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Ubuntu Won't Moan To EU About Microsoft 248

Posted by timothy
from the kudos-to-them dept.
Barence writes "The company behind the Ubuntu Linux distro says it has no plans to follow Opera's lead and file a complaint against Microsoft to the EU. Ubuntu 10.10 is the most 'consumer-friendly' version of the Linux distro to date, but it faces an uphill battle against Microsoft's marketing machine. Even high-profile supporter Dell has dropped Ubuntu machines from its website in recent months, while continuing to remind visitors that 'Dell recommends Windows 7' at the top of every PC page. 'I don't think we've ever considered [an EU complaint],' said Steve George, vice president of business development at Canonical. 'The improvements we're making to Ubunutu ... are a better route for us to reach out to users and get a bigger user base.'"
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Ubuntu Won't Moan To EU About Microsoft

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  • by StayFrosty (1521445) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @03:45PM (#33829412)
    Dell is still shipping PCs with Ubuntu preloaded. You can find them here [dell.com].
  • by CannonballHead (842625) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @03:57PM (#33829578)
    Dell didn't drop Ubuntu. You can still buy Dell computers preloaded with Ubuntu.
  • by CannonballHead (842625) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @03:59PM (#33829606)
    Not true. I just configured an AMD-based XPS 7100 with 10.04.
  • by medlefsen (995255) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @04:00PM (#33829618)
    http://dell.com/ubuntu [dell.com]
    They even have a page extolling the virtues of Ubuntu with a snazzy short url.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 07, 2010 @04:08PM (#33829712)

    Dell has NOT dropped Ubuntu [dell.com]

    The story is BS. PC Pro has zero credibility.

  • by dave562 (969951) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @04:15PM (#33829796) Journal

    What kind of support contracts do you have? I've worked with HP hardware my entire career, with the exception of my current job where I inherited a bunch of Dell hardware. Their hardware isn't all that great, and their drivers are crap compared to HP. However their support seems as good, if not better. We have 24x7x4 "mission critical" support and I haven't had any problems getting parts and technicians dispatched.

  • by xzvf (924443) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @04:25PM (#33829912)
    Dell, HP and Lenovo don't put up " recommends Windows 7" on each page because they actually do recommend Windows 7. They do it because Microsoft pays them money to do it.
  • by RebootKid (712142) <rebootkid@nateandamy.org> on Thursday October 07, 2010 @04:28PM (#33829948)
    I think it must just be Dell in the EU. Here in the US, you can still configure systems preloaded with Ubuntu.

    In fact, I just ran the numbers. Buying a Latitude 13 configured exactly the way I like it, running 9.10 (32bit): $1753.98
    Running Windows7 (32bit): $1862.98

    I didn't see a way of doing 64bit installs for either option. This also doesn't take into account any of the specials that may be running, or employee discounts, etc.

    In this circumstance, the Microsoft tax is $109
  • by DrSkwid (118965) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @04:43PM (#33830132) Homepage Journal

    I don't know about now but non-standardly shaped Dell parts forcing you to buy a new PSU from them sucks big style.

  • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @04:44PM (#33830146)

    It's easier to just take the Windows install. Our IT folks still have to touch every new Dell box that comes through the door to load the standard image. The company still has to buy CALs for all workstations whether they're pre-installed with Windows or not. The two Dell systems (desktop, laptop, array of monitors) on my desk all get wiped and set up with Ubuntu with vbox handling the IT WinXP image. But ordering those systems without Windows would have been an additional level of effort with not enough financial gain to justify it.

  • by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @05:35PM (#33830646)
    "But ordering those systems without Windows would have been an additional level of effort with not enough financial gain to justify it."

    I don't know how many machines you deal with, but the microsoft tax is fucking huge when you're dealing with hundreds of machines. There's been a couple people that have managed to order laptops without windows and received a discount for it. It takes a few hours on the phone, but you receive a laptop without an OS and a check for about $50. Multiply $50 by however many machines you have and you end up with a lot of money.

    I suspect that vendors like this completely refuse to offer this no-windows option at the business level even if it means losing a sale of many hundred machines, lest they have to explain to MS why they're not getting lots of money.

    To be honest, I don't know how it all works at the business level, all I know is that I'm ordering my next laptop without windows and I'm going to spend up to 12 hours on the phone to get the discount for it.
  • Re:Kudos (Score:5, Informative)

    by westlake (615356) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @09:35PM (#33832542)

    It's an uphill battle, and we've still got a ways to go, but Linux in general and Ubuntu specifically has been making great strides here.

    Linux is treading water.

    In most stats, it is barely visible as also-ran.

    Stat Counter Global Stats [statcounter.com]

    I want expecting this.

    But the Linux Stat Counter stats for countries like Argentina, Brazil, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, Venezuela etc., are really quite pathetic. Either these countries have gone off-line or the FOSS geek has spent too much time listening to his own propaganda.

    The picture is somewhat less bleak in Uruguay - one of OLPC's great success stories. But in Rwanda - where OLPC had a confirmed, significant, deployment of 100,000 units - Linux is easily outpaced by OSX and Win 7.

    Top Operating System Share Trend [hitslink.com], iOS Tops Linux [netmarketshare.com]

    Even when you factor in Android, the numbers don't change all that much.

    OS Platform Statistics [w3schools.com]

    24% Win 7: Up from 0% in Jan 09, Linux 4.5%: Up from 2.2% in Mar 03. The W3Schools stats for Linux are as good as it gets.

  • by katana_steel (1861018) on Friday October 08, 2010 @03:36AM (#33833928)

    sure it seems that if you live in the US you can get Dell to ship you a PC with Ubuntu pre-installed
    however PC-Pro being a UK magazine tried Dell's UK site, and I think it's true for the rest of Europe too,
    where it's impossible to find anything but hardware with Window 7, unless you want to buy a server with RHEL.

  • by jimicus (737525) on Friday October 08, 2010 @07:30AM (#33834698)

    To be honest, I don't know how it all works at the business level, all I know is that I'm ordering my next laptop without windows and I'm going to spend up to 12 hours on the phone to get the discount for it.

    Ah, then let me tell you a little.

    It's as if all the antitrust stuff with Microsoft never happened. The sort of things a business is likely to want to do are so tied up with EULAs that it gets very expensive very fast. I have no idea how well some of the clauses would stand up in a court, but I've yet to work for a company that was keen on being the first test case.

    Firstly, the only organisation allowed to image PCs with an OEM copy of Windows is... the OEM. You go out and buy 100 PCs with 100 OEM Windows licenses on them, fine. Good for you. But if you want to image them all with a corporate image so you can guarantee they all go out with the right software on them - nope. You can't just configure one of them appropriately and use it as the basis for your image to the other 99, you're meant to go out and buy a (separate) "Upgrade" copy of Windows under an Enterprise Licensing agreement - an annually renewable agreement which is rather cheaper per-annum than the normal cost of buying licenses, but once it expires you're no longer licensed to run anything.

    You'll note I used the word "Upgrade" there. That's not accidental - the enterprise licensing agreement does NOT give you the right to install Windows on a PC that did not ship with an OS.

    There are other terms in this Enterprise Licensing agreement that you might be interested to know about. Terms like "You will license this for every PC in your organisation". Explicitly not "You will license this for every PC in your organisation you intend to run Windows on". Microsoft Office has similar terms.

    You can work around these restrictions (for some applications) by not going for the annually renewable license, but instead for the one-off license and get a volume discount. This isn't hugely popular because the one-off license typically costs about three times the price of the annually-renewable license, and if you were upgrading every three years or so anyway, saves you precisely nothing. In addition to this, the annually renewable license doesn't require you to keep on top of what's installed where - you simply square your licenses up with what you're using at renewal time. This isn't true of one-off licensing.

    Windows Server is equally entertaining from a licensing perspective. You need a license for the server, a Client Access License for every computer that will be communicating with the server, if you want to run any software on the server (like Exchange) that's licensed separately and - if it's Microsoft software - typically requires separate client access licenses over and above the server CALs. Want to run Terminal Services but don't like the cost of CALs for terminal services (yes, they're extra)? Tough. The EULA for Windows Server explicitly demands you get Terminal Services CALs not just for Terminal Services, but any software that provides some sort of remote desktop experience.

    I've done the arithmetic on this myself many times, because it really is absurdly expensive and for some time I couldn't figure out how anyone was still justifying the cost. Windows may well be cheaper if you've already got a significant Windows-based infrastructure in place - simply because the cost of migrating to a totally different platform is almost invariably going to be even more absurd. This goes some way to explaining why SBS on a basic Dell server is so cheap. Get the business stuck on Windows early, then as it expands it will find itself locked in a treadmill of ever-increasing prices.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell

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