Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 29th Mar 2007 09:07 UTC, submitted by brewin
Hardware, Embedded Systems Dell has confirmed plans to offer Linux pre-installed on systems beyond their existing servers and Precision workstation line. Dell will provide an update in the coming weeks that includes detailed information on which systems they will offer, their testing and certification efforts, and the Linux distribution(s) that will be available.
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Yes!
by biteydog on Thu 29th Mar 2007 09:22 UTC
biteydog
Member since:
2005-10-06

With Dell in for real, the whole "tie-in" thing changes - for all customers, and all the suppliers too.

They appear to have taken on board the "community support" aspect as satisfactory (providing support must have been a possible large stumbling block) - most companies wanting more will surely have their own arrangements in place anyway.

Let's hope that the need for Linux-compliant hardware doesn't give them any problems - although if anything will spur manufacturers to make sure Linux drivers are available, this is surely it.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Yes!
by Babi Asu on Thu 29th Mar 2007 09:40 UTC in reply to "Yes!"
Babi Asu Member since:
2006-02-11

Hmm, better than nothing, after rejected by Apple to ship pre-installed OSX.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Yes!
by biteydog on Thu 29th Mar 2007 10:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Yes!"
biteydog Member since:
2005-10-06

I believe that if you want OSX pre-installed Apple make some very nice machines ;)

Reply Score: 5

Music to my ears!
by SReilly on Thu 29th Mar 2007 09:22 UTC
SReilly
Member since:
2006-12-28

...indicating that you were less concerned about a specific distribution than you are about support at the kernel level and open driver support. We are working on this too...


If they pull this off, we have ourselves leverage! That alone is a major reason for me to make my next laptop a Dell ;-)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Music to my ears!
by twenex on Thu 29th Mar 2007 09:32 UTC in reply to "Music to my ears!"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Yes indeed!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Music to my ears!
by MamiyaOtaru on Thu 29th Mar 2007 11:12 UTC in reply to "Music to my ears!"
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

support at the kernel level and open driver support

Wow. They listened. No matter what distro they chose they couldn't satisfy everyone. While they may still choose a distro to ship, at least we know we can ourselves install whatever distro we want, since they are trying for hardware with open drivers. That is certainly better than standardizing on a distro/kernel and shipping binary drivers for stuff. Kudos to Dell, they'll have my support next time I buy a machine.

Also nice to keep in mind that Linux compatible hardware is in no way Windows incompatible, so there should be no downside for the masses who use it, things will basically be the same. Huge positive for the minority, no change for the majority: can't hurt.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Music to my ears!
by Laurence on Thu 29th Mar 2007 11:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Music to my ears!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Wow. They listened. No matter what distro they chose they couldn't satisfy everyone. While they may still choose a distro to ship, at least we know we can ourselves install whatever distro we want, since they are trying for hardware with open drivers. That is certainly better than standardizing on a distro/kernel and shipping binary drivers for stuff. Kudos to Dell, they'll have my support next time I buy a machine.

Also nice to keep in mind that Linux compatible hardware is in no way Windows incompatible, so there should be no downside for the masses who use it, things will basically be the same. Huge positive for the minority, no change for the majority: can't hurt.


Good point
(why doesn't my + / - voting buttons work?)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Music to my ears!
by twenex on Thu 29th Mar 2007 11:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Music to my ears!"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

On the panel to the left there is a count of votes. if that = zero, you don't get to vote until it creeps up to above zero.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Music to my ears!
by Almafeta on Thu 29th Mar 2007 14:35 UTC in reply to "Music to my ears!"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

That alone is a major reason for me to make my next laptop a Dell ;-)

I would strongly suggest you not get a Dell. Every time I have seen a friend or family member buy from them, they have either got recycled hardware (which failed quickly), a system which had hardware other than what they bought (my mother's Dell didn't include a DVD drive, although they gave her a processor faster than the one she ordered), a system loaded with adware/bloatware (which you can bet will be even worse now that they have source code access -- heck, if they use an open-source BIOS, they can modify it to prevent the machine from booting into anyting other than the official Dell distro), or worse yet, a system that couldn't fully run the OS it shipped with (my mother's machine again; it took 10 minutes to boot XP because the amount of memory it came with was only marginally better than the absolute least needed to load).

Until they get their act together, Dell is not a company I would reccomend to anyone.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Music to my ears!
by Laurence on Thu 29th Mar 2007 15:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Music to my ears!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I would strongly suggest you not get a Dell. Every time I have seen a friend or family member buy from them, they have either got recycled hardware (which failed quickly), a system which had hardware other than what they bought (my mother's Dell didn't include a DVD drive, although they gave her a processor faster than the one she ordered), a system loaded with adware/bloatware (which you can bet will be even worse now that they have source code access -- heck, if they use an open-source BIOS, they can modify it to prevent the machine from booting into anyting other than the official Dell distro), or worse yet, a system that couldn't fully run the OS it shipped with (my mother's machine again; it took 10 minutes to boot XP because the amount of memory it came with was only marginally better than the absolute least needed to load).

Until they get their act together, Dell is not a company I would reccomend to anyone.


Agreed to a degree, but I've found most *nix systems can work really well on even the nastiest of hardware.

A good example was a fried motherboard i was given for free - it was too damaged to even boot windows, but it ran FreeBSD fine so i turned it into a file server).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Music to my ears!
by agrouf on Thu 29th Mar 2007 15:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Music to my ears!"
agrouf Member since:
2006-11-17

"a system loaded with adware/bloatware (which you can bet will be even worse now that they have source code access -- heck, if they use an open-source BIOS, they can modify it to prevent the machine from booting into anyting other than the official Dell distro), or worse yet, a system that couldn't fully run the OS it shipped"

That won't happen if they use linux, because it's GPL. I don't want just open source, I don't want some OS/X-like BSD relicensed, or some crap like that. I want a free as in GNU system. People asked for linux because linux is the most advanced GPL'ed kernel. The Hurd is crap and openSolaris is not yet GPL'ed. What people really ask is GNU freedom.
If Dell offer linux, they can't offer anything less than freedom, because they can't modify it to be less free than GPL.

Reply Score: 2

twenex
Member since:
2006-04-21

"eez a byootifool dai todai!"

Reply Score: 5

Soccer moms
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 29th Mar 2007 09:33 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Assuming they will allow Linux to be installed on just about any product they offer (and not just some weird obscure stuff nobody buys), then this is a golden move by Dell. Earn the respect of computer enthusiasts, and you hit the jackpot.

Because, to whom do soccer moms and the elderly turn when they need advice for a new computer?

Exactly.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Soccer moms
by stestagg on Thu 29th Mar 2007 11:03 UTC in reply to "Soccer moms"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Because, to whom do soccer moms and the elderly turn when they need advice for a new computer?

PC World. ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Soccer moms
by hobgoblin on Thu 29th Mar 2007 14:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Soccer moms"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

their children, or grand-children, the neighbors, or some other entity in the community. i have had my fair share of doing neighborhood support...

Reply Score: 3

thumbs up to dell
by sleepsleep on Thu 29th Mar 2007 09:41 UTC
sleepsleep
Member since:
2007-02-11

thumbs up to dell !
this is an example that what other pc makers/sellers should follow.

"give what customer want"
my next pc/server/laptop would be DELL!!!
again, thumbs up to DELL

Reply Score: 3

Just what I needed...
by chocobanana on Thu 29th Mar 2007 09:45 UTC
chocobanana
Member since:
2006-01-04

I'm glad to know that we now have a major computer vendor providing pre-installed desktop Linux. This is crucial to expand destop Linux usage since we have now a machine of mass distribution (of distributions ;) ).

Good to know, now I can think about buying a Dell laptop instead of that Thinkpad...

P.S. I wonder what are thinking those persons that trolled and comented (right here and in /.) that this was just a false marketing move from Dell... You must be eating your words right now.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Just what I needed...
by twenex on Thu 29th Mar 2007 11:39 UTC in reply to "Just what I needed..."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

P.S. I wonder what are thinking those persons that trolled and comented (right here and in /.) that this was just a false marketing move from Dell... You must be eating your words right now.

Alas, no. In the United Kingdom of Windowsworshippia and Trolland, I think they have some sort of Anti-Humility Defense System.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Just what I needed...
by twenex on Thu 29th Mar 2007 16:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Just what I needed..."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

However, so far they have been pretty quiet in this item. Maybe all they needed was a cluestick the size and shape of Dell.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Just what I needed...
by Beta on Thu 29th Mar 2007 17:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Just what I needed..."
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Please do not brand an entire country like that, as there might be one or two of us in a UK that aren't "Windowsworshippia"s ;)

heh.

Edited 2007-03-29 17:48

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Just what I needed...
by twenex on Thu 29th Mar 2007 17:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just what I needed..."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Granted. In fact I'm British myself and my local LUG is rather active. Unfortunately for the context only "United Kingdom", "United Republic", "Federal Republic", "United States", "Union", "Commonwealth" or "Federation" would fit, so I was bound to offend either the Brits, the Tanzanians, the Germans, the Americans, the Indians, the Australians or the Russians!

Reply Score: 2

Don't get your hopes up too high...
by bolomkxxviii on Thu 29th Mar 2007 10:29 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

"offering Linux pre-installed on select desktop and notebook systems".

They aren't saying Linux will be an option on most of their systems. They may just offer one laptop and one desktop. We will have to wait and see. Even if they only offer a couple of choices, Dell should get our full suppport. This should have a major positive impact in the Linux world. Don't get down on Dell if they fail to live up to expectations.

Reply Score: 5

Dell rules
by Thulemanden on Thu 29th Mar 2007 10:41 UTC
Thulemanden
Member since:
2006-07-07

Exactly what we need and not a moment too soon.

Will be interesting to see which distro the choose and if they hit 25% of the sales of MS boxes.

Dell is too important for the MS Racket to shake down, threatening them to stop Linux support. Wonder if Dell takes a commercial distro like Xandros, Mandriva, SuSE or Linspire anyway to avoid rocking the commercial boat so as to stay one of the boys with the other business.

I am sure MS will lower the price to mirror any of these commercial distroes and expect the machines won't be that much cheaper.

By putting on a commercially supported distribution perhaps Dell can avoid the quagmire of supporting free linux installations and direct them to the Linux vendor.

Edited 2007-03-29 10:43

Reply Score: 3

RE: Dell rules
by knightrider on Thu 29th Mar 2007 18:07 UTC in reply to "Dell rules"
knightrider Member since:
2006-12-11

That would be the best move for Dell indeed. And would improves sales for the distros in question. Separate and apart from that, other hardware vendors will take note and give Linux some more consideration.

Reply Score: 2

Which distro?
by Laurence on Thu 29th Mar 2007 10:57 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

It's a nice idea in principle, however a Linux users distro of choice is as much a personal preference as what shoes they wear. Seeing that most Linux users aren't afraid to get their hands 'dirty' (after all, you have to if you want to install it on clean system or set up a dual boot on an existing desktop), I can see a lot of users picking a different (cheaper?) pre-built system and choosing the distro they prefer (rather than an all-rounded one Dell chooses), or even build their own systems from scratch.

Good luck to Dell though. Itís undoubtedly a step in the right direction in terms of consumer choice.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Which distro?
by Hands on Thu 29th Mar 2007 14:37 UTC in reply to "Which distro?"
Hands Member since:
2005-06-30

The difference here is that the hardware will be chosen specifically for Linux compatibility. Other factors will be taken into consideration, but without Linux compatibility, hardware won't even be usable on a Linux certified system. Those that have a preference for a particular distro should be perfectly capable of installing that distro without concerns of hardware compatibility. This hasn't been offered to a significant degree in the past.

When it comes to desktop systems, many of those who are capable of installing their own distro are also capable of building their own machines with attention to Linux hardware compatibility, and that is often what they do. Unfortunately, notebooks don't come in a form factor that is very friendly for a DIY project. OEMs have much better resources for building notebooks, and that is easy to see if you've ever compared them with a notebook built from a barebones kit. That's why I don't really care about whether anyone offers desktop computers that are certified for Linux, but I'm excited about having the assurance that I will be able to use a notebook with just about any modern Linux system that I want.

Reply Score: 4

Which distro, indeed ?
by pcdoctor on Thu 29th Mar 2007 23:56 UTC in reply to "Which distro?"
pcdoctor Member since:
2007-03-05

Will Dell go with Ubuntu? - or with Freespire/Linspire?

Reply Score: 1

A move for history?
by risbac on Thu 29th Mar 2007 11:09 UTC
risbac
Member since:
2007-03-29

Dell is quite simply trying a move that could deeply change the whole industry. They need ideas to regain the #1 position. This one is daring for sure, but if they succeed, they will just initiate the change. Others manufacturers will have to follow, and hardware manufacturers will have to provide drivers if they want a piece of the cake.

That's an interesting move to observe.

Reply Score: 5

RE: A move for history?
by vikramsharma on Thu 29th Mar 2007 12:02 UTC in reply to "A move for history?"
vikramsharma Member since:
2005-07-06

Dell has probably realized that selling computers is more important than being loyal to a particular company. So if Dell can make more money buy selling systems pre-loaded with Linux, this is what Dell should do. More power to the consumer.

Reply Score: 4

International?
by theARE on Thu 29th Mar 2007 11:09 UTC
theARE
Member since:
2006-11-30

Is this just in the US, or will it be available in the UK and other areas as well?

Reply Score: 5

RE: International?
by twenex on Thu 29th Mar 2007 11:41 UTC in reply to "International?"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Good point. Very good point. Very very good point....

Reply Score: 1

vista licences
by Adurbe on Thu 29th Mar 2007 11:40 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

What will they do with all those vista licences they just bought now!?

seriously though, I would only welcome this as genuine endorsment if all the machines were offered with linux (vista default with linux as and option either sole install or dual)

Reply Score: 4

RE: vista licences
by knightrider on Thu 29th Mar 2007 18:17 UTC in reply to "vista licences"
knightrider Member since:
2006-12-11

They still sell laptops/pcs with it. It's all about choice.

Reply Score: 1

Could it really be
by korpenkraxar on Thu 29th Mar 2007 11:40 UTC
korpenkraxar
Member since:
2005-09-10

that 2007 IS the year of the desktop for GNU/Linux or even other open OSes?

* KDE4, Beryl/Compiz...
* Infra-structure improvements like Upstart, Networkmanager...
* Very promising upcoming Linux distros like Etch, Fedora Core 7, Feisty, Frugalware and friends...
* Some rumbling in the BSD-camp with PC-BSD, maybe some fully GPLed OpenSolaris distros...

Now if Dell gets this right (support, quality, price) the way Sony never did with the PS3, we will probably have more newbies playing Frozen Bubble than there are Motor Storm players in a year :-)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Could it really be
by BluenoseJake on Thu 29th Mar 2007 17:07 UTC in reply to "Could it really be"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Man, it won't be now, whenever anybody says that, it doesn't happen

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Could it really be
by korpenkraxar on Thu 29th Mar 2007 17:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Could it really be"
korpenkraxar Member since:
2005-09-10

Darn, did I break the spell?

Reply Score: 1

Hope this is real
by agrouf on Thu 29th Mar 2007 11:43 UTC
agrouf
Member since:
2006-11-17

I was planning to buy a comuter this week.
Now, I have to wait until they release something.
I hope they don't make me wait 2 years and that they do it eventually or I will be very disappointed. I hope that are smart enough not to only do that in the US, as this has an even bigger chance of success outside the US.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Hope this is real
by ubit on Thu 29th Mar 2007 11:53 UTC in reply to "Hope this is real"
ubit Member since:
2006-09-08

Apparently they already do sell (some) systems with Linux, outside the US. Here's an article from last summer: http://trends.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=06/07/25/2018237&from=rs...

"
As noted above, elsewhere in the world, things are different. A recent story in the Hindu Times reports on a pent-up demand for Linux on laptops. All the major players there -- IBM (now Lenovo), Dell, HP, and Acer -- are offering their customers a choice between Linux and Windows. Pre-loading makes a difference.

The story says, "Laptops pre-loaded with Linux operating system are gaining in popularity among Indian customers as well." It bolsters that claim with a quote from Rajiv Grover, HP's country manager for consumer portables, who says "between 20 and 22% of our laptop business came from notebooks loaded with Linux."
"

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Hope this is real
by markjensen on Thu 29th Mar 2007 13:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Hope this is real"
markjensen Member since:
2005-07-26

Apparently they already do sell (some) systems with Linux, outside the US. Here's an article from last summer: ...

They also have offered Linux an "n" systems (no OS installed), at least in the US, on their website. They have a problem, though, that shows they really need to overhaul how they balance their product line:
Dell Precision 390 (Linux): $749 http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=04&kc=6W...
Dell Precision 390 (Windows): $749 http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=04&kc=6W...
So far, it looks balanced.

But look at their "monitor-bundled" option available for Windows only...
Dell Precision 390 plus E197 FP (Windows): $899 http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=04&kc=6W...
Go back to that Linux link above, and add in the same monitor. The price becomes $988!

I can now go back and get the memory upgraded on the Windows box to 1GB, and pay $984 (4 dollars less than a 512MB Linux box from Dell).

They need to work out these kinks that cause price disparities, and offer Linux systems (at least hardware certified Linux-compatible) someplace easier to find than their "n" series PCs are.

(edited to add in link to Windows system that I forgot) D-oh!

Edited 2007-03-29 13:27

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Hope this is real
by unoengborg on Thu 29th Mar 2007 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hope this is real"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

They need to work out these kinks that cause price disparities, and offer Linux systems (at least hardware certified Linux-compatible) someplace easier to find than their "n" series PCs are.

Even if you find their "n" series, there is no way of knowing if, or what kind of Linux that can run on them. There are no hardware specifications at all, or if they exist not nearly as detailed enough to be useful to Linux people.

What people want to hear before buying, is that all the hardware is supported by the drivers shipped with the vanilla Linux kernel. Having some sort of Linux preinstalled is more like a living proof that it actually works than something that people will actually will use. Most people will probably replace the preinstalled version with their favorite distro.

If this is going to succeed, the offerings need to be for more than a few select systems, and the offerings neeed to be as visible as their Windows offerings, but cheaper at least if it doesn't includes some kind of support agreament from Red Hat or Novell. Most people would probably prefer just cheaper and go with community support.

Another thing that Dell could do to make this work is to create some kind of community website devoted to Linux on Dell. I'm thinking of something like the
http://www.thinkwiki.org that deals with Thinkpads.
It have helped me numerous times to make my Thinkpads work, and is the main reason I always buy them regardless if their immediate use will be for windows or Linux. I'm not sure if Lenovo supports this site though, it would be in their best interest to do so, just like it would be in Dells best interest to make sure that something similar gets going for Dell hardware.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Hope this is real
by anda_skoa on Thu 29th Mar 2007 12:15 UTC in reply to "Hope this is real"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

I hope they don't make me wait 2 years and that they do it eventually or I will be very disappointed. I hope that are smart enough not to only do that in the US, as this has an even bigger chance of success outside the US.

I guess it depends what you mean with "outside the US".

Selling Linux computers seems to be already quite popular in South Amerika and certain regions in Asia.

If you mean in Europe, this is quite different.
Europe is of course a bigger market, but it is also a divided market.

A vendor can't just sell the same units all over Europe since there are several difference between countries: powerplugs, keyboard layouts, languages (especially for printed material), etc.

Of course we all know that the software will be better localized than any proprietary one, but software is just a small part of the whole deal.

And it seems that, for an unknown reason, the way vendors work internally, they can't just use the already suitable Windows units and just replace the software stack.

Having that said, I sure do hope they also offer this pre-installed Linux systems here in Europe as well ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Hope this is real
by Almindor on Thu 29th Mar 2007 17:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Hope this is real"
Almindor Member since:
2006-01-16

Powerplugs are I think standardized accross the EU, with the exception for those who don't see them as Europeans in the first place (damn hypocritical islanders).

Take with a pinch of salt..

Reply Score: 1

The Customer is always right.
by Southern.Pride on Thu 29th Mar 2007 12:22 UTC
Southern.Pride
Member since:
2006-09-14

Dell is trying to reinvent its business and they have found listening to the customer is the way back to being #1 in the industry. I am very happy Dell is working on a solution for a 'Linux Distro' to come pre-loaded meaning that the hardware will be supported and functionality will be greatly enhanced. Since Dell has entered this market HP and others will soon really have to jump on the bandwagon or be left behind. The market for a pre-loaded Linux distro on a laptop is huge and their income potential is just waiting in the wings.

Kudos to Dell this is a great day.

Reply Score: 4

Emperor's New Clothes
by Bajan on Thu 29th Mar 2007 12:23 UTC
Bajan
Member since:
2006-01-05

This move by Dell is only as good as the hardware Linux will be running on.I think people just throwing the party a bit too early.

Most Linux enthusiasts usually build their own machines which is proof they are very "inspectful" of what goes in their box.

Plus,seeing alot of Linux distros can be simplified to be even easier to use than Windows,the learning curve can be less for the average pc user.

People are so focused on the software issue here that they are overlooking the major threat, poor tech support for the hardware.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Emperor's New Clothes
by Robocoastie on Thu 29th Mar 2007 14:55 UTC in reply to "Emperor's New Clothes"
Robocoastie Member since:
2005-09-15

"This move by Dell is only as good as the hardware Linux will be running on.I think people just throwing the party a bit too early."

My bet is that the systems will be Intel all onboard solutions since there is native support for those in modern Linux kernels (*cough* xandros & linspire don't upgrade often enough to be trustworthy here *cough*). Another solution would be AMD paired with via but given Dell's track record I really don't see them bucking conformity that much.

Reply Score: 1

Wow
by tristan on Thu 29th Mar 2007 13:00 UTC
tristan
Member since:
2006-02-01

As I write this, "Dell gives the go ahead for Linux" is the second most-read story of the day on BBC News.

Who'd have expected that?

EDIT: If you want to read it, the story is at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6506027.stm

Edited 2007-03-29 13:04

Reply Score: 4

Pilot
by yoursecretninja on Thu 29th Mar 2007 13:13 UTC
yoursecretninja
Member since:
2006-01-02

Dell says it will be on select systems. It sounds to me like this will be a pilot program. They will see how well DesktopLinux(TM) sells before committing long-term to Linux and potentially offering it on a broad range of systems, or as a standard option alternative to MS Windows. I would really like for this to work out and I think it has a chance... provided Dell test the market by pre-installing linux on hardware people want and not some bargain-basement system that is overpriced or something equally as unattractive.

Reply Score: 2

Dell offering linux
by TaterSalad on Thu 29th Mar 2007 13:14 UTC
TaterSalad
Member since:
2005-07-06

Dell may start offering linux on their desktops and laptops but I wouldn't get too excited just yet. Ask yourself this question, who are going to be the people to buy this? The same people that are already buying Dells. I don't think this move is going to be much different than what people are already doing today. They already have a Dell and load up their own linux distro on it. Also this won't increase the customer base by much. It was the same case when Walmart offered their linux PC from Micron. The only people who bought it were already linux users.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Dell offering linux
by Jody on Thu 29th Mar 2007 13:32 UTC in reply to "Dell offering linux"
Jody Member since:
2005-06-30

I agree, and many Linux users dual boot to Windows. So even many of the Linux users that buy these machines will probably wipe the drive and start from scratch.

Short of piracy some of the people that buy these machines will end up paying for retail copies of Vista and XP to install on them.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Dell offering linux
by Laurence on Thu 29th Mar 2007 14:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Dell offering linux"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I agree, and many Linux users dual boot to Windows. So even many of the Linux users that buy these machines will probably wipe the drive and start from scratch.

Short of piracy some of the people that buy these machines will end up paying for retail copies of Vista and XP to install on them.


To be honest, I doubt that very much.
More likely people will either build their own systems, or buy the usual dell systems and set up a dual boot.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Dell offering linux
by markjensen on Thu 29th Mar 2007 14:03 UTC in reply to "Dell offering linux"
markjensen Member since:
2005-07-26

Yes, the people buying this will already be people buying from Dell, HP, etc...

However, I am one of those that buys computers. My current aging unit is a Compaq/HP. I want to buy a new one by the end of the year, and this is perfect for me. I don't use Windows at all, and have just "thrown away" my Windows licenses after paying for them as part of the PC I buy.

Sure, I am a minority user (Linux users are, by definition), but it will be nice to be able to buy hardware that an OEM will stand behind - if only to say that the hardware included is certified to work in the current Linux kernel series. ;)

Reply Score: 3

CharAznable
Member since:
2005-07-06

I might just get a Dell...
A nice, cost effective laptop where the hardware is 100% compatible with a plain vanilla Linux kernel?

Where do I sign?

Reply Score: 4

UK Support
by wibbit on Thu 29th Mar 2007 13:19 UTC
wibbit
Member since:
2006-03-22

I hope with these changes, the new systems will also be available in the UK.

I've been wanting to get a new Laptop for a while, and had intended to get a D620, as it has pretty good linux support.
However if Dell do this, AND make it available in the uk (previous searches seemed to suggest their linux desktop offerings were US centric), then I'll be a very happy bunny.

Reply Score: 3

RE: UK Support
by wibbit on Sat 31st Mar 2007 10:49 UTC in reply to "UK Support"
wibbit Member since:
2006-03-22

I hope with these changes, the new systems will also be available in the UK.

From an initial check, it would appear that they are NOT on offer in the UK yet ;)

Reply Score: 1

Dont forget that MS somewhat subside Dell
by werfu on Thu 29th Mar 2007 13:52 UTC
werfu
Member since:
2005-09-15

OEM license sell by Microsoft to tell is far to cost as much as the boxed edition we can buy in a Best Buy. I work for a small computer store and we sell the OEM version of Vista nearly CAN$ 100 less ($159 for Home Premium) than the boxed one and we're still making profit. Now how much do you think it cost Dell for a Home Premium license? I'd say around 20$. Ok, maybe 30$. But still it's cheap. Now, how much would it cost for Dell to sell Linux? Well, the OS is free, if you take a free distribution, but than Dell will have to ensure support for its customer. In house support for Linux would cost much more than the distribution support. Selling Windows is cheaper to Dell than Linux is the thing and that's why other reseller dont offer Linux.

Now what distribution will they chose? It depends if they want to fragment the server/desktop and if they want to offer in house support or use the linux distributor support. I guess they'll go for Novell or Red Hat, but Xandros could be a good one too, having the best integration into Windows networks. Ubuntu could also be a candidate, as ease of use is always a winner.

The only issue left is hardware support. Dell surely intend to sell Linux on high end hardware where Intel hardware is usualy offered. I guess it will also sell it on lower end, to lower its cost. Depending on the market response, we could see a broad adoption of Linux if Dell make some promotion for it. A KDE4 / Coral fine tunned box would have nothing to envy to Vista and would require half the ressource to run. It could let Dell still sell those 512Meg Celeron machine while they couldn't with Vista being too slow. They could still sell them with XP, but quitting selling XP means quitting supporting XP, meaning less support fees.

My wish: Having a Turion X2 Laptop with some middle range graphic card (X1400, 7300Go, 7600Go) and a battery life of 4 hours under Linux.

Reply Score: 2

Dark_Knight Member since:
2005-07-10

Dell like any other company is fully capable of hiring trained Linux staff and even hiring a trainer to upgrade their current support staff on troubleshooting basics for Tier 1 Help Support.

I highly doubt that Dell will go for a free Linux distribution and instead opt for a commercial one such as SLED or RHEL where both Dell and the customer can call for support. Another factor is that while getting support the cost of the distribution such as SLED is still lower than going with Microsoft Windows even with a volume license.

As for the concern over hardware Dell shouldn't find it necessary to use older hardware. The reason being that there are a lot of open source drivers that come with popular Linux distributions which support both current and legacy hardware out of the box and don't require a driver install disc like on Windows. Major companies such as NVIDIA, ATI, Linksys, Intel, AMD, etc already provide Linux support.

Reply Score: 2

apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

I also think that they will go with SLED. I'm not to sure about redhat as they don't offer a desktop oriented distro. I love Ubuntu is my favorite distro and I really can't imagine using anything else. The problem with Ubuntu is that its a moving target LTS releases are good and all but upgrading major software between releases is not usually done, those are done with the intermediate releases suchas fiesty etc. SLED isn't my distro of choice but its the only one that makes sense, they release service packs instead of whole new releases that won't break compatabilty with the previous installed version.

Reply Score: 1

Cautious
by Protoflux on Thu 29th Mar 2007 14:26 UTC
Protoflux
Member since:
2006-03-21

Its great that Dell is doing this as it at least lets the world know about something called linux.

However I would not be too optimistic. Dell is too tied in with Microsoft to move too much out of line.

Also the way I see it, Dell will probably go with Suse Linux as their choice of pre-installed distro. This would really not be something most of the linux community would want AFAIK.

I am very very cautiously optimistic about this announcement.

Reply Score: 1

Dell listened
by anomie on Thu 29th Mar 2007 14:29 UTC
anomie
Member since:
2007-02-26

Dell took their user feedback seriously and caved on this. Good news - I think.

If this turns out to be a profitable situation, it should be sustainable. Time will tell.

As for the distro Dell selects, I'm not too concerned about that. Users who just want to try "Linux" won't care very much. Users who care enough to have loyalty to a particular distro can at least have the assurance that hardware was tested to get along well with suse / rhel / whatever.

Reply Score: 1

Obligatory ...
by alucinor on Thu 29th Mar 2007 14:30 UTC
alucinor
Member since:
2006-01-06

DUDE! I'm getting a Linux!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Obligatory ...
by fretinator on Thu 29th Mar 2007 16:39 UTC in reply to "Obligatory ..."
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

ROTFLMAO

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Obligatory ...
by alucinor on Thu 29th Mar 2007 20:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Obligatory ..."
alucinor Member since:
2006-01-06

Ha, yes my wit is astounding, I know! ;)

Reply Score: 1

wal-mart software problem
by Robocoastie on Thu 29th Mar 2007 14:42 UTC
Robocoastie
Member since:
2005-09-15

A vast number of novices still buy their software off Wal-Marts 5-10 dollar rack. I think any major vendor that trys to sell Linux to typical consumers will need to make it crystal clear that its PC's aquire software from an online repository or included dvd's; not from a store.

Reply Score: 2

misplaced hope - hope not
by historyb on Thu 29th Mar 2007 15:32 UTC
historyb
Member since:
2005-07-06

I hope we are not counting our chickens before they hatch.

Reply Score: 2

I belive
by NixerX on Thu 29th Mar 2007 15:37 UTC
NixerX
Member since:
2006-01-04

Dell tried this once before...long ago and MS pulled some conflict of interest crap or something...anyone else remember this?

This is all well and good but I wonder if the savings of using Linux will be passed down to the customer or to dell? If its the latter thats fine so long as they use it to build a support system. If the customer cant get good support then they'll go and purchase XP or Vista because is what they know...
I could blather on but there's no reason to preach to the choir.
-nX

Reply Score: 1

where are they ???
by raver31 on Thu 29th Mar 2007 16:55 UTC
raver31
Member since:
2005-07-06

I am talking about the usual suspects who hang around sites like this and when an announcement like this is made, they always say.....

"Including Linux on a machine just makes another machine which will have a pirated Windows on it".

So far I have not read this in the thread. Maybe these cabbages actually have went out and bought themselves a bit of a clue.


Now, to Dell. I don't like them, it is a personal thing, I rather build my own machines, but, my two brothers both use Dells. One with Ubuntu on it and the other with XP. Both run without a problem. The Ubuntu machine has had its graphics card changed for an Nvidia and the XP machine got an ATI. Other than that, they are both stock machines.

I would love to have been a fly on Ballmers wall when he read that news....

Wait, no I wouldn't, I would probably be squashed by a chair by now.

Reply Score: 5

RE: where are they ???
by twenex on Thu 29th Mar 2007 17:00 UTC in reply to "where are they ???"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Excellent comments!

Reply Score: 1

If the price is right
by mbkumar on Thu 29th Mar 2007 18:16 UTC
mbkumar
Member since:
2006-06-28

If they don't charge more for linux machines (compared to windows machines with same specs), my next computer will be linux pc from Dell

Reply Score: 1

The good thing is...
by h3rman on Thu 29th Mar 2007 18:48 UTC
h3rman
Member since:
2006-08-09

Not so much that you can soon buy a Dell with Linux preloaded.
The good thing is that the others will soon follow.
If they want to be taken seriously, anyway.

Reply Score: 3

The early bird gets the worm
by sbergman27 on Thu 29th Mar 2007 21:32 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

Funny timing on this. I just now got out of a meeting with my boss in which I successfully pitched System76 ( http://www.system76.com ) to replace Dell for our future Linux Server, laptop, and desktop needs.

Too little, too late, Dell. We won't be buying, and I'll be writing you to explain that you jumped too late and that a more seasoned and dedicated vendor has taken over the business that we used to transact with Dell.

Of course, I *am* glad to see them making this move. But I suspect that the Linux boxes will still be buried in a very hard to find place on their site so as not to confuse their real customers with non-Vista offerings.

So I doubt it will do much to improve Linux's public visibility.

Still, it's progress of a sort.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The early bird gets the worm
by Laurence on Fri 30th Mar 2007 12:00 UTC in reply to "The early bird gets the worm"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

[q]Funny timing on this. I just now got out of a
Too little, too late, Dell. We won't be buying, and I'll be writing you to explain that you jumped too late and that a more seasoned and dedicated vendor has taken over the business that we used to transact with Dell.

Of course, I *am* glad to see them making this move. But I suspect that the Linux boxes will still be buried in a very hard to find place on their site so as not to confuse their real customers with non-Vista offerings.

So I doubt it will do much to improve Linux's public visibility.

[q]


I think that's a little unfair.

At the moment it is impossible to speculate how visible their Linux systems will be. On their website they may have them along side the windows desktops, but then they might 'bury' the systems as you suggested - it's really not possible to say for sure this early on.

One thing is for sure - a major desktop distributor such as Dell publicly endorsing Linux (as they are doing in this PR which has been featured on most technology news sites inc bbc.co.uk) can only serve to raise Linux's profile.
Visibility or not, this PR alone is a very positive move.

Edited 2007-03-30 12:01

Reply Score: 1

new vendor
by spikeb on Fri 30th Mar 2007 06:41 UTC
spikeb
Member since:
2006-01-18

assumming i like the results (they're promising so far), when i'm up for a new laptop i'll probably vote with my wallet and get a dell

Reply Score: 1

Price
by terog on Fri 30th Mar 2007 14:57 UTC
terog
Member since:
2007-03-09

The last thing people should expect from Linux computers is lower price.

Currently Windows Dell's come loaded with crapware, which is a great source of income for Dell. This income is probably enough to cover the price of OEM Windows and even make more profit for Dell, which in turn makes it possible for Dell to sell PCs at lower price.

Unfortunately, this means that Linux PCs will be more costly if Dell can't include all this crapware with Linux too.

Also, one should not expect that a non-commercial distro would make much of a difference in prices, when compared to OEM Windows. That's because even a non-commercial distro will become commercial when it's pre-installed on a commercial product. The company will have to support it to at least some degree, after all.

What people should realize is that, pre-installed Linux is a great product (or rather, service), that is worth paying for.

Reply Score: 1