are SIX subcategories!)

    There are 11 laptops in the "home" section. There are 10 Lattitude "E" series laptops and 8 more in the "Specialty" section for enterprise users. 2 "precision" workstation laptops offered to higher education.

    Hang on, I'll just quote from the side of the product selector when I selected "higher education":

    Narrow Your Selection
    Product Category
    Latitude Laptops (18)
    Inspiron (4)
    Dell Precision Mobile Workstations (2)
    Studio Laptops (2)
    Vostro Laptops (7)

    33 different laptops, ladies and gentlemen. 33.

    How many does Apple sell? 3 Macbook Pros, 1 Macbook, 1 Macbook Air? Granted they come in a few flavors (different screen resolutions, for example)...but the basic laptop chassis itself is the same and a 15" macbook pro has always been a 15" macbook pro. Not a Macbook Pro 2310 and then a Macbook Pro 2340 etc.

    Dell is like GM; you can buy the same car with 4 different hood emblems and slightly different trim/headlights/taillights.

    And people wonder why Apple is raking in money hand over fist. Perhaps it's because they have a clear product lineup? Sometimes you have to stop trying to sell to every person on the planet.

    • by guruevi (827432)

      Another reason why Apple is raking in the customers is because of their concise, dedicated and friendly support staff. With Dell unless you spend ungodly amounts on a so-called Gold Technical Support you're going to be stuck with a dude in India that probably never even saw the computer you just bought.

    • I agree completely. In fact, my head hurts every time I have to go to that Dell web-site. Even just the start page where you need to select what type of company you work for bothers me a little, because I just want to see the EQUIPMENT in front of me, not some selection of the equipment based on what some Dell marketing droid thinks a person in my situation would want. I end up having to click on all of them to make sure I'm not missing something.

      Also, the names are weird. With the macbook you have to
    • by billius (1188143)
      I bought a Dell Laptop back in 2005 and one of the most frustrating things about the whole experience was the fact that there was only a weak correlation between the name of the model and the kind of specs you were getting. A Dell Inspiron could have all manner of different kinds of processor, ram, cpu, etc. I understand that they want to allow for flexibility, but after a certain point it just becomes needlessly confusing. BTW, my current computer is a Macbook Pro, so there may be something to your reas
  • http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/10/07/01/2321230/The-Ignominious-Fall-of-Dell [slashdot.org]

    So who cares what they ship?

    Or are they not so dead after all?

  • by Big Jojo (50231) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @09:18AM (#33012920)
    I wanted a 64-bit ubuntu laptop from dell but they were pushing 32-bit single cores. So I got a non-ubuntu laptop and just installed ubuntu myself. Some issues with wireless rmain ... even though this model was documented on the ubuntu website as fully supported.
  • A cryin shame. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    A lose-lose situation. At least it reduces (however marginally) the Dell proprietary hardware in circulation...

  • No Dell, Oh well... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 24, 2010 @09:26AM (#33012958)

    buy from someone else

    http://system76.com/ [system76.com]
    http://zareason.com/ [zareason.com]

  • Dell's Attitude (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ncmathsadist (842396) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @09:30AM (#33012984) Homepage
    I don't know why Dell thinks I am a second-class citizen because I use open-source programs. Boo and hiss.
  • I dropped Dell from my shopping list a long, long time ago.

  • Does Dell have the brain of a turkey? It can't seem to make up its corporate mind. Over the years, they're selling Ubuntu; now they're not; yes they are; no they're not; and on and on.

  • They no long want to sell you a computer with ubuntu. So, buy it elsewhere.
  • by dominux (731134) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @09:49AM (#33013082) Homepage
    I blogged about it here: http://www.theopensourcerer.com/2010/07/23/why-windows-still-has-good-sales-figures/

    16:27:12        Alan    Initial Question/Comment: I can't find your laptops with Ubuntu installed
    16:27:23        System    You are now being connected to an agent. Thank you for using Dell Chat
    16:27:23        System    Connected with Makrand_Karante
    16:27:23        Makrand_Karante    Thank you for contacting Dell sales chat. This is Makrand Karante,your Sales Advisor. In order to Help you better can you provide me with your email address and Telephone number incase we get Disconnected I can either come back to you by phone or email.
    16:27:39        Alan    hello
    16:27:50        Alan    I am looking for laptops running Ubuntu
    16:27:53        Makrand_Karante    Hi Alan
    16:28:03        Makrand_Karante    we do not have that option available yet
    16:28:15        Alan    oh :-(
    16:28:32        Alan    when will they be available, I don't want Windows at all
    16:28:53        Makrand_Karante    we do not have the related information here
    16:29:36        Alan    that is a bit of a shame, I will have to go somewhere else to get a laptop then
    16:29:53        Makrand_Karante    is there any thing else that I may assist you with today?
    16:30:07        Alan    well not really. I just wanted a laptop running Ubuntu.
    16:30:19        Alan    Do you have any without an operating system at all?
    16:30:28        Makrand_Karante    I am afraid no
    16:30:36        Alan    oh
    16:31:23        Alan    so if I want a laptop from Dell I have to buy windows
    16:31:58        Makrand_Karante    Yes
    16:32:12        Alan    ok, thanks for your help
    16:32:29        Makrand_Karante    Thank you for contacting Dell Sales Chat and allowing me the opportunity to assist you. Have a wonderful Day ahead.
    16:33:25        System    The session has ended!

    Couple of updates. I am in the UK, so that was through the dell.co.uk site, I don't want one from the US because it would have the wrong keyboard and I would be stung with customs charges and it would take a long time to get here and I like instant overnight consumer gratification.

    If you are tempted to go ask similar questions of the Dell online chat thing then go right ahead with the following conditions:
    1) You must take a credit card out of your purse/wallet, rest it on your keyboard and be totally prepared to use it, if they find you a suitable laptop.
    2) Do it once, don't repeatedly bother them.
    3) Be polite and respectful, the Code of Conduct applies.
  • by loufoque (1400831) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @10:48AM (#33013392)

    When it was announced that Dell was selling computers loaded with Ubuntu, I went to their site and looked. I looked hard, and didn't see anything. Then on another site I found a link to an obscure page on the Dell website that you wouldn't find in any other way.
    And there, I saw that they were selling old models of their products, with only the low-end hardware choices, for a more expensive price than what they sell the new model with high-end choices and Windows. To the point where even a person who would want to buy a Dell computer and install Ubuntu on it would buy one preloaded with Windows and install Ubuntu himself.

    And now they're going to say they're pulling it because it didn't sell enough. Of course it didn't, they purposely made it that way; it's like they wanted it to fail from the get go.

  • by garyebickford (222422) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .cib73rag.> on Saturday July 24, 2010 @10:48AM (#33013396)

    I bought (through my employer) a dual-screen Dell workstation last year. I run Ubuntu on everything - my laptop,. my personal desktop, etc. But the only products Dell offered Ubuntu on was low-end econoboxes. I finally resorted to buying it with RedHat Enterprise Linux. However RHEL did not meet my needs - I tried it for a while but because of the long version cycle it just couldn't be brought up to date with things I needed for my work - not to mention being less user-friendly for this GUI-obsessed guru. (I've been using the hottest GUIs I could achieve since my days using graphic terminals and programming 3D in FORTRAN. I built my own RS232 switch once to allow me to run three terminals on the same serial line, so I could have three screens - back in 1981. One for output, one for debugging output, one for coding.)

    After putting up with RHEL for several months I finally switched over to Ubuntu 9, and now I'm running 10. I"m sorry, but I need this year's software. Among other things, I needed OpenOffice.org 3.2 for a project I was working on. I'm also a Compiz addict, and RHEL did not support a number of packages required by Compiz.

    I never understood why Dell refused to provide Ubuntu on anything but their toy systems. It probably has to do with internal politics, and possibly something to do with their contract with RedHat. IMHO the lesson here is not that Ubuntu couldn't sell - it is that Dell did not understand the market.

  • by kriston (7886) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @10:49AM (#33013402) Homepage Journal

    As long as a canonical driver list is provided so we can get Ubuntu to work properly, who cares if they don't sell them with Ubuntu. I haven't seen enough of these Window-less computers that were any cheaper than the Windows Home versions were.

  • These companies that sold PCs which officially allowed Linux on them never really supported Linux. The profit margins in supporting Windows are large enough, but the relatively tiny revenue from Linux sales doesn't scale up along with the costs of extending support to Linux. Especially when Linux vendors like Red Hat and Ubuntu receive most of the support requests that don't go to the public community.

    But that means we're stuck. I've got a Compaq EVO D510 minitower that is still a perfectly good PC for a We

  • by Locutus (9039) on Saturday July 24, 2010 @11:31AM (#33013686)
    does this sound familiar or what?

    Microsoft strikes back at Linux netbook push [computerworld.com]

    just as this article was about netbooks, the new buzz word to kill off in the name of Windows is tablet and to some extent smartphone. They'll have a very tough time with the smartphone but the tablet sector is just getting started and Android isn't even out of the gate on that platform yet.

    I smell lots of marketing deals forcing exclusivity with Microsoft once again.

    LoB

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.

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