Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Linux Business Open Source Portables Ubuntu Linux News

Dell's Ubuntu Ultrabook Now On Sale; Costs $50 More Than Windows Version 403

Posted by timothy
from the all-prices-are-experiments dept.
nk497 writes "Dell's 'Project Sputnik' laptop is now on sale. The XPS 13 Developer Edition comes with Ubuntu 12.04 pre-installed, and costs $1,549 — $50 more than the same model running Windows. The Ubuntu Ultrabook is the result of a skunkworks project to optimise the open-source OS to run on Dell projects, to create better laptops for developers. The idea of the project was to create a laptop for developers, based around 'the idea that developers are the kings of IT and set the agenda for web companies, who in turn, set the agenda for the whole industry,' Dell said." Reader skade88 points out a positive review from Ars Technica.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Dell's Ubuntu Ultrabook Now On Sale; Costs $50 More Than Windows Version

Comments Filter:
  • Surprised? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2012 @01:22PM (#42131615)

    Did anyone expect better from Dell? They have a history of doing this with Linux laptops.

  • Re:Boatware (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mschiller (764721) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @01:27PM (#42131669)

    Practically? This clearly demonstrates that it pays for the windows license and is also a revenue stream. Either that or Dell is sticking it to linux users just to get a few more bucks... Probably a windows machine that they just pay some high school student to install linux onto....

    Who wants to take a bet there is a windows 7 key on the bottom of the laptop?

  • System76 (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2012 @01:30PM (#42131725)

    $50 more for the exact same hardware? I'll stick with System76. At least I feel like a valued customer there. I love my Gazelle Professional, and I am not disappointed with their customer support.

    https://www.system76.com/

  • by sootman (158191) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @01:37PM (#42131855) Homepage Journal

    13", 1.8 GHz i5 (up to 2.8 GHz), 8 GB, 256 GB, US$1599.

    Not trolling, asking seriously: how much difference is there between an i5 and an i7? A 2 GHz i7 Air (up to 3.2 GHz -- a little higher than this XPS) is another $100.

    Also, from the Ars article: "All of the additions Dell is bringing to Ubuntu 12.04 are available for free (as in beer)." So could you just buy the Windows version and configure it yourself to save $50?

  • by Andtalath (1074376) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @01:45PM (#42131983)

    Supporting Linux is not free.

    Neither is windows of course, but the point is, they don't just preload it, they test it and they have to be able to tell customers exactly how things work and so forth.

    This requires a special treatment.

    Buying a computer without any operating system should be cheaper, buying a computer with an internally developed system should be more expensive.

    Nope, don't see the problem here.

  • Re:Boatware (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kjella (173770) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @02:01PM (#42132207) Homepage

    Linux technical support does not cost more than Windows tech support, especially when you consider the volumes involved.

    The volume of what? Windows sales to Linux sales? Let's face it, every manufacturer makes things work with Windows because it's on 90% of all PCs, as they would with any OS that's on 90% of all PCs. How many hours have they spent making sure it all works under Linux and how many sales can they divide that by? If they have to maintain that support in new versions of Ubuntu, how many sales can they divide that by? Because I'm sure people would be most unhappy if in 6 months the next Ubuntu upgrade would break it. Never mind the people who'd gladly buy the Windows version and install Ubuntu themselves to both get a dual boot machine and save $50.

    The people who buy the Linux version, well they're probably going to feel entitled to some Linux support and actually use it. Just because you do have the technical skills to dig into a problem and fix it yourself, it's very convenient if you can get someone else to fix the problem for you. And they'll probably have higher expectations than the cheap outsourced Windows support who's mostly there to solve PEBCAK problems with scripts. And to be honest it's not really much of an untapped market because if people here don't like the offer they'll just pick some different model and install it themselves. It's not like you get lots of sales because you're one of few options.

  • Re:Boatware (Score:4, Interesting)

    by interval1066 (668936) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @02:07PM (#42132287) Homepage Journal
    Last couple of laptops I've purchased didn't seem to give me the option to opt out of the license, seemed like they just came on and wanted me to set up my user space info. SO- in one case I just wiped the drive and installed linux, I assume I paid the ransom. In another case I went ahead and used the pre-installed windows os (Xp at that time I think) for a bit until I got so annoyed I had to install Linux. In either case I wasn't presented with a EULA. In those cases how do you get your money back, assuming you paid the ransom for an unwanted windows installation? Is use of the os, even if under 30 days, implicate acceptance of the EULA and license?
  • Wait wait... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @02:09PM (#42132319)

    Everyone calm down. It's only $50. Imagine for a second if it were $50 cheaper than the Windows version... All of Dells usual idiot customers would show up, find the computer, do a search for the model... see this linux thing... "Save $50?!?! Hell yea!" and order it... Once it arrives and they boot it up and try to install their casino poker game... they call up Dell support... "What do you mean I can't install this?!?!"

    Dell NEEDS to put a barrier between the average customer and a product that could cause them a lot of support costs. They need to do their very best to make sure that only people who know what they are buying get this laptop. Money is the easiest way to do that. If you don't want to pay the $50, just order the windows version and wipe it when it arrives. It's not that hard.

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dotancohen (1015143) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @02:10PM (#42132321) Homepage

    Dell did a lot of work to make sure drivers were solid. Its not cheap to make a laptop have a perfect out of the box experience.

    Exactly. What people don't realize is that to provide a good experience for end users, putting Linux (any distro) on a computer entails more work for the manufacturer than just installing Windows and letting Microsoft sort out the hardware compatibility issues.

    And I'm happy to pay $50 more for a Linux laptop than a Windows laptop. That's not a significant amount of money compared to the price of the machine, and it sends a clear message that we are willing to pay real money for a higher quality operating system. Finally, it dispels the myth that Linux users are cheapskates and self-filters those users who would buy a Linux laptop just to pirate Windows.

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gfxguy (98788) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @02:18PM (#42132443)

    But I AM a cheapskate. If I really wanted one of these, I'd buy the Windows version and then install Linux on it. Make it dual boot and get the best of both worlds.

    Of course, $1,500 is more than I'm willing to spend on a laptop at all anyway.

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dotancohen (1015143) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @02:23PM (#42132529) Homepage

    But I AM a cheapskate. If I really wanted one of these, I'd buy the Windows version and then install Linux on it. Make it dual boot and get the best of both worlds.

    Of course, $1,500 is more than I'm willing to spend on a laptop at all anyway.

    Then stop already. Do you want to show Dell that there really exists demand for Linux from the factory? Then pay the measly $50. It will be worth it for yourself in the long run.

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @02:30PM (#42132621) Homepage

    Mostly because you want a crap toy and not a real tool. If you make money on your laptop, you buy the good stuff. It's why I have and XPS and a macbook.

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by geekboybt (866398) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @02:38PM (#42132741)

    From what I understand regarding Dell's support practices, these laptops include ProSupport. ProSupport is allowed to deviate from the scripts and help you solve the problem.

    YMMV.

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LVSlushdat (854194) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @02:51PM (#42132953)

    Then do it yourself. And then order that laptop instead. Good luck.

    That's what I always do... Never owned any laptops besides Dells, won't buy any besides Dells.. their corporate models that is,.. When I feel the need to refresh my current laptop, which is a Latitude D620, I go to the Dell Outlet, find a "scratch&dent" of the model I want, and buy it.. Usually priced about
    20% below the same model from "build-to-order"... On arrival, the hard drive is pulled and stored with the un-EULA'ed Windows install intact, and another
    320-500GB SATA drive is installed, and Mint Linux gets installed on it.. The drive pull is incase theres a warrantee issue during the warantee period.. I pull the linux drive, slap the Windows drive back in to allow all the diags they have you run. After the warantee period, the windows drive gets wiped and reused.. Been doing this for myself and friends for about 5 years.. It used to be Ubuntu until the Unity turd was shoved down Ubuntu users throats, now Mint is the OS-of-choice... Never had ANY driver problems with Mint on any Dell Latitude I've installed it on, BUT upon my first clean install of Ubuntu 12.04 on a Latitude D620 with the Broadcomm wifi, which by the way worked perfectly first-time/everytime under Ubuntu 10.04, the wifi driver showed loaded in an lsmod, but network-manager did not indicate the wifi stuff was loaded.. Went to Mint (Maya), and once again, worked perfectly immediately.. Having been a loyal Ubuntu-ite since 7.04, I strongly believe Canonical/Ubuntu has truly jumped the shark.. Mint for me and mine from here on out...

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Thursday November 29, 2012 @03:12PM (#42133229) Journal

    Dell did a lot of work to make sure drivers were solid. Its not cheap to make a laptop have a perfect out of the box experience.

    Exactly. What people don't realize is that to provide a good experience for end users, putting Linux (any distro) on a computer entails more work for the manufacturer than just installing Windows and letting Microsoft sort out the hardware compatibility issues.

    Really? Because if you just pick chipsets that tend to work out of the box--AMD or Intel graphics, Intel wireless (Broadcom too, with firmware), most on-board sound and ethernet, etc etc etc... basically, anything fairly common--it JUST FUCKING WORKS. People have been installing Linux on Linux-doesn't-work-on-this-says-the-manufacturer hardware for years and it just works.

    The last time I had a hardware problem with a laptop, it was an old 1999 HP laptop that had a bad BIOS with an incorrect ACPI table; I patched the Linux kernel driver to carry the correct table (Microsoft's driver did this too), but eventually just found the (erroneous) table in a BIOS dump and hex-edited it to the correct value, then flashed it onto my bios. Those days are long gone; things just work these days.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen

Working...