Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Aug 2009 16:07 UTC, submitted by lemur2
Linux We already discussed David Finch, Dell's senior product marketing manager for Linux clients, last week. We missed, however, some more interesting statements by Finch; Dell is looking into the ARM-based netbook smartbook market, and close to a third of all of Dell's netbooks ship with Linux.
Order by: Score:
I do not really get this
by midoriconcept on Mon 17th Aug 2009 16:45 UTC
midoriconcept
Member since:
2006-12-01

I really have some issues understanding the Dell's strategy on Linux.
First they say they support Linux, but on their web site (at least for dell.it) the inspiron Mini 10v (linux and 8 gb SSD) costs 249 euros.
If I want a decent hard disk you need to pay 279 euros, with 160 gb, but only Windows... uhm..

Basically even if I want to buy a Dell with Linux I need to buy the smaller capacity. Or buy the Windows version and install linux.

This 30 euros of difference what are they? License or Harddisk?

Does not make any sense.

I think is not just dell, Also other manufactures do this.

I still need to find someone that does a proper offer.. Same specs, different operating system. . .

Reply Score: 1

RE: I do not really get this
by jebb on Mon 17th Aug 2009 17:41 UTC in reply to "I do not really get this"
jebb Member since:
2006-07-06

Just having a look (on the UK website), it seems like it is now possible to choose the 10v with Ubuntu, and choose a 160GB hard drive in the personnalisation options. It then comes at £238.99, whereas the XP machine with the same hard drive is £249. So there you have it: XP is worth a grand total of £10.01 a pop.

I still think anyone wanting such a large hard drive is missing the point of a netbook, and is likely to be disappointed. If you have the need for 160GB of storage, you'll probably find very quickly that the screen is not high enough, and the keyboard is too small...

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: I do not really get this
by midoriconcept on Mon 17th Aug 2009 18:09 UTC in reply to "RE: I do not really get this"
midoriconcept Member since:
2006-12-01

Well the argument about HD size is not really convincing. 8 gigs is very very low. Os would take a couple of gigs, and I may want to load some music and a couple of movies when I take a plane... So 8 gigs is just too low, less than an iPod!

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I do not really get this
by dragSidious on Mon 17th Aug 2009 21:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I do not really get this"
dragSidious Member since:
2009-04-17

The internet is there for a reason.

At work I listen to music all day long and I don't have a single song on a harddrive or removable device.

http://www.jamendo.com/
http://www.last.fm/
http://www.magnatune.com/
http://somafm.com/
http://www.shoutcast.com/

etc etc.

I also have a streaming server for my private use using Icecast2 from home.

How does your 500GB/s drive compare to the internet?! I'd have to carry around a 5-6TB/s of drive space to get the same selection that I can get from a few sites on the internet.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: I do not really get this
by darknexus on Mon 17th Aug 2009 22:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I do not really get this"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

It's good that a small SSD works for you, I was just pointing out why it would not work for me and for quite a few others. Some of us like to have most of our data with us, so it's available even when an internet connection is not.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I do not really get this
by reflect on Mon 17th Aug 2009 22:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I do not really get this"
reflect Member since:
2007-07-10

Actually, I'm quite the proponent of lossless audio.. which makes all of your sites kind of.. well, less interesting.

I have some 2000 songs on disk (from my albums) and that amounts to 60GB (FLAC made from, unfortunately, CDs). So, for your statement of needing 5-6TB.. I don't believe you. I think you're talking about something that isn't lossless, something that saves space.

Unless my math is wrong, you'd need ~30.000 songs of lossless quality to cover just a single TB - and I don't know about most of your services there, but they're not all lossless.

====

Quantity is nice and all, but most things out there isn't interesting to any one listener. YOU are just interested in the things you like, so the majority of songs/groups are just.. well, filling. Something nice to have.

Edited 2009-08-17 22:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I do not really get this
by dragSidious on Tue 18th Aug 2009 03:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I do not really get this"
dragSidious Member since:
2009-04-17

Do you use your laptop to listen to music?

and/or

Do you use earbuds or cheap (<$60) headphones to listen to music?

and/or

Do you listen to music in places with some ambient noise (like a office)?


Well if any of that is the case when you listen to music then you've effectively defeated any advantage of having lossless audio. The fidelity your able to discern is going to be rather low.

When I am at home and have my 'nice' headphones hooked up to my M-Audio Audiophile audio card is when I prefer lossless audio. I have a nice TB harddrive filled up with Flac rips of CDROMs that I purchased.

But when I am at work or out and about then I couldn't give a shit less.

Edited 2009-08-18 03:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I do not really get this
by Tuishimi on Tue 18th Aug 2009 18:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I do not really get this"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

The internet is inaccessible at 30,000 feet. You can run your laptop, but no networking is allowed (at least not when I fly JetBlue).

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

You can probably stuff a 16 gig SD beside the hard drive or carry a couple of them. USB removable media would also be an option though more external. I'd rather go full notebook for more than music playback (N810 does that very nicely) but I could make it work with 8 gig internal and an SD slot.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I do not really get this
by B12 Simon on Tue 18th Aug 2009 10:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I do not really get this"
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

I agree completely. I'm nowhere near filling the 160GB hard drive on my netbook but I've way more than 8GB.

SSD is a technology whose time is coming but bigger drives need to be cheaper before it's useful to me, even in a netbook.

OF course YMMV

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I do not really get this
by darknexus on Mon 17th Aug 2009 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE: I do not really get this"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Actually, 160 gb is not all that much space when you think about it. Personally, I have all my music and audiobooks loaded onto my netbook just like I do on my desktop. That's about 50 gigs right there, way beyond what an 8 gig ssd could offer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I do not really get this
by MrWeeble on Tue 18th Aug 2009 11:44 UTC in reply to "RE: I do not really get this"
MrWeeble Member since:
2007-04-18

I got a Dell Mini 9 with a 4GB SSD drive which I am regretting, the OS as it comes takes up well over 2GB. Add a couple of extra applications to it and you soon start filling it up. First time I tried updating I ran out of disk space while downloading the updates. 8GB probably would be fine, 4GB is just too small however.

For my files and stuff, I don't use the SSD, instead I make use of the SDHC slot and have an 8GB card in there with movies and music on, and for more stuff I have a 160GB USB mini harddrive that I take if I need to.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: I do not really get this
by lemur2 on Tue 18th Aug 2009 12:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I do not really get this"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I got a Dell Mini 9 with a 4GB SSD drive which I am regretting, the OS as it comes takes up well over 2GB. Add a couple of extra applications to it and you soon start filling it up. First time I tried updating I ran out of disk space while downloading the updates. 8GB probably would be fine, 4GB is just too small however.

For my files and stuff, I don't use the SSD, instead I make use of the SDHC slot and have an 8GB card in there with movies and music on, and for more stuff I have a 160GB USB mini harddrive that I take if I need to.


This info may help:

http://togaware.com/linux/survivor/Local_Cache.html

The local cache for packages is apparently stored in /var/cache/apt/archive.

To help with your situation, try mounting the /var directory to a different disk other than the 4GB SSD. This can be done via fstab.

Failing that, you could always type in
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

or

$ sudo aptitude dist-upgrade

... and then cancel. Wipe your mouse over the list of individual packages you just cancelled, and paste them into a text file.

Then install them one (or just a few) at a time using:

$ aptitude install <copy_paste_package_name(s)>

The latter method will still (somewhat tediously) achieve the upgrade, but it won't flood your local packages cache.

Reply Score: 2

v RE: I do not really get this
by dragSidious on Mon 17th Aug 2009 21:15 UTC in reply to "I do not really get this"
RE[2]: I do not really get this
by DrillSgt on Mon 17th Aug 2009 21:25 UTC in reply to "RE: I do not really get this"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

The Windows system gets a mechanical drive becuase you need a mechanical drive for Windows. For Linux you don't need that so it gets a SSD, since that is superior for the task. (more robust, immune to drops and other things)


Why on earth do you need a mechanical drive for Windows? Windows runs on SSD's just fine.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: I do not really get this
by Vanders on Mon 17th Aug 2009 21:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I do not really get this"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Why on earth do you need a mechanical drive for Windows? Windows runs on SSD's just fine.


Windows XP does not have SSD specific filesystems. In other words Windows running on NTFS can degrade the SSD much faster than Linux running on say, LogFS. Even if you do not use a flash specific filesystem you can do various things to filesystems such as ext3 to make it better suited to use on an SSD.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: I do not really get this
by DrillSgt on Mon 17th Aug 2009 22:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I do not really get this"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

Windows XP does not have SSD specific filesystems. In other words Windows running on NTFS can degrade the SSD much faster than Linux running on say, LogFS. Even if you do not use a flash specific filesystem you can do various things to filesystems such as ext3 to make it better suited to use on an SSD.


True enough. XP can be tweaked to run just fine on SSD's though it does take some work. The OP said that mechanical drives were needed by windows, I was just correcting that statement. If it didn't run, then you would not be able to purchase a netbook running Windows with an SSD. You most certainly can purchase that. I never said it was optimum.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: I do not really get this
by jabbotts on Tue 18th Aug 2009 00:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I do not really get this"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

One could also use a VW Bug to tow the family camper but it wouldn't be optimal. I think the filesystem point hits it pretty directly though. Between filesystem options including flash specific types, Linux provides better performance from the drive while maintaining a longe lifespan through less read/write cycles.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: I do not really get this
by DrillSgt on Tue 18th Aug 2009 02:27 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I do not really get this"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

One could also use a VW Bug to tow the family camper but it wouldn't be optimal. I think the filesystem point hits it pretty directly though. Between filesystem options including flash specific types, Linux provides better performance from the drive while maintaining a longe lifespan through less read/write cycles.


Agreed 100 percent. I never indicated that Linux was not the better option. The fact still remains that netbooks are sold with SSD and a Windows OS, and they work. The lifespan still needs to be seen.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: I do not really get this
by lemur2 on Tue 18th Aug 2009 02:45 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I do not really get this"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The fact still remains that netbooks are sold with SSD and a Windows OS, and they work. The lifespan still needs to be seen.


A lot of SSD devices put a microcontroller between the OS and the flash memory chips themselves in order to get around wear issues.

For SSDs which are "raw" on the bus, you need a wear-levelling filesystem.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wear_levelling
On most contemporary flash memory devices, such as CompactFlash and Secure Digital cards, these techniques are implemented in hardware by a built-in microcontroller. On such devices, wear-levelling is transparent and most conventional file systems can be used as-is on them.

Wear-levelling can also be implemented in software by special-purpose file systems such as JFFS2 and YAFFS on flash media or UDF on optical media. All three are log-structured filesystems in that they treat their media as circular logs and write to them in sequential passes. File systems which implement Copy-on-write strategies, such as ZFS, also implement a form of wear-levelling.


See also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_file_system
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_flash_file_systems#File_system...

AFAIK Windows doesn't intrinsically support any wear-levelling filesystem from which one can boot and run the OS. One needs to have a microcontroller to implement wear-levelling for SSDs for use with Windows.

Perhaps this requirement is the very thing that makes SSDs so slow on netbook type devices, when they should be fast.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I do not really get this
by dragSidious on Tue 18th Aug 2009 03:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I do not really get this"
dragSidious Member since:
2009-04-17

Why on earth to people ignore basic reality when they are in OSNEWS? (in this case the reality your ignoring is cost)


Seriously. How could any of you ever thought that I think that Windows does not work well on SSD? I said NOTHING of the sort.

The reason why Dell and other OEMS prefer to ship Windows on mechanical drives is because large SSDs are _expensive_. Large mechanical drives are cheap.

That is why.

The point behind Netbooks is that they are _cheap_. Having a large SSD runs counter to that.


Just so you know a full Linux desktop, when tailored correctly, can easily fit in less then 1GB and you lose nothing when it comes to application compatibility with Linux applications.

Vista minimal specs require 15GB of free space. (and, no, Dell is not going to modify Vista to make it fit on smaller drives)

XP isn't much less once you get all the updates installed your still looking at pretty much the entire drive on a typical Netbook-class SSD.

Edited 2009-08-18 03:50 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: I do not really get this
by DrillSgt on Tue 18th Aug 2009 04:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I do not really get this"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

Why on earth to people ignore basic reality when they are in OSNEWS? (in this case the reality your ignoring is cost)


What you said was that windows needs a mechanical drive. I am in full agreement with you on the cost. Had you mentioned that reason I never would have replied at all. The way you wrote it indicated other limitations. It would have been a good idea mentioning that cost was your reasoning.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I do not really get this
by dragSidious on Tue 18th Aug 2009 16:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I do not really get this"
dragSidious Member since:
2009-04-17

That's fine. It's what is nice about discussion. Sorry if I appeared a bit rude.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: I do not really get this
by steogede2 on Wed 19th Aug 2009 12:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I do not really get this"
steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

"The Windows system gets a mechanical drive becuase you need a mechanical drive for Windows. For Linux you don't need that so it gets a SSD, since that is superior for the task. (more robust, immune to drops and other things)


Why on earth do you need a mechanical drive for Windows? Windows runs on SSD's just fine.
"

You certainly don't need a mechanical drive for windows. The SSDs in netbooks are often 4GB fast and the rest slower - certainly that is the configuration in the 12GB EeePC 901. 4GB for C: isn't very usable.

If these machines were setup to make use of the remaining 8GB for 'Documents and Settings', 'Program Files' and temporary files, and left C: just for system files, they would run much better. As it is most users will encounter problems with disk space very rapidly, even without storing large media files on their netbook.

Reply Score: 1

bricks'n'mortar vs online
by aahjnnot on Mon 17th Aug 2009 17:34 UTC
aahjnnot
Member since:
2008-07-24

Dell can sell Linux netbooks because they sell onlime. Real stores have more issues: staff training; stock levels if too many lines are held; accidental mispurchase by ignorant shoppers; and the impossibility of upselling Windows software.

The last point is the most important. "Would sir like an internet security suite with that? How about an office suite too? Or some photo editing software? Maybe a simple game or two? And you do realise you need a cdrom to load the software? Kur support package is very attractively priced, too."

Without these add ons, retail stores would quickly fold.

Reply Score: 5

RE: bricks'n'mortar vs online
by Ford Prefect on Mon 17th Aug 2009 19:06 UTC in reply to "bricks'n'mortar vs online"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

Yep, the major problem of Linux is the lack of rip-off opportunities :-D

Reply Score: 10

Not default
by AdamW on Mon 17th Aug 2009 18:15 UTC
AdamW
Member since:
2005-07-06

Dell's system is not a default Ubuntu. It is a customized Ubuntu with several closed source drivers that are not shipped as part of the regular Ubuntu release. I can see how you'd make the mistake, though, as neither Dell nor Ubuntu are particularly forthcoming about this...

Reply Score: 5

RE: Not default
by bralkein on Mon 17th Aug 2009 19:58 UTC in reply to "Not default"
bralkein Member since:
2006-12-20

Cool, that's what they should be doing. As I'm sure you know, Windows freshly installed on the disk takes a lot of extra work to get it polished up and complete to the level consumers expect. Having DVD software, drivers, anti-virus software etc. sorted out in the product as purchased makes a lot of difference to many users. For a long time I have wanted a vendor to come along and sell PCs which are fully sorted out and ready to use like this. Of course here's hoping they won't fill them full of crapware and rootkits too :-)

I'm a technical user myself so I don't care about it really, I always just nuke the drive and do a from-scratch install. I think that's a bit beyond Grandma or whoever though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Not default
by Moulinneuf on Mon 17th Aug 2009 21:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Not default"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

Cool, that's what they should be doing


No , it's not.

What they should do is explain what parts are prorpietary and why they do it and ask the device vendor and community to have real Free as in freedom replacement.

If they are **buying** proprietary and inferior drivers and software out of conveniance it's really bad and wrong of them. Even more when in most cases other alternative exists or could be also bought.

GNU/Linux would not exist today if that idea prevailed and was ok ... What's the point of replacing inferior proprietary code with another inferior proprietary code that nobody else can fix or improve upon either ...

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Not default - thank Nokia
by jabbotts on Tue 18th Aug 2009 00:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not default"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Thankfully, Nokia is going the other way and opening more of it's source for things like the NIC driver modules. It's nice to see a big company empowering the community developers more. If Dell went this same route and relied less on closed binaries they could push out in front with the non-Windows notebooks. Imagine all the Debian and *buntu developers getting full access to the hardware supporting code.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not default
by vivainio on Mon 17th Aug 2009 20:01 UTC in reply to "Not default"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Dell's system is not a default Ubuntu. It is a customized Ubuntu with several closed source drivers that are not shipped as part of the regular Ubuntu release.


Well, that's a commendable approach from Dell then - as opposed to bundling a distro that provides sub-par support for the sold hardware, only fit for being overwritten by Windows.

On my EEE, some things (wlan at least) never worked as quite as well on Ubuntu as they did on the bundled Xandros. I have to use ndiswrapper, and I'd gladly take a well-working native closed source driver instead.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Not default - Xandros is bad
by jabbotts on Tue 18th Aug 2009 00:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Not default"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

It was a poor choice by Asus to preinstall Xandros and worse that they chose to provide a sub-set of Xandros from there own custom repositories. Other vendors are doing it right with a strong and well known full distribution. Even the Eee flavored after market distributions are better than the vendor chosen mess.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

It was a poor choice by Asus to preinstall Xandros and worse that they chose to provide a sub-set of Xandros from there own custom repositories. Other vendors are doing it right with a strong and well known full distribution. Even the Eee flavored after market distributions are better than the vendor chosen mess.


Perhaps you may notice that the "vendor chosen mess" seems to align moderately well (with Dell being at least one notable exception) with the "signed a deal with Microsoft" group of Linux distributions.

You may also notice that the "signed a deal with Microsoft" group of Linux distributions also happens to align with the "not good for the end users" group of Linux distributions pretty much exactly.

Reply Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Yup.. as someone else mentioned, at least it's reduced the retail cost of Windows a little through more natural competition. Good on Dell for putting more than token effort into it; if they braught the hardware quality up to Thinkpad standards and let the community developers into the binary hardware blobs, they'd take a giant step further ahead of the pack.

Either MS becomes more competitive through pricing and product quality or they go away and natural market forces bring a better platform to the front. Both outcomes benefit the end user though it seems the first potential outcome is the method so far.

Reply Score: 2

Re: drivers
by thebackwash on Mon 17th Aug 2009 18:43 UTC
thebackwash
Member since:
2005-07-06

Well isn't the idea that if there is such a demand for F/OSS drivers that *someone* in the community will provide them? One manufacturer's failure to provide such drivers does not diminish the freedom already existent, provided by other like-minded individuals.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Re: drivers - need the specs
by jabbotts on Tue 18th Aug 2009 00:37 UTC in reply to "Re: drivers"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If there is such a demand then some self motivated developer or group of them will work on it. The bigger issue is having to reverse-engineer the interface specs to write the drivers against. Really, all hardware vendors need to is provide the hardware interface specs to one of three groups and the hardware will become supported by the majority of Linux and/or BSD based platforms:

- Linux project (primary support is in the kernel)
- Xorg (more for GPU support behind the graphic desktop)
- Linux Driver Project (a coordinating effort provide community liaisons for the hardware vendor)

Reply Score: 2

v .. and then promptly returned
by rockwell on Mon 17th Aug 2009 20:24 UTC
RE: .. and then promptly returned
by darknexus on Mon 17th Aug 2009 20:33 UTC in reply to ".. and then promptly returned"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Do you have nothing to do but troll every Linux thread you can find? Put in a useful comment for once.

Reply Score: 3

rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

Such as a comment commenting on a troll comment? Dickhead.

Reply Score: 2

RE: .. and then promptly returned
by atriq on Mon 17th Aug 2009 20:49 UTC in reply to ".. and then promptly returned"
atriq Member since:
2007-10-18

Dell disagrees with you.[1]

[1]http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2009/08/12/dell_reality_linux_wind...

Edited 2009-08-17 20:50 UTC

Reply Score: 4

mckill Member since:
2007-06-12

while i'm sure Dell is selling quite a few Linux netbooks that aren't getting exchanged for windows versions, I bet this PR thing they did with it is mostly to get lower Windows/Microsoft pricing for Windows 7 coming out soon.

It seems to mostly be a cat and mouse game for computer makers to bundle linux but only to scare Microsoft into lowering their pricing, earlier someone said XP seems to only cost an extra $15-20?

Edited 2009-08-17 20:58 UTC

Reply Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

It seems to mostly be a cat and mouse game for computer makers to bundle linux but only to scare Microsoft into lowering their pricing, earlier someone said XP seems to only cost an extra $15-20?

As a long time advocate of Linux who has pushed to help make desktop Linux a reality in this world, I have to wonder... where's our round of applause from the folks who prefer Windows for saving them money on their purchases over the last few years? ;-)

There's more than one way to make a positive difference in this world. And not all of them require selling the most units.

Edited 2009-08-17 21:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I don't much like Dell, but I don't think they're simply doing this to get lower prices on Windows. Asus did that, and it showed in the quality (or lack of it) that their cut-down Xandros exhibited. Dell is putting in quite a bit more effort than I'd expect for someone who're just playing a cat and mouse game with Microsoft. They're hedging their bets for the long term it seems, so they're ready if Windows and/or Microsoft lose their dominance. I'm sure, if Apple allowed it, Dell would probably hedge their bets with OS X instead of or in addition to Linux. It's a strategic move by Dell, they've admitted as much.

Reply Score: 4

Figures
by darknexus on Mon 17th Aug 2009 20:32 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

I'd be interested to know how many of Dell's Linux systems are bought and then replaced with Windows, or the other way around. In particular I could see people buying the Linux model and putting XP Pro instead of HOme on it, or buying the XP model for the larger hard drive and putting Ubuntu on that (depending on what the offerings are in a particular region). It'd just be interesting to know, as 1/3 of netbooks shipping with Linux doesn't tell us how widely adopted Linux actually is on these netbooks. However, like all other os usage figures, even if such numbers were released they can scarcely be credited. Remember, 1/3 with Linux is still 2/3 with Windows, personally I'd like to see half and half even though I personally do not purchase Dell products anymore due to many quality issues.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Figures
by dragSidious on Mon 17th Aug 2009 21:27 UTC in reply to "Figures"
dragSidious Member since:
2009-04-17

It's impossible to tell.

All the major retailers now prefer to have as many of their machines Linux-compatible as possible, even if they do not sell Linux on them to the public.

They do this for several reasons.

The biggest one is that large buyers of machines (say 250-500+ a pop) are doing it for corporations and they almost always require some sort of custom setup. There are enough companies nowadays deploying Linux desktops that it makes it worth Dell's time to make sure they have a large selection of Linux-compatible hardware.

The only reason Dell offers consumer Linux systems online is because the demand is there for it.

They won't offer consumer Linux option for all their hardware until they realize a demand for it... which would be things like people walking into Best Buy and asking for Linux Dell machines, which just does not happen.

Lots of Linux users will buy a non-Linux Dell machine due to the hardware options that are not avialable on the Linux Dell stuff.

On netbooks in order to get discount XP netbook licensing Dell has to keep memory under 2GB. So if you want hardware that runs more memory out of the box you have to get a Linux or Vista system.

So it goes both ways.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Figures
by lemur2 on Mon 17th Aug 2009 23:24 UTC in reply to "Figures"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I'd be interested to know how many of Dell's Linux systems are bought and then replaced with Windows, or the other way around. In particular I could see people buying the Linux model and putting XP Pro instead of HOme on it, or buying the XP model for the larger hard drive and putting Ubuntu on that (depending on what the offerings are in a particular region). It'd just be interesting to know, as 1/3 of netbooks shipping with Linux doesn't tell us how widely adopted Linux actually is on these netbooks. However, like all other os usage figures, even if such numbers were released they can scarcely be credited. Remember, 1/3 with Linux is still 2/3 with Windows, personally I'd like to see half and half even though I personally do not purchase Dell products anymore due to many quality issues.


All of this is true, but it misses the point somewhat. Whatever the exact figure, this statement from Dell marketing still shows that, where there is an actual choice offered to people, the oft-quoted figure of "Linux has only 1% of the market" is utter nonsense.

I have heard somewhere that Dell has one fifth of the netbook market. If that is indeed so, and Dell sells close to a third of netbooks with Linux, then this ALONE represents 6% of the netbook market.

At this time, Linux variants would have 100% of the smartbook market.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Figures
by jokkel on Tue 18th Aug 2009 10:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Figures"
jokkel Member since:
2008-07-07

the oft-quoted figure of "Linux has only 1% of the market" is utter nonsense.

This number originates from looking at browser usage statistics. This is the best numbers, that we have. Sure, some browsers may not report browser and OS correctly, but that's only a decreasing fraction.
This number also assumes, that users spend equal time for web browsing. Maybe all the Windows users spend more time that Linux users on the web. But this is pure speculation.

So we can't really get a correct marketshare from these numbers. But what we can see is trends. Linux stayed at 0.5 to 1.5 % during the past 5 years. The Mac grew from under 2 % to over 5 % during the same period. I conclude that Linux desktop usage has increased, but just as much as the market as whole has grown.

Linux has about 1 % Desktop market share. Server and embedded use is not covered here.
Don't be angry at the figures.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Figures
by lemur2 on Tue 18th Aug 2009 10:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Figures"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

" the oft-quoted figure of "Linux has only 1% of the market" is utter nonsense.

This number originates from looking at browser usage statistics. This is the best numbers, that we have. Sure, some browsers may not report browser and OS correctly, but that's only a decreasing fraction.
This number also assumes, that users spend equal time for web browsing. Maybe all the Windows users spend more time that Linux users on the web. But this is pure speculation.

So we can't really get a correct marketshare from these numbers. But what we can see is trends. Linux stayed at 0.5 to 1.5 % during the past 5 years. The Mac grew from under 2 % to over 5 % during the same period. I conclude that Linux desktop usage has increased, but just as much as the market as whole has grown.

Linux has about 1 % Desktop market share. Server and embedded use is not covered here.
Don't be angry at the figures.
"

I'm not in any way "angry" at the mythical figures, I just note that they are utter fiction.

Even if they reflected any semblance of the truth, browser usage statistics would give you only the percentages of installed base, and not of the current market share.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Installed_base

To assess the current market, one needs to look at current sales figures, and not dubious browser-id-string-derived statistics, which can be manipualted to indicate whatever one wants:

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp

Current sales figures are apparently that Linux is pre-installed on about 5% of shipping netbooks, Mac OSX on 0% of shipping netbooks, Windows XP Home on perhaps 92% of shipping netbooks, and Vista on the rest. Some variant of Linux is pre-installed on 100% of smartbooks.

Those are the current market share facts. They mostly reflect Microsoft's power over the OEMs (since, when netbooks first came on to the market, 100% had Linux pre-installed). For the one OEM (Dell) who still offers its customers an actual choice of either XP Home or a fully functional Linux pre-installed on their netbook purchases, Linux is shipping pre-installed on about 30% of the machines.

Browser statistics are notoriously easy to fake in any event, even if they actually reflected the market share as you mistakenly thought they did.

Edited 2009-08-18 11:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Figures
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 18th Aug 2009 11:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Figures"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Some variant of Linux is pre-installed on 100% of smartbooks.


What smartbooks? They do not exist yet - they're all prototypes.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Figures
by lemur2 on Tue 18th Aug 2009 11:11 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Figures"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17
RE[6]: Figures
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 18th Aug 2009 11:32 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Figures"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Of course they will run Linux. But so far, they do not exist yet beyond prototypes. You can't buy them yet, and they're planned for the holiday season and early 2010.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Figures
by lemur2 on Tue 18th Aug 2009 12:01 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Figures"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Of course they will run Linux. But so far, they do not exist yet beyond prototypes. You can't buy them yet, and they're planned for the holiday season and early 2010.


That is a fair enough observation.

http://www.smartbookreviews.co.uk/

"later in 2009" seems to be about the time-frame when they will come on to the market.

They will run Linux. Some will run Ubuntu, others will run a variant of Android, apparently. I don't know of any other OS work being done to cater for them.

My guess would be that only the "open" ones, where end users can install whatever FOSS software they like, will be the popular ones.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Figures
by steogede2 on Wed 19th Aug 2009 13:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Figures"
steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17


So we can't really get a correct marketshare from these numbers. But what we can see is trends. Linux stayed at 0.5 to 1.5 % during the past 5 years. The Mac grew from under 2 % to over 5 % during the same period. I conclude that Linux desktop usage has increased, but just as much as the market as whole has grown.


How can you conclude anything about market growth from the percentage of web usage by various OSs? Moreover of the percentage has triple (i.e. from .5% to 1.5%) surely that shows significant growth - even more so if the market as a whole has grown.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Figures - the ten million dollar question
by jabbotts on Tue 18th Aug 2009 00:56 UTC in reply to "Figures"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

That's the ten million dollar question. I'd almost sign an NDA just to see the true figures myself even without being able to share them afterward. Unfortunately, only MS analysts know the true usage statistics and even fewer on the other side.

- how many Windows systems are activated customer
- how many Windows systems remain in use and recieve ongoing updates

In the middle
- how many systems are dualbooted and between what OS (more out of curousity)

On the other side
- how many installs of each Linux or BSD distribution are out there in active use
- how many recieve ongoing updates

On the windows side, the true usage figures are not as valuable a marketing tool as the units shipped figures so it'll always be warehouse and retail numbers not usage. On the other side, personal privacy is respected and being counted as a user is an opt-in activity. Retail figures are bunk also but for a different reason; true install and usage can't be determined simply by counting sold units or downloads since a disk can legally be shared around.

Worse still, does my workstation and VMS all count as one usage or five; host OS, VM mail and NIDS, VM audit toolbox, VM dev server.. and so on.. and so forth..

Acceptance may be easier if traditional retail channels and counts where valid stats to compare but unfortunately it's not the case and making it the case would mean giving up fundamental attributes of the open development model.

Reply Score: 2

Why the doubts?
by Vic Davery on Tue 18th Aug 2009 08:05 UTC
Vic Davery
Member since:
2009-07-29

Thom says:
t really see this as a problem, as he explains to PCWorld that close to a third of Dell's netbooks ship with Linux pre-installed, which I have to say, is a pretty hopeful figure.
Why is this a "hopeful" figure? Are you questioning what Finch says? Do you have more accurate information?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why the doubts?
by lemur2 on Tue 18th Aug 2009 09:08 UTC in reply to "Why the doubts?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Thom says:
t really see this as a problem, as he explains to PCWorld that close to a third of Dell's netbooks ship with Linux pre-installed, which I have to say, is a pretty hopeful figure.
Why is this a "hopeful" figure? Are you questioning what Finch says? Do you have more accurate information?


Thom said the figure was "hopeful" not "doubtful".

"Hopeful" means "full of hope".

Thom is saying that a figure of 30% of Dell netbook shipments is promising for Linux, rather than saying there is anything to question about what Todd Finch said.

Another mention of it is here (on the second page), in case anyone thinks Mr Finch may have been misquoted:
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9136733/Dell_plans_to_expand...
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9136733/Dell_plans_to_expand...

"The growing interest in Linux is partly driven by Dell's success with Linux on its netbooks. Close to a third of all netbooks Dell ships during certain quarters are preloaded with Linux, he said.

Dell is currently the fifth-largest netbook vendor worldwide, according to IDC's Chou. Linux-based netbooks made up about 5% of overall worldwide shipments during the last quarter.


There you go ... Linux has 5% of the netbook market (a quote from an independent source). This despite Microsoft's best efforts to kill Linux in that market (after all, most netbook OEMs now do not offer a Linux variant at all).

Also 100% of the (just-starting) smartbook market (Microsoft has almost no skin in that game at all).

As Thom said ... hopeful.

Edited 2009-08-18 09:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Why the doubts?
by steogede2 on Wed 19th Aug 2009 13:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Why the doubts?"
steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17


Thom said the figure was "hopeful" not "doubtful".

"Hopeful" means "full of hope".

Thom is saying that a figure of 30% of Dell netbook shipments is promising for Linux, rather than saying there is anything to question about what Todd Finch said.


Hopeful can also mean optimistic. He appears to think that Thom implied that the figure was an optimistic estimation as opposed to a realistic measure.

Of course he misunderstood Thom, Dell have no need to estimate the number of Linux netbooks they have sold - they have the exact figures to hand. I think 'encouraging' would have been a much better word to use.

Reply Score: 1

Finch would make great politican
by Karitku on Tue 18th Aug 2009 12:50 UTC
Karitku
Member since:
2006-01-12

"Close to a third of all netbooks Dell ships during certain quarters are preloaded with Linux, he said."
This doesn't mean third of all sale in year is Linux netbooks. Am I only person who thinks that Finch comments are rather strange.

I mean first he claims that high return rates are "non-issue" leaving it unclear is return rates high or low actually, if he would simply state that claims are untrue and that return rates are low it would been much more clearer. And now this. Could he be more clearer on statements or would it bring up the ugly truth.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Close to a third of all netbooks Dell ships during certain quarters are preloaded with Linux, he said."
This doesn't mean third of all sale in year is Linux netbooks.


No, it doesn't. For a independent figure for all netbooks, here is a quote from Jay Chou, who is a research analyst at IDC:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9136733/Dell_plans_to_expand...
Dell is currently the fifth-largest netbook vendor worldwide, according to IDC's Chou. Linux-based netbooks made up about 5% of overall worldwide shipments during the last quarter.


Dell is the only large OEM to offer a full-featured Linux OS (Ubuntu) on their netbooks, and Dell is only the fifth largest seller of netbooks, but even so, "Linux-based netbooks made up about 5% of overall worldwide shipments".

If Dell ships less than a fifth of netbooks, and the total percentage of Linux netbooks shipped is about 5%, then that is perfectly consistent with Dell selling about 30% of its netbooks with Linux.

Am I only person who thinks that Finch comments are rather strange.


You probably are. Most people don't seem to have your problems with reading comprehension or maths.

I mean first he claims that high return rates are "non-issue" leaving it unclear is return rates high or low actually


Sigh. He was perfectly clear. He said that the return rates at Dell for its Linux netbooks was about the same as the return rate for its Windows netbooks.

Couldn't be clearer.

if he would simply state that claims are untrue and that return rates are low it would been much more clearer.


He said the rates were the same as the rates for Windows. Equally low. He also said the return rate for Linux netbooks was a non-issue, which it wouldn't be if the return rate for Linux netbooks was high.

Once again, couldn't be clearer.

And now this. Could he be more clearer on statements or would it bring up the ugly truth.


Dream on.

PS: Perhaps you are getting Dell confused with MSI. There was a claim made by MSI that the return rates for the MSI Wind models which had SuSe Linux installed were higher than the return rates for Windows. The MSI Wind, however, had a wifi chip that had a very experimental, pre-release driver. It had very poor range, and because it was not part of the Linux kernel, the driver stopped working after the very first kernel update. No wonder the return rate was high ... for MSI netbooks with a very poor implementation of SuSe Linux.

http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS3251351951.html

http://my.opera.com/mulander/blog/2009/01/30/ever-wondered-why-peop...

Edited 2009-08-18 13:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

No, it doesn't. For a independent figure for all netbooks, here is a quote from Jay Chou, who is a research analyst at IDC:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9136733/Dell_plans_to_expand.....
"Dell is currently the fifth-largest netbook vendor worldwide, according to IDC's Chou. Linux-based netbooks made up about 5% of overall worldwide shipments during the last quarter.
"

By the way, if anyone wants to ring Jay Chou and ask about this, here are the contact details:

http://www.idctracker.com/ContactUs.jsp

Worldwide Quarterly PC Forecast
Jay Chou, Research Analyst, PC Tracker, 650-350-6464, jchou@idc.com

Fill your boots.

Edited 2009-08-18 14:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

and
by Mellin on Tue 18th Aug 2009 22:49 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

no linux netbooks are sold in Sweden

Reply Score: 2