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Dell Ships Ubuntu 7.04 PCs Today 422

javipas writes "Today by 4:00 PM CST Dell will start selling three machines with Ubuntu 7.04 pre-installed. The two desktops (XPS 410n, $899 and Dimension E520n, $599) and the notebook (Inspiron E1505n, $599) will be the first three machines with the popular Linux distribution installed by default. There is little or no price differential between the Linux and Windows models; in fact, the entry level E520 Windows desktop is cheaper. Dell has announced that they will provide hardware support, and they've created a new site devoted to giving further Linux support and updates. At the moment the offer is only available in the US."
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Dell Ships Ubuntu 7.04 PCs Today

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  • by bytesex ( 112972 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:35AM (#19251071) Homepage
    They must be mighty expensive then !
    • by ronadams ( 987516 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:43AM (#19251195) Homepage
      Nah, they just shipped one for each of the three Linux users in the common marketplace who would buy a pre-built machine.
      • by 1u3hr ( 530656 )
        One for Linus; one for RMS. Who gets the third one?
      • I thought I should hang back and let others do the initial buying, to see how well this works out and whether the hardware crashes and burns. But if everyone did that, then nobody would buy because no one would want to be first. Since I've been looking forward to getting a Linux notebook, I think it should be okay for me to be one of the first "tryer-outers". Also, hopefully this venture of Dell's into Ubuntu will be high-profile enough that if I encounter any problems, I'll scream and shout that I'm go
    • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:24PM (#19264187) Journal
      'Scuse me for topic-hopping a near-top thread, but this needs to be seen.

      Dell updated the article TFA was based on to correct a pricing typo and someone posted a followup to summarize the corrected price differences.

      If the compared boxen are actually equivalently-featured (time will tell) all the linux (suffix "n") versions are $50-$100 lower price than the Windows equivalents:


      Windows XPS 410:$899
      Ubuntu XPS 410n:$849
      ($50 less)

      Windows Dimension E520 "Versatile Multimedia": $679
      Ubuntu Dimension E520n: $599
      ($80 less)


      Windows Inspiron E1505: $699
      Ubuntu Inspiron E1505n: $599
      ($100 less)
  • Windows is cheaper than the free OS. That makes sense.
    • Re:Typical (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HistoricPrizm ( 1044808 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:38AM (#19251101)
      Makes sense if you consider the bundled software that comes with Windows that the software manufacturers pay Dell to put on the systems. And if you consider the added cost for supporting a new OS.
    • Re:Typical (Score:5, Interesting)

      by thegnu ( 557446 ) <`thegnu' `at' `'> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:39AM (#19251117) Journal

      Windows is cheaper than the free OS. That makes sense.

      I think for Linux installs they don't get revenue from Symantec's trial of the worst security suite in the world, WildTangent, Office trials, Quicken trials, video game trials, some poker, etc.

      So maybe it DOES cost less overall to install Windows.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Windows costs less than free. They have to pay you to take Windows.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bl8n8r ( 649187 )
        > So maybe it DOES cost less overall to install Windows.

        Initially, perhaps. Overall, no. Reason: Security.

        What price do you want to put on peoples bank accounts, credit cards, ss#, etc?
        One piece of malware and that initial savings turns into a vastly expensive liability.
        Phishing is bad enough. Windows helps fill in the gaps.
      • My wife use to do response rate modeling for targeted advertising for a credit card company. The response rate is really, really low. You can't afford to pay very much per impression because otherwise, the numbers don't work out. They really don't work out for a Symantec who doesn't know who the buyer is, and there is a pretty good chance that the buyer is already a customer. What Dell ought to do is label certain models as 'Linux certifed' and allow you to buy those machines without Windows and the price o
    • Windows is cheaper than the free OS. That makes sense.

      If that was the only cost difference, then it would not make sense. But I suspect the cost difference is due to the volume spread of customer support.

      As a bussiness, if you were to add support services for any OS or item, the totality of that support would have a total cost. Divide that cost by the number of customers paying for that service and you have your price. Thus more customers, equals greater volume spread of the cost, equals smaller price

    • by Toby_Tyke ( 797359 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:51AM (#19251303) Journal
      There was a story on Ars Technica a while back (I don't have the link, sorry) where Michael Dell was doing a question and answer session, and someone asked him how much extra they would have to pay to get a PC without "Craplets". The figure he gave was $50 - $60.

      Now, I don't know how much Dell pay for a vista license, and I don't suppose we will be finding out any time soon, but if it's less than $50 dollars (which would not be a shock) then the Linux machines being more expensive makes sense. If I had to guess though, I think they will probably sell for the same price as the Windows machines.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by lukas84 ( 912874 )
        For us, as an IT service provider, a single license of Vista Home Basic costs 105.50 CHF, that's 85 US$.

        We do not have any special rebates, so that's just the _STANDARD_ price. The chance that it costs Dell a bit more than half the sum we have to pay is very likely.
      • Value of including craplets > cost of Windows.

        Therefore, there is business case for MS to give away craplet-infested Windows install disks.

        I don't know whether to be amused, intrigued, or run screaming in horror.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by miscz ( 888242 )
      How smart of Dell, who will buy Ubuntu computer when he can for the same price have Vista license? You get all the dll files you might need for Wine, W32codecs, etc and can install Ubuntu by yourself since Dell doesn't modify Ubuntu install in any way AFAIK.
    • Windows is cheaper than the free OS. That makes sense.

      It makes perfect sense when you look at the realities of the market.

      There are enormous economies of scale in the mass consumer market. Dell can contract for the entire annual output of a half-dozen Asian OEMs - image these consumer laptops with Windows - with perfect confidence that every one will be sold.

      Even Walmart couldn't significantly undercut OEM Windows on price. Linux sales were disappointing. Maintaining a dual inventory and support structu

  • Microsoft pays a heavy subsidy to lock people in. So it costs you negative money at first, but believe me there is a positive cost at the end that more than makes up for it, or else they wouldn't do it. Open source is the same price the whole time: free.
    • No that Linux is shipping from a major seller, can we now begin to complain about the Linux Tax on a PC?

      "We have to charge a few dollars more because we had to take more time to create the Linux config. Not all of the hardware was supported."
      • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )
        Early adopters always pay the higher price.....

        Anyone want a high definition movie player right now? Sure. But the majority will wait until prices drop (and the "war" is settled).

        This is just more of the same. The first people are paying for the research in which parts work well in Linux, setting up the support deal, training the techs, setting up the new website, etc. After the early adopters "pay" for these things, the price can drop.

    • by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:40AM (#19251139)
      Don't forget that at the moment, Windows is also cheaper to support. That cost is built into a Dell, since they provide support for 'free' after you buy the PC. They charge for that up front.

      One would initially think that only those who know linux will buy one of these with Kubuntu on it, but as more techs convince family and friends to buy them, support costs will rise.

      I've never bought a brand-new laptop because I don't really need one, and it's always been a hassle to guarantee Linux will work on it, before I buy it. For only $600 though, I'm seriously considering one of these. It'll depend on specs and if they sell out too quickly. We'll see.
      • by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:43AM (#19251185)
        I just looked... The Inspiron E1505 with Windows starts at $699... That makes the Linux version $100 cheaper. Very nice.
      • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )
        sell out too quickly

        I don't see them "selling out". It's basically the same machine they sell for Windows but with a set of options limited to those that work well with Linux. And different software, but they have "infinite" copies of that.

        Dell has pretty tight controls over their supply chain. I don't think they would put these models up for sale until they were sure that they could keep the parts flowing in.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Belial6 ( 794905 )
        I'm not sure I entirely buy the 'Windows is also cheaper to support.' argument. Correct me if I am wrong, but Dell only supplies support for the hardware don't they? If they think it is software, don't they tell you to reinstall Windows? If so, then support should actually be cheaper for Ubuntu, as they wouldn't need to convince the person to erase their other software. I think that the typical Ubuntu support call should go something like this:

        Dell: Dell support, what seems to be the problem?
    • Microsoft pays a heavy subsidy to lock people in


      It's all the other software vendors apart from MS who pay for their adware/crapware/scareware to be on the Dell Desktop.
    • by mgiuca ( 1040724 )
      I really like this explanation.
    • 3rd party software (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dj245 ( 732906 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:46AM (#19251231) Homepage
      Dell pays for Microsoft software just like everybody else. They don't pay very much, but they still pay a little for it. The difference is the 3rd party stuff. The Norton/McAfee third party trials. The AOL links on the desktop. The Nero trials and all the other stuff you either uninstall or wipe with your own installation of XP/what-have-you. *Those* are the sort of things that Dell gets kickbacks on.
      • by Tuoqui ( 1091447 )
        Uhh WTF? I thought the default installation of Windows XP spit out stupid things like AOL Trial links on the desktop? Dell isnt unique in that regard.
        • Uhh WTF? I thought the default installation of Windows XP spit out stupid things like AOL Trial links on the desktop? Dell isnt unique in that regard.

          Please tell me you are being facetious. Either that or you have never installed an OEM WinXP.

      • Write crapware for Linux. Pay Dell to install it.

        Quick, let's all start Linux crapware companies!

        (actually not a bad idea to be first in the "market" for this, if you can pay the bills long enough for desktop Linux to really take off -- or just do a whole negative-cost distribution for OEMs)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dave420 ( 699308 )
      Score: 5, Usual bollocks

      Microsoft doesn't pay a subsidy. That's ridiculous. Windows is cheaper for Dell as the support infrastructure is already there, and has been there for years and years. A new OS on their line means they obviously have to spend more in getting more staff/callcentres/training/etc. to support it, hence the increased price. It wouldn't make much sense for them to charge non-Ubuntu users for this cost, as that would raise the prices of other lines for no apparent reason. Open source
    • by KWTm ( 808824 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:25AM (#19252857) Journal
      I've been waiting for this day, so I plan to buy the Ubuntu laptop in the next week or two.

      At first, the base price may be more expensive than the Windows laptop, but:
      1. probably not by much
      2. In the long run, the Windows laptop may be more expensive when I have to pay more for add-ons that are on the Linux Hardware Compatibility List []. (You know, like buying a wireless card that works.) Even if I end up wiping the system and reinstalling some other Linux distro, I want to know that the hardware works with Linux.
      3. Even if the add-on itself is pretty cheap, I've found that often I will end up buying a number of the cheap add-ons before I find one that's Linux compatible, so that effectively I've spent more money than actual list price (of the peripheral) to get it working. For example, I've got some webcams lying around that I ended up giving to the wife for her notebook. (She told me, "I only need one, you know...")
      4. Most importantly, my time is valuable to me. I don't want to have to spend the time messing around with a Linux distro trying to see which video driver is going to work for me. Hey, don't get me wrong: I like tinkering just as much as the next guy, but in the meantime I want to have a working system. I'd rather tinker to see what I can make even better, rather than tinker to get something working.
        In the past, I have proudly emerged from the entrails of my machine saying, "Yesss! What a breakthrough! Am I a geek or what? After countless hours of Googling, downloading drivers, messing with the hardware, and writing my own script files, my computer now finally works properly!" Meanwhile, my wife's machine has worked from the beginning. Well, been there, done that; now I want to move on. I want it to just work.
      5. The above referred to my willingness to pay more to receive a machine that works when I receive it, but I also get a future benefit by joining the critical mass that Dell creates by selling this machine. Specifically, since there is only one notebook (Inspiron E1505) from a major vendor that comes with Linux, I can be pretty sure that when someone comes out with something in the future for a notebook running Linux (say gRoadMaps or something), the author or the community will make sure it runs on that notebook. The same might not be true for some cheaper notebook with some weird chipset.
      6. Dell responded to us as a community. We should support them, not just to reward Dell, but to show the rest of the corporate world that, yes, it is worthwhile supporting Linux. I'm not just referring to Dell's competitors, but manufacturers of Linux-INcompatible [] hardware (WinModems, anyone?).
      7. You know we'll set up some Ubuntu system for the relatives so we don't have to do tech support for all their malware complaints? Well, this is the hardware equivalent. My dad's laptop is getting old and is starting not to meet his needs. If I'm happy with this Inspiron/Ubuntu package, I'll get one for my dad. Maybe then finally we can have hassle-free GPG-encrypted email and tunneled VNC for tech support. (Currently I refuse to support his Windows laptop.)
      8. As a sibling poster noted, perhaps the Linux notebook is cheaper ($600 vs $699 for Windows?)

      So, when I tally it up, it's definitely to my self-interest to get the Dellbuntu system, even if it looks more expensive at first.
  • OK fanboys... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by monk.e.boy ( 1077985 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:38AM (#19251105) Homepage

    .. you've been asking for this for, let me think, for ever.

    It's time to stop your moaning! And time to start your credit cards!!

    Put your money where your mouth is :-)


    • It's time to stop your moaning! And time to start your credit cards!!

      I actually do need a new notebook, but there'll be a blizzard in Hell before I buy a low-end notebook from Dell. Too many problems with clients' notebooks and my sister's Inspiron to feel comfortable with that.


      • by mw13068 ( 834804 )
        You know, nobody is gonna force you to buy one, right?

        Personally, I'm happy about this news because my employer buys all desktops and notebooks from Dell (since our Uni has special arrangements with Dell or something). I'm glad I'll be able to order my next office computer and tell them to get one with Ubuntu. (which I'll erase to install Debian Stable).

        • Personally, I'm happy about this news because my employer buys all desktops and notebooks from Dell

          Hey, if your employer buys garbage and is willing to handle the warranty claims, hassle, and aggravation, good for him. BTW- Dell desktops are fine -- I just have had major issues with their low-end notebooks in the past.


    • by Virak ( 897071 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:46AM (#19251227) Homepage
      If nobody buys these, I seriously doubt they'll keep them around. And if Dell drops them due to lack of demand (in real life, not on the Internet), Linux will end up farther from getting on the average person's desktop than before.
    • It's time to stop your moaning! And time to start your credit cards!!

      Put your money where your mouth is :-)

      I have money! It's right here!!!

      *waves money*

      But, I'm in Canada, you insensitive clods!

      Seriously, I know this is starting to get pedantic, but any chance we could get a notebook with a WSXGA+ display? I have to use Eclipse, you see - and its monster real estate. I can be talked down to WXGA+.

      Please, Mr. Dell, sir.

      • any chance we could get a notebook with a WSXGA+ display?

        I don't know what their current offerings are, but my laptop (purchased one year ago) has a 17" widescreen monitor running 1920x1200 as its native resolution. Eclipse looks lovely.

        Now, this was an upgrade given as one of the "special offers" that seem to run permanently, so I'm not sure about whether you can typically get it.

        As a side note, it is an Inspiron 9400.
    • <nose in air>
      CLEARLY anyone who would use a superior OS like Linux would NEVER stoop to such an inferior vendor like DELL!
      </nose in air>

      I'm already seeing these comments. This attitude tells me that getting Dell to sell Linux boxes is more about pushing their OS onto the uneducated rubes and less about satisfying their own needs/wants.
      • I'm already seeing these comments.

        Yeah, me too.

        Of course, all the instances I've seen have been windows fanboys busy constructing straw men, or just scattering flamebait. Usually with way too much use of block caps for emphasis.

        I've not been taking them very seriously.

    • I am a fanboy. But Dell was a week late. I'd been in the market for a new laptop (old one tended to overheat, bad battery, slow, possessed of daemons of the underworlde). But asking around, I couldn't figure out when I'd actually be able to buy such a Linux laptop from Dell. I soon broke down and bought a refurbished HP from Costco.

      It came with XP, plus gigs and gigs of crapware (which were mirrored onto a restore partition for my convenience). Resize, add Ubuntu, figure out why the hell it doesn't sup
    • Agree (Score:3, Funny)

      by Mateo_LeFou ( 859634 )
      In other news, this "coming soon image" buntu?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs []

      used to be kinda different. And I made fun of it over here. []
  • Inspirons (Score:2, Informative)

    by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 )
    Why only ship their most cheaply-made, crappiest notebook with Linux? Are they trying to give Linux a bad rep. by bundling it with that kind of hardware? Dell's higher-end notebooks may be OK, but the $500-600 range Inspirons aren't on that list.


    • by mw13068 ( 834804 )
      I have an older Inspiron 6000 running Debian, and it works great. Wireless, modem, and all.
    • by rumith ( 983060 )
      I guess there are people who cannot afford a more expensive notebook, as well as people who do NOT need a more expensive notebook.
      • I guess there are people who cannot afford a more expensive notebook, as well as people who do NOT need a more expensive notebook.

        The issue isn't features. It's fragility and quality, which is lacking on the lower-end Inspirons. As far as affording a notebook, there's an abundance of good used Thinkpads for $500-750 -- why anyone would choose a new crappy Dell instead boggles the mind.


    • Re:Inspirons (Score:5, Informative)

      by d3ac0n ( 715594 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:51AM (#19251309)
      Keep in mind those are the BASE prices.

      They are basically the lost leader prices they use to "get you in the door". Once there you can still customize the laptop or desktop with any number of hardware selections, including more RAM, better processor, and larger hard drive. These machines also come with dedicated video cards, as the integrated video isn't supported very well by Ubuntu. So you are STARTING OUT with a better base model than the Windows base model. (Which also explains why the Linux laptop is more expensive than the Windows one.)

      My company has been a Dell shop for as long as I have been here, and I've become VERY familiar with Dell's setup. Keep in mind, Dell has been selling "open Source" (Free DOS) Desktops and laptops for YEARS already. Adding Ubuntu isn't THAT much of a change for them. I'd also imagine that you will find that the support package offered by Dell will actually be a Canonical support contract. This was a natural next step for Dell, and I think that all Slashdotters should get behind them. Not just with their words, but with their Dollars. I know that when it's time to replace my personal laptop (in about 6 months), I'll be going through Dell, and getting an Ubuntu Laptop.

      Good on ya' Dell!
      • Re:Inspirons (Score:4, Insightful)

        by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:55AM (#19251357)
        I know that when it's time to replace my personal laptop (in about 6 months)

        And I'll be laughing at you when I buy a better-quality used laptop for $300-400 and install Ubuntu on it.


        • Re:Inspirons (Score:5, Interesting)

          by d3ac0n ( 715594 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:16AM (#19251645)

          And I'll be laughing at you when I buy a better-quality used laptop for $300-400 and install Ubuntu on it.

          Unless you are going to be buying a used Mac Powerbook, I doubt that will be happening.

          A used notebook is going to be used, abused, and worn out. Even the much-vaunted Thinkpads are not indestructible, and the notebooks that sell at the prices you mention are going to be more than 3 years old, and completely out of date.

          I've not found the Dell laptops to be any better or worse than the competition, and I carry my laptop with me pretty much everywhere I go, so it gets plenty of abuse. It sounds to me like you just have a bug up your butt about Dell. With that I cannot help you, as no matter what I say, your obvious irrational hate of all things Dell will not allow you to take a balanced approach to this issue. It's too bad, because Dell and Ubuntu really do need our support as a community if this is going to work. Trolling Dell for personal reasons just gets in the way.

          And before you go off on me as a Dell fanboy, Keep in mind that I was hired into an already established "Dell shop". My company as a long-standing relationship with Dell, and regardless of my personal preferences, Dell is what we use. We have thousands of machines, all Dell, and I have had to work on EVERY ONE of them. I have dealt with Dell support, and I have worked with a Dell Rep. So I'm not just working on the one or two machines owned by family and friends, these boxes are my job to keep running. I have found that duty to be reasonably easy. Yes, we have had our share of lemon machines, but no more than I have run into at other places, with other makes of PC. Dell is no worse or better than any other manufacturer in regards to the general quality of their PCs, excepting perhaps Apple, but those aren't so good in a Windows software programmer shop, so I can't get them.

          Dell deserves our support. They listened to their customers, and are giving us what we wanted. They deserve to have this risk rewarded.

          • A used notebook is going to be used, abused, and worn out. Even the much-vaunted Thinkpads are not indestructible, and the notebooks that sell at the prices you mention are going to be more than 3 years old, and completely out of date.

            I've spent $220 and $350 respectively on my last two notebooks. They may be out of date, but they work fine for office stuff, on-site troubleshooting, and graphics editing. And neither of the two was particularly beat up when I bought them.

            And, BTW, where can I find a g

            • by d3ac0n ( 715594 )

              They may be out of date, but they work fine for office stuff, on-site troubleshooting, and graphics editing.

              But see, here's the thing; If I didn't care about being up to date, I'd keep my OLD laptop (which works just fine), spend $0.00 and laugh at you. But the point of getting a new laptop is to get a NEW (as in UNUSED) laptop. Why in hades would I get someone else's used laptop when I want a new, up to date one? It kind of defeats the purpose by buying a used one.

              Dell has given us the opportunity to b

            • by noewun ( 591275 )

              And, BTW, where can I find a good used Powerbook (I assume G4) for ~$400? I kind of want one again but I can't seem to find any good cheap used ones.

              Your best bet is eBay, or the forums at Mac sites such as the ones at Macnn [], which has dedicated sales forum. It can be difficult to find cheap Powerbooks, though, as people tend to love them and hang onto them.

      • Besides the actual hardware, I've never heard the Inspirons be called "sturdy"
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by sharperguy ( 1065162 )

        I agree, I will not be buying any of these, computers because I do not live in the US. However, I really hope this is a big success and leads to Dell spreading there offers to other models and countries.

        Remember, not only does this mean it is easier for new users to have a computer running Linux/ubuntu/GNU/whatever because they know the hardware will be supported and they don't have to install it etc etc etc. It will also mean more extensive hardware support in Linux because hardware manufacturers will hav

      • These machines also come with dedicated video cards, as the integrated video isn't supported very well by Ubuntu. So you are STARTING OUT with a better base model than the Windows base model. (Which also explains why the Linux laptop is more expensive than the Windows one.)

        According to TFA [], the Linux laptop is $100 LESS expensive than the Windows one. This is GREAT news (despite being an entry model). While Compaq and Lenovo have had Linux laptops, they've been more expensive than the Windows ones. Indee

    • This is still a venture and a risk for Dell. I'm surprised they included an XPS system in their initial launch.

      While there may be better Dell laptops, $600 for a guaranteed-to-work Linux laptop is pretty good; especially considering this is a major OEM backing it. If people buy these computers as much as they made it sound like they would in the Dell feedback site, then I'm sure their product offering will expand.
    • I would think two reasons:

      1. The new hardware may not have mature and stable linux drivers yet.

      2. The linux push is starting with low-end cheap equipment (ignoring the xps for a moment). 599 for a laptop with linux is a pretty smart move.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
      it's actually their $950 laptop with a rebate down to $700 for the windows model.

      they must be saving a LOT putting OSS on the machine.
  • Next to worthless (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JonasH ( 183422 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:43AM (#19251189) Homepage
    I don't see many people buying the more expensive model, just to have Ubuntu pre-installed, except maybe to make a point to Dell (very few will do this). Let's face it, the people who want Ubuntu are pretty likely to just buy the cheaper model and install Ubuntu. This might work in some distant future where people without technical knowledge want Linux, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

    I'll be happy to be proven wrong by history though.
  • by RedHat Rocky ( 94208 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:05AM (#19251499)
    Retailer has new product and it's not priced dirt bottom. That's news?

    It would be silly to introduce a new version of a product and sell it for less than an existing product.

    If it were me, I'd start with the price up a little bit for two reasons. 1, less complaining when the price goes down versus up (yes, someone will complain on a price drop!). 2, with a higher price I have a cushion in case these things start selling like hotcakes and the volume murders my margin as I burn resources to keep up.

    SOP, nothing to see here.
    • by StringBlade ( 557322 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:21AM (#19251707) Journal

      According TFA, the prices are still cheaper (except the XPS) for the Ubuntu systems as long as you compare it to an Windows Vista Home Premium configuration (vs. the Home Basic).

      It breaks down like this:

      Linux preinstalled
      E520 - $599
      E1505n (notebook) - $599
      XPS 410n - $899

      Windows Vista Home Premium preinstalled
      E520 - $679 ($369 for Home Basic)
      E1505n (notebook) - $699 (for Home Basic)
      XPS 410n - $899
      The E520 and the E1505n are both cheaper by $80-$100 compared to the Vista Home Premium Edition (though the Windows notebook is actually cheaper even for Home Basic). That's still a good deal in my view.
      • I'll reserve judgment until I actually see the thing in the Dell online store. A blog an order point ain't.
  • One minute, Microsoft make most of their money through Windows OEM sales...

    Now they're actually paying OEM's to have their software installed?

    My personal guess is that Dell know this'll be a specialist product line, and that the extra money they would've spent on buying each copy of Windows is instead going towards Michael Dells' cigar allowance...unless of course it becomes a serious product line (which it might), and then you'll see a proper roll-out.
  • Has anyone done any formal projections of how well these are expected to sell?

    What/who is the target market? From my (admittedly limited) point of view, there are only two types of users: Linux users and "everyone else". The Linux users, such as myself, already know how to install Linux, so they have no need to buy a machine with it pre-installed. Everyone else doesn't know any better, so they'll just stick with what they know (Windows) or what is most heavily advertised (again, Windows), and/or what i

  • by Simon Brooke ( 45012 ) <> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:20AM (#19251687) Homepage Journal

    We get a very mixed message. Searching Dell's UK site [] for 'Ubuntu' brings up this page [], but if you go through all the options on the online store, Linux isn't there.

    • According to the Direct2Dell blog [], the Linux ordering portion of the site won't be available until 4pm Central Standard Time (CST) (though I suspect they meant Central Daylight Time since Daylight Saving Time is in effect).
    • I feel your pain. Once I heard the news I darted onto Dell's Portugal site [] and when I search for "ubuntu" I get a "Sorry, No Results." To make matters worse, when I search for "Inspiron E1505n" on Dell's USA site I also get that "Sorry, No Results." message. So how come there are claims about Dell selling linux laptops and once we look for those products there is absolutely nothing there?

      I call shenanigans.

  • So Dell should be making about $100 more on the Ubuntu sales than on the Windows sales, on $600 revenue. If they profit 5% on the Windows machines, that's $30, so the $130 Ubuntu profit is 22% profit, or about 4.5x the profit from Ubuntu than from Windows.

    Ubuntu support might cost more to start, since the labor pool is smaller and they have to start up the operation. The open source is a mixed bag, because it sees a new release to support every 6 months, not every 5 years for Windows, though unpredictable W
  • has been there for over a month now (not sure exactly how long). this is the first i've seen it with the Ubuntu logo, though. there's still very little information there. hopefully they'll do something with it in the future.
  • I'm sure Dell still charge for a Windows licence even on these machines, rather than face the wrath of Microsoft.
  • Right. So lets see if I can sum this up:

    3kg laptop
    Same price as the Windows install
    Hardware is no more "free" than most Think Pads ( its an Intel chip set after all)

    This is not a serious attempt. You are better off trying to get a refund from your Windows OEM license. Unless the argument is that Dell's website is easier to navigate than the Ubuntu installer this is rubbish. Way to screw it up Dell...
  • Price ranges (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AncientPC ( 951874 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:48AM (#19252101)
    Dimenson E520n [] ranges from $289 - $399 with FreeDOS. Ubuntu base price is $599, difference is +$310.

    XPS 410 [] ranges from $899 - $1699 with Vista. Ubuntu base is price is $899.

    Inspiron E1505 [] ranges from $699 - $1,560 with Vista. Ubuntu base price is $599, difference is -$100.
  • My father wants to buy a notebook, and the Inspiron 1501 was ideal for him. At home, he runs already Debian (supported by me), and it gives him everything he needs. A Ubuntu notebook would have been the max.

  • by raw-sewage ( 679226 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:33AM (#19253029)

    It just occurred to me that Microsoft has been accused of abusing their monopoly power by bundling applications with their operating system. E.g., IE versus Netscape, Windows Media Player versus RealPlayer, etc. (For anyone who's not familiar with this idea: Microsoft, due to their operating system monopoly status, has an unfair advantage in the applications market.)

    Now, clearly you can build and ship an Ubuntu (or just about any other Linux distribution) machine pre-loaded with tons of free software. And that probably needs to happen to make Linux effective for the "unwashed masses".

    But, is it possible for Microsoft to take a look at this, and use it as an excuse to start forcing more 3rd party software developers out of the market? If I remember correctly, Microsoft's defense to the monopoly abuse allegations has always been something like "but these applications are part of the operating system." Dell shipping Ubuntu plus a lot of applications kind of supports Microsoft's claim (in a weird, twisted way, which I'm sure Microsoft's well-paid lawyers could use to their advantage).

  • What's the point? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cereal Box ( 4286 ) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @01:10PM (#19256007)
    I almost wonder what the point of all this is. Linux fanboys have made such a fuss about Dell and other companies shipping Linux machines, but I find it hard to believe that the "do it yourself" Linux crowd would actually even consider buying a machine that's already been built. The laptop makes sense I guess, but the desktops don't.

    Plus, for a group of people that make such a big deal about OS choice, they'd probably be likely to wipe off Ubuntu as soon as possible (if not for a newer version of Ubuntu when it's available or for their distro of choice). So why not just get the desktop with Windows? They're not more expensive, you just have to install Linux versus having it done for you.

    Yeah I know, I'm being facetious. I know this is all purely a symbolic thing. A big name company is selling Linux boxes. Woo hoo. And they're going to stop selling these Linux boxes when Linux geeks either don't buy any (because they want to build their own machines) or the Linux geeks who buy one or two boxes just to show support, well, stop buying boxes. No one outside of the Linux world would care about these machines since they can just get one that has Windows for the same price.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Krishnoid ( 984597 )
      I almost wonder what the point of all this is.

      The ability to buy freedom for +$0-$100 more than the alternative, and invest in potentially a positive feedback loop of more and more vendors attempting to make Dell buy their components, thereby improving linux compatibility across the field?

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