Dell is ashamed of its Ubuntu-powered laptops

My laptop was slow while running my chain and ball KDE 4, and also got some things broken recently (e.g., battery, screen hinges), so I decided to buy a new one last week before it leaves me stranded. And soon enough I realized that I had two options:

  • Buy it in a place where every single computer ships with Windows, so that I could claim a refund. I didn’t care about the money: I just wanted to mess with that kind of vendors and file a lawsuit if I didn’t get it on good terms, to encourage people to do the same thing and thus contribute to do away with the Windows Tax.
  • Purchase it from a Linux pre-installed vendor, to support them. Even if they pre-installed a freedom-trampling system like Windows, it’d be good to show them that Freedomware worths it.

I liked both options alike, so I based my decision on the computer specs and costs, not on the vendor/manufacturer.

I decided to get a Dell XPS M1330, one of the two Ubuntu-powered computers that I remembered Dell sells in Spain. So I visited dell.es/ubuntu and was surprised to find just a couple of netbooks! Change of plans; now I’ll have to get it with Windows and claim a refund, I told myself.

So the first step was to get a proof that I was imposed the operating system when I bought the laptop. Sales representatives were available for a chat, so I asked them how could I get a Dell XPS M1330 without Windows. The surprising answer was that it was available with Ubuntu and pointed me to configure2.euro.dell.com/dellstore/! Plans changed one more time; back to the original plan, get it with Linux.

I obviously asked why it wasn’t listed on dell.es/ubuntu. The sales rep said that s/he didn’t know why and that s/he will forward my query to the relevant department. I bought the laptop with Ubuntu that day and that was it.

Today, out of curiosity, I went to dell.es/ubuntu and found that it hasn’t changed! The link the sales rep provided me with the other day still works but the laptop is not listed. And the same happens in dell.fr/ubuntu, dell.co.uk/ubuntu and dell.de/ubuntu, for example.

This can hardly be a mistake. Why the heck does Dell hide some of the few Linux-powered computers they sell now? Maybe due to threats from Microsoft? After all, it’s well-know for its monopolistic practices.

PS (April 18th @ 14:00 UTC): The link above to configure2.euro.dell.com/dellstore/ doesn’t work at times today, so here’s an screenshot if it doesn’t work for you:

PS (April 19th @ 18:30 UTC): This is an screenshot of the random error I warned about yesterday (which I took just in case), before reaching Digg.com’s front-page:

Now, almost 20 hours after reaching Digg’s front-page, the link no longer works (not even at times, as yesterday) and a better formatted page is displayed instead:

I don’t know if the different error pages actually mean something, but my point is that the link is now dead.

45 Comments Dell is ashamed of its Ubuntu-powered laptops

  1. MyLegsAreHairy

    Are these sites even advertised? It seems the only way to get to the Dell Ubuntu page is to know about it. Dell should at least put a link of the front page if they really love us and want out money.

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  3. MrN

    I believe the reason they don’t advertise them much, to many users/shoppers expecting Windows and ordering a Linux machine because they are cheaper. Then complaining because they can’t load their Tax software or like ilk. (I know.. Wine..etc… but most users are that technical.)

    For Desktop Linux to work – I want it to work – there needs to be more mainstream applications and games running on it. I would switch in a heart beat if that happened. But unfortuanly for companies to do that there has to be a larger marketshare of endusers (not IT nerds) ready.

    Dell tried, but has so far gotten burned for it. And only tried due to Vista’s less than stellar function.

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  5. Television Spy

    That’s very odd, I like Dell’s configure your computer options but I wouldn’t go with them. The customer service is horrible, and calling up the phone # to ask them for help or ask questions is so difficult they outsource to a bad company that doesn’t want to give you the time of day unless you’re going to make an order right then and there.

    Not a fan, and also I heard that certain parts are proprietary – not sure about that, but the power source is apparently proprietary – so if you need to replace it you have to go with them.

  6. Yonah

    “freedom-trampling system like Windows”

    Freedom tramping? It’s idiotic zealots like you that are probably why Dell and most other companies may eventually regret dealing with Linux to begin with. Windows gives you the freedom to run the largest selection of commercial, free, and open source software on the planet. Period. That’s why almost all computers sold today include Windows, because it’s valuable to consumers. You have choice. You can choose to purchase DRM protected media, or not. You can use Microsoft Office or Open Office. You can use IE 8 or an obsolete copy of Netscape. Nobody but YOU will get in the way. You’ve always had choice.

    But, you wouldn’t be a zealot if you didn’t use fear and lies to scare people into believing they are going the wrong way. They need to follow you. They must follow you.

  7. dirk

    i don’t understand why they hide it either. isn’t linux more popular in EU then US? all of the reports i read before seem to indicate this, so dells ubuntu program should be very popular here in EU.
    i recently also bought a laptop, i wanted to go for a dell, because they seem to be proponents of linux, but i couldn’t get it and just got a cheaper one from another brand. sale lost for dell.

  8. number 2

    They hide it because, well, they don’t want regular people buying a computer with Linux by accident and dealing with the extra costs.

    But of course, it’s always more attractive and fun to bring up retarded conspiracy theories. After all, if Linux hasn’t succeeded yet, it’s obviously because of Microsoft obscure tactics. I mean, what other reason could there be? It has to be that.

  9. Fedr

    - lack of applications. Firefox is a trainwreck, OpenOffice debugging is practically non-existing now all the gloss and polish has finished. Gimp is often compared to Photoshop when in reality it’s Paint with layers on Linux. That’s about it for the apps.
    – Ubuntu isn’t granny-proof and requires CLI to manage/install software
    – Canonical forces updates on a 6 month base, meaning that you risk bringing in unstabilities – Linux desktops are probably the only platforms which break apps when updating a version. Yes, you can disable “automatic updates” but last time I checked it didn’t work – my auto updates were disabled and Ubuntu was updating and upgrading.
    – poor multimedia support, which becomes haphazard with updates
    – reduced battery time: I’ve replaced Ubuntu by Vista on a dozen laptops/netbooks over the past months. One person claimed that he got longer battery time on a full charge, after asking the other people it became clear he was correct. So I checked on my Fujitsu-Siemens laptop and got 35 minutes longer on Vista than on Ubuntu
    – lack of choice: there’s far more software choice on windows than on Ubuntu. The amount of FOSS on windows is a few magnitudes larger and much stabler

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  11. John

    I’m sorry I have to leave a reply to Fedr’s comments.

    Firefox is not “a trainwreck”. 38% of European computer users use Firefox, so it can’t be that bad. Source http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2009/03/firefox-3-marketshare-exceeds-internet-explorer-7-in-europe.ars

    “Gimp is often compared to Photoshop when in reality it’s Paint with layers on Linux”. GIMP is GIMP, no more, no less. While it may not be as good as Photoshop, it is a heck of a lot cheaper and provides more functionality than many photography and graphic applications.

    “Ubuntu isn’t granny-proof and requires CLI to manage/install software”. I know many “grannies” that find Ubuntu easier and Synaptic is in Ubuntu to install programs without a terminal required. Knowledge-giving geeks though find typing “sudo apt-get install ” is easier than “Click System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager”

    Canonical does not “force updates” every six months. Every release of Ubuntu gets 18-months of support with LTS (Long-Term Support) versions getting 3 years support on the Desktop and five years support on the Server. The user chooses to install a new distribution when one is released. Updates are still notified but are not installed automatically and updates are a GOOD THING. You want the latest code on your desktop.

    “poor multimedia support, which becomes haphazard with updates”. Video works out-of-the-box. Sound works out-of-the-box. Cameras work out-of-the-box. No installation of drivers, no compiling of drivers, no hassle. It just worked.

    “lack of choice” – There are thousands of applications available, all through an easy to use interface (No terminal knowledge required).

    I just wished others stopped reading the FUD and gave Ubuntu or any other Linux a try.

  12. Ted

    Oh, yeah, updates are a good thing… until they break the kernel and you can’t use your ubuntu computer anymore

    http://www.ubuntumini.com/2009/03/ubuntu-810-kernel-update-has-broken.html
    http://doctormo.wordpress.com/2009/04/16/ubuntu-and-dell-support-breakdown

    And yes, you have to upgrade your distro to get new versions of your applications. Insane, yeah, but that’s how it works in Linux land unless you use a rolling distro like Arch or Gentoo (and definitely those are not for your gramma)

    I’m sorry, but Linux doesn’t cut it. How many more years have to pass for Linux fans to realise it? Stop beating the dead horse.

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  14. DamnRight

    Why the heck does Dell hide some of the few Linux-powered computers they sell now?

    Easy. Dell subsidizes the price of the OEM Windows license bundling trialware with the pc. From their point of view it costs them the same to ship you the pc running either OS. So there is no ‘Windows tax’.

    Now what you have to realize is that as a foaming linux zealot you comprise an absolutely insignificant part of Dell’s business. In other words you are more trouble than you are worth, to them. They can spend half an hour on the phone with you whining about evil M$ or they can spend it negotiating an order for 500 desktops for a company.

    As hard as it might be for you to accept, normal people do not want Linux, in the same way that you don’t want an alternative firmware on the microwave oven you just bought. They don’t give a fuck, and rightly so, about your ‘freedom struggle’. They want the same OS all of their friends are using, and running the same apps. They get Ubuntu, they get something that does not work as well, doesn’t run the apps they need, they are wholly unfamiilar with. Ergo they return the PC.

    Dell has very thin margins. A single support incident under warranty or a return mean that Dell lost money on that machine.

    Now couple this with a few insane, culted zealots trying to bait them into providing evidence to start a fanatical, ideologically-driven lawsuit just to make a point, and you might begin to understand why no sane company wants to touch Linux/Ubuntu with a 10ft pole.

    Dell is a real company, so it has to answer to shareholders. The decision to bundle Ubuntu must make financial sense, not appease a cult’s delusions. Dell is 100% right in burying Linux as deep as they can in the site, so that only the real zealots can get it by phoning sales, just as you did.

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  16. Raits

    @Fedr
    1. Both Firefox and OpenOffice work fine, infact I use OpenOffice on my windows partition as well. I do agree with you about Gimp though, it’s a train wreck.
    2. Ubuntu should be far easier to use for the ‘grannies’, I don’t agree with John about using Synaptic though since ‘Add/Remove’ should be what the non-tech savvy people should be using to find their hardware. If you can’t install using that(it has comments and a rating system + the program is downloaded from a repository without any further action from the user required) then i don’t see how they could ever install anything on a windows machine. You would only need to use the CLI for some very specific software which I don’t really see a ‘granny’ using.
    3. LTS – Long Term Support releases won’t even notify you of a newer version of the operating system until the next LTS version comes out. I know this because I needed to choose the option in the managers options before it would even suggest it so you are completely wrong about the 6 month compulsory update. LTS does still get other updates(as does any windows version) that fix security issues or other problems. The update goes even further as it even checks the software you have installed via add/remove and updates that(you can still opt not to), i would like to see a windows version that does that? As for Linux being the only platform that breaks programs when it is updated: Vista had its share of problems when it came out, programs not working, faulty drivers, system freezes. So I don’t get where you got that idea.
    4. John already mentioned most things.
    5. I would agree that battery time suffers somewhat on Linux, for me the difference is about 10 minutes of Ubuntu 8.10
    6. Wouldn’t say there’s a lot more choice on windows than on Linux, but there certainly are far more well known and well adopted/polished products.

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  21. Bryan

    Thanks for the article.

    @Windows “zealots”
    I understand that you like Windows. I got it. I like Windows too! Albiet, mostly for the apps/games.
    It makes sense to me that Dell wouldn’t care about supporting Linux… Most people are addicted to the GUI and their favorite applications, not to mention that the FUD about OSS has certainly spread well. In fact, when somebody I know heard about Linux, he asked, “What’s Linux?” Everybody seems to think that it’s a hacker’s tool and used by terrorists. Not to mention unstable and anti-user-friendliness.
    The truth is, I put Ubuntu Intrepid on my Mom’s Dell computer, and I have had NO stability problems OR crashes AT ALL. In fact, it is more stable and speedy than Windows.
    As for hardware, I had GPU acceleration, sound, and everything else, working out-of-the-box. It even seems to support my hardware better. It uses about 150-200MB of RAM, and 4-5GB of HDD space, a hair more than XP, and considerably less than Vista, which uses all of my 768MB RAM, and 16GB space.
    I enjoy GNU/Linux because:
    1. Stability
    2. Flexibility (Don’t like something? Anything? Everything? You can change it, if you want)
    3. Ease of adding programs/games
    4. Wealth of free programs/games
    5. Ease of use (some things “make more sense”)
    6. NO VIRUSES!!! (I, personally, have been infected several times before my switch to Linux, and I have yet to know of anyone who hasn’t had a virus on their Windows box)
    7. Updates seem to improve stability (unless you use KDE 4.1.xx ;) )

    That’s just my opinion. DON’T take it as fact. Also, there is no “best” OS. It’s all user preference. Each of the three (Win, OSX, Linux) have their ups and downs.

    What’s your opinion?

  22. brknhands

    I use linux for lots of things nad think it is good unless you …

    1. are handicapped and need speech recognition.

    there is no general purpose speech recognition package available. all the s/r packages available in linux (sphinx etc) are for IVR applications.

    2. audio input management is non existant.

    on 8.10, I can not select between the built in audio and my usb mic. to be fair, windows does not do a very good job at this either but windows does it better than linux.

  23. Spanky

    Dell is just doing what every good capitalist does: what their Owners tell them to do. Free market? competition?? it doesn’t exist. just another illusion.

  24. nfblazzzzer

    Im replying to fedr also…. and I am definitely not a Linux Zealot (yet..at least…..tho..my usage in Linux has jumped righteously…so i guess im getting there….and im hyped about 9.04 coming in 3 days)

    Im not gonna bullshit you … yes Ubuntu is a good distro tho for common acceptance by the general population its prolly gonna be really hard cuz you are not independent of Windows. I still have to log on to Vista every now and again because of certain programs that work better/only in Windows…like IDM and Firefox. Ubuntu itself is pretty good as I use it about jsut as much as I use Windows..in fact Im typing this from Ubuntu right now…..I could say I spend alot of days on this….although this wasnt always so if you were to look at my now cluttered Ubuntu desktop you would see it took some effort with all the extra software i had to install for Linux…general stuff that didnt come included…and alot of the Linux books I downloaded and read or will read. It took some effort….not too mention all this stuff about it working right out of the box didnt work for my computer when the first distro i installed was Hardy Heron and that didnt have support for my wireless…and the main thing was my screen resolution was wrong and made it unusable. Though, the month I downloaded it was the month 8.10 came out…which I was aware of so …a month later I upgraded and it fixed those issues. I did by the computer in August of that year btw which could have been the issue and as you see is why we need to stay up-to-date…to resolve issues…..anyway sorry for the digression lemme get back on topic with your list.

    – lack of applications. Firefox is a trainwreck, OpenOffice debugging is practically non-existing now all the gloss and polish has finished. Gimp is often compared to Photoshop when in reality it’s Paint with layers on Linux. That’s about it for the apps.

    I agree Firefox sucks in Ubuntu….its practically unusable for me. I dont know what it is. The main thing is that there are plenty of alternatives. Like I use Swiftfox which is alot better for me…and it allows me to use most of my extensions. I will say tho i havent bothered trying those “tweaks/fixes” reccommend by others as far as im concerened it should work out of the box.

    – Ubuntu isn’t granny-proof and requires CLI to manage/install software

    That is also true….. I never thought about that. Fairly often you can find me in CLI. Though for the most part simple stuff yout Granny should be doing can be done from the GUI.

    – Canonical forces updates on a 6 month base, meaning that you risk bringing in unstabilities – Linux desktops are probably the only platforms which break apps when updating a version. Yes, you can disable “automatic updates” but last time I checked it didn’t work – my auto updates were disabled and Ubuntu was updating and upgrading.

    As I stated earlier…updating is good. It provides better user experience most of the time. It also updates the system to take advantage of new technological finds and is just overall good. In fact Vista upgrades all the time…usually that is automatic…you have to turn that off…I’ve never had ubuntu auto upgrade anything without my permission. In fact it PROMPTS YOU FOR YOUR PASSWORD!…if you want to update.

    – poor multimedia support, which becomes haphazard with updates
    Poor multimedia support is a lie… it has great support….in fact it could play videos in the crappy Totem frontend for gstreamer that VLC on my Windows couldnt. The only problem is that for alleged-legality reasons Ubuntu doesnt include the codecs automatically which makes it a hazard for those without internet connection…as it was for me when I first installed it…cuz I was and still am in iraq currently.

    – reduced battery time: I’ve replaced Ubuntu by Vista on a dozen laptops/netbooks over the past months. One person claimed that he got longer battery time on a full charge, after asking the other people it became clear he was correct. So I checked on my Fujitsu-Siemens laptop and got 35 minutes longer on Vista than on Ubuntu

    I actually get 20-30 mins in my Ubuntu than my Vista….even though I’ve put Vista on power saver mode…if I dont have it plugged in it dies rather quickly. Not too mention I read an article on the forums about undervolting my laptop..which is purported to give even longer battery life. Also, one of my linux books i downloaded gave instructions on how to reduce hard-drive spin times.

    – lack of choice: there’s far more software choice on windows than on Ubuntu. The amount of FOSS on windows is a few magnitudes larger and much stabler

    Of course there would be much more choice on the OS that hold a larger market share. Though, I dont know explicitly to what your refering to but I have found most of the software you need for a typical use has an equivalent in Linux….. sometimes these are even better or sometimes you can find software that you cant find in Windows. I know software in linux has taught me more about CLI and text-file parsing than I would have ever learned in Windows….which is a plus to me if I stay interested in getting in programming.
    Not to mention alot of the CLI programs in the the shell are actually pretty cool and allow alot more control over your computer or simply give more information.

  25. guy lafleur

    DELL took 8 weeks to send me my Dell Mini this winter. My friend got his XP one in 10 days and he put Mandriva on it

    Dell got rid of their stores in Canada and now have big visible stands/counters in the big retail chains like Best Buy and FutureShop and you CAN NOT get anything with Linux.
    When pressed (and I mean really pressed) a salesman might tell you that you can buy it online.

    I cant say Im impressed by Dell.

    And there definitely is a bigger picture here.
    From July 2008 to after Xmas, you could find Linux netbooks in the big 4 retail chains with the Acer One being found everywhere.
    Well, you could find them when they had them in stock.
    You see, they would receive a dozen netbooks per store, sell them out in a day or two and then youd have to try your luck in 2-3 weeks. Which is what happened to my niece who wanted an Acer One in October. It was sold out everywhere and we finally lucked out a fwe weeks later.
    But since January, nothing.
    Linux netbooks have all disappeared yet they were so popular that they couldnt keep them in stock.
    Why is something that is always sold out all of a sudden taken off?
    Well, go into the retail stores and you will notice that they also sell ‘protection’ plans. So instead of paying 280$ for my nieces netbook, I could have bought the 80-90$ more expencive XP version (with an 8 yr old OS) and then paid between 100 to 150$ for 1yr antivirus and maybe some malware protection.

    Add up the cost of the XP difference and the protection racket and it would have costed me more almost like the cost as for another Linux based netbook.

    And yes, i saw people at Staples and Best Buy pay for those. Throw in our canadian 15% sales tax and youre talking about 600$

    One thing I have to add:
    I have many friends who got Linux netbooks on the condition I do the tech support (trust me, its not a fraction of the time doing it for XP machines which I dont do anymore. You want free tech support? Install Linux) and almost all have commented on teh fugly Ubuntu desktop, most particularly Gnome.
    Having done many installs at Lugfests and for friends and family, I can say from personal experience that people crossing over to Linux from Windows prefer KDE by a 4 to 1 margin so why would you want to get people to cross over using a DE that was much more different than waht people are used to?
    People didnt like the depressing default look of the Mini 9 because it looked like ‘some old WIndows 95 or 98′ as many commented and ugly color scheme didnt helpe but mainly because it was too different to what they have done their whole life. Since 90% of people have used WIndows most of their lives and about 5% use Mac, which desktop do you think would logically be easier to get people to change?

    I’ve installed Mandriva 2009 w/KDE4.2 (which is the first one I found ready for mom and pop)
    and PCLINUXOS 2009 w/ KDE3.5 on about 8 of them and everyone loves it.

  26. SPM

    There is only one plausible explanation for this – a Microsoft-Dell OEM cartel agreement to keep Linux from selling while giving the impression that Linux doesn’t sell well because of customer demand. In return Dell gets special pricing and rebates on Windows.

    There is simply no other sensible explanation!

  27. _khAttAm_

    I think thats because some Windows users may just opt for one with Ubuntu thinking it is one of the cool proggies for Windows and end up with an OS that wud not run their fav win games.

  28. jojo

    I really don’t think the Linux community will ever get it. It’s an operating system and spoken about with an agenda. At least PETA has pictures of sad eyes of polar bear cubs. You sound like nuts and speak like nuts with way too much venom. It’s a piece of software that costs most people less than $100 one time over several years. It’s really hard to get worked up over since Windows works fine. It’s cheap. Why does no one care about Linux? No one goes beyond the basement to push it nicely and normally. No nice normal guys run a free course at the local HS like artists do with drawing or photography. It’s just faceless smug trolls yelling crap like Windoze..epic fail! A guy in a basement is an epic win?. really? Really??? Compared to Microsoft. You all are proposing a lateral move at best with a vengeance to save $25 a year? Can the average person see youtube better? No. Type this this blog easier..no.

    If Linux ever takes off it will be ’cause a normal group of people present it nicely and reasonably to other people. It won’t be anything any one who is here does. That’s for certain. Ever see the guy who offers a free disc to learn how to use Vista on TV? Or e-bay or excell… or all those programs? Nice normal guy with simple practical reasons to try things. Get it? HA! Nope.

  29. Jose_X

    I’m in the US. I google Dell. I go to their site. I click at top on “FOR HOME”. Next page I click on left side on “Desktop PCs”. The page after that on the left near the top has an Operating System section with Ubuntu Linux. Near the bottom, still on the left side, you get “PC Operating Systems” and there is clearly a selection for “Open-Source PCs”. Any of those links takes you to Ubuntu systems. There are a great many other links around there which I did not follow. True, I would bump into Windows a lot. In fact, the Linux options are very few. You can’t customized off Windows in the other systems I tried.

    It’s clear they aren’t a Linux shop, but they provide something that appeared to be priced acceptably.

  30. Callum

    @JoJo: I bought Ubuntu Dell XPS M1330 and Inspiron 1525N laptops for both my businesses here in the UK. one is IT, one is engineering. In terms of software cost: it isn’t just $100 for us.

    Because we require networking, office package, graphics, CAD and a whole host of other tools – the standard Linux distribution includes these – whereas, because of the weak UK pound Sterling, a full copy of MS Office costs us over $500 (equivalent) per licence. That’s before we start at the other applications: Photoshop CS4 is nearly $900 (equivalent) and we only use 50% maximum of its functionality. We use file networking, so the full version of Windows Vista would be required – that’s another few hundred.

    Another benefit is that we do not get virii and the software keeps itself up to date. They require very little maintenance and I don’t need a specific Linux admininistrator.

    So, you see, in terms of cost and functionality – we are saving $thousands on licence prices alone FOR EACH MEMBER OF STAFF. That means I can pay them more, take more profit and ride out the recession.

    I’m not exactly happy that they’ve taken down the XPS M1330 from the dell uk site – however, whenever there is cockup & conspiracy you’ll probably find there is nothing sinister in this.

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  32. Graham

    I’ve stopped buying or using any versions of Windows and use Linux as my OS of choice. The reason is that I simply got fed up of wasting countless hours re-installing/ patching/ dealing with virus and spamware related problems. A typical example was a family friend who is in his 60’s. He uses his PC for business email, some spreadsheet work, browsing and wordprocessing. Having spent donkey’s years working with computers I am (a lot of you will identify with this) source of permanent, free, 24/7 advice and technical support. This guy doesn’t do much with his machine and his lack of worldly knowledge regarding the opening of emails with attachments has caused me hours of work getting his machine to work. I can’t tell you how many times his internet connection has been hijacked over the years. He’s no fool, mind, and the last time he mistook a piece of malware masqerading as a genuine UPS email, I told him that I simply couldn’t support him any longer. Life is just too short. I told him that I was going to install Linux Ubuntu and that he would be free from all these problems (fingers crossed, admittedly). SInce then, over two years have passed and there has not been a single issue, no internet hijacking, no incredibly slow boot times, nothing at all that could be considered detrimental has occured. I do realise that many users have significant commercial and technical demands to make of their PCs and that Linux can be a difficult path to tread (Accounting software for example). However, for many users, simply having a system that works, is extremely unlikely to be compromised, offers peace of mind and just lets them get on with their computing, is worth its weight in gold. It certainly is for me. I refuse to support Windows anymore and life is just so much easier.

  33. Paulo Matos

    Just had this chat with Dell UK:
    11:01:38 Customer Paulo Matos
    Initial Question/Comment: Can I buy a Dell XPS M1330 with Ubuntu or without any OS installed? I don’t want to run windows!
    11:01:48 System System
    You are now being connected to an agent. Thank you for using Dell Chat
    11:01:48 System System
    Connected with Avinash_K_Kumar
    11:02:00 Customer Paulo Matos
    Hello
    11:02:03 Agent Avinash_K_Kumar
    Thank you for contacting dell chat sales. This is Avinash K. K, your sales advisor. My email address is avinash_k_kumar@dell.com
    11:02:10 Agent Avinash_K_Kumar
    In order to serve you better, may I have your telephone number & email address, just in case of disconnection i can either call you or email you back.
    11:02:23 Customer Paulo Matos
    Thanks Avinash.
    11:02:28 Customer Paulo Matos
    email pocmatos@gmail.com
    11:02:33 Customer Paulo Matos
    mobile 07838060655
    11:02:53 Agent Avinash_K_Kumar
    let me check
    11:03:21 Customer Paulo Matos
    I am trying to find a laptop which I can purchase without windows. I want either Linux preinstalled or no OS at all. I don’t want to pay for an OS I am not going to use.
    11:03:48 Customer Paulo Matos
    I wanted an XPS M1330 but they seem all to come with windows… at least in the online configuration system.
    11:05:58 Agent Avinash_K_Kumar
    XPS m 1330 cannot be purchased without OS
    11:06:29 Customer Paulo Matos
    Can is be purchased with Ubuntu?
    11:06:35 Agent Avinash_K_Kumar
    no
    11:06:51 Customer Paulo Matos
    So, only windows?
    11:07:03 Agent Avinash_K_Kumar
    yes
    11:07:18 Customer Paulo Matos
    ok, I will try to find some other laptop with Linux then.
    11:07:23 Customer Paulo Matos
    thank you very much for your time.
    11:07:27 Customer Paulo Matos
    have a good day.
    11:07:33 Agent Avinash_K_Kumar
    my pleasure.. anything else?

  34. sharkbait

    One thing that I never seem to see anyone mention on any Linux debate in response to the oh-so-annoying question “If Linux is so great, why isn’t it popular?”
    I completely fail to realize why nobody realizes this:
    Linux doesn’t have the commercial support that Windows/OS X have! Linux is mainly developed by VOLUNTEERS, most of whom have time-consuming jobs. And as for what commercial support it does have: Canonical is hoping to turn a profit soon. Bill Gates is worth $40 billion.
    Microsoft and Apple have the money to advertise, while Linux doesn’t. And Linux would have more commercial support if companies and their stockholders weren’t so afraid of short-term profit margin declines, especially in this economy.
    However, more companies (i.e. Google) are starting to support Linux, but not at the level of Microsoft and Apple. Operating Systems take a lot of work and time; that’s why Linux wasn’t “ready” when Microsoft and Apple got their footholds in the computer market.

    And as for the “Waa, Ubuntu doesn’t support my random, obscure, bleeding-edge piece of hardware” comments: Let’s not forget that no operating system is perfect… But once it’s supported (and it will be in time), I don’t have to install any drivers via CD that come with loads of crapware (i.e. HP printers). Loads of hardware work literally out-of-box (I just printed from a Live CD; can anything else do that?) and loads more are supported by a simple WYSIWYG interface.

    And as for the original article: Dell is a large company and has to have a large and very organized structure to its system (which includes all its documentation and, of course, STAFF), which probably only included Windows before. Now these changes are requiring a complete refresh. It’s going to take time.

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  36. Luca Botti

    Hi,

    strange things happen. If you look at dell.it/ubuntu , you get a choice of freedos or ubuntu shipped machines, among which you can find the xps 1330.

    Though I did not know about this address until reading your post

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  39. Baldemar Huerta

    WTF is the big deal? Buy the GD dell with Windows installed, then install Linux over it. Jesus H. Christ. Bunch of Obama voters in here.

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