Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 1st May 2007 13:08 UTC, submitted by Jack
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu After yesterday's unconfirmed rumour about Ubuntu being pre-installed on Dell machines, it has now become official. In a joint statement released today, Dell and Canonical announced that Dell will now offer laptops and desktop computers pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux 7.04. The computers will be sold via Dell's web site, said Canonical's director of operations Jane Silber. "We have worked with Dell to get Ubuntu fully supported and fully certified on Dell hardware," she said. "Ubuntu has the full endorsement of Dell." Update: Ubuntu Linux 7.04 Feisty Fawn review by Extremetech.
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Too early
by cleenwe on Tue 1st May 2007 13:50 UTC
cleenwe
Member since:
2007-05-01

On the positive, it should now be able to buy a PC from a major manufacturer without paying the Windows tax.
On the negative, it's too early. Don't get me wrong, Ubuntu is nice (haven't tried 7.04 yet, but even the previous version were nice), but not easy enough for regular computer users. I've read the reviews and 7.04 is better than the previous versions (for instance warning you that you don't have the right codecs to play dvd video, and offering the chance to download them), but still inadequate (doesn't play dvd's after installing the codecs, because of the deccs problem). I'm not saying the problems aren't understandable due to the legal situation of such things, but that one can't expect the windows users to just install and play, which is what they expect.
Since this is Dell, I'd expect at least some Windows users to try it, and when they are disappointed that it doesn't work out of the box,they will switch back to Windows and tell bad stories about their linux experience.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Too early
by Maners on Tue 1st May 2007 14:07 in reply to "Too early"
Maners Member since:
2005-07-26

I guess that Ubuntu will be pre-configured by Dell so no hardware problems should occur and codecs will most likely be pre-installed too (the ones from Fluendo which are legal in US).

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Too early
by baadger on Tue 1st May 2007 14:37 in reply to "Too early"
baadger Member since:
2006-08-29

In all fairness, Ubuntu will play more video and audio formats out the box than Windows will. None of the OEM machines i've ever bought will play MPEG-4 video or H.264 for example, and they usually ship with the nasty Real and Quicktime players and an ancient and crappy DVD decoder like WinDVD v5.

These days on all friend and family OEM bought Windows PC's I install Real and Quicktime Alternative, remove their offical counterparts, install Haali's Media Splitter (For ogm, mkv and mp4 playback) and the latest copy of ffdshow [for MPEG-4, MPEG-2 (DVD) and H.264 playback]

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Too early
by kadymae on Tue 1st May 2007 17:59 in reply to "Too early"
kadymae Member since:
2005-08-02

On the positive, it should now be able to buy a PC from a major manufacturer without paying the Windows tax.

Don't bet on it. I've yet to see a major manufacturer sell a Linux pre-installed machine cheaper than a Windows one.

I remember last year when Lenovo said that they'd be selling SUSE (IIRC) preinstalled on a line of laptops. The cheapest configuration was about $2700 -- same price as the Windows version.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Too early
by archiesteel on Tue 1st May 2007 18:22 in reply to "Too early"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

I'm not saying the problems aren't understandable due to the legal situation of such things, but that one can't expect the windows users to just install and play, which is what they expect.


I think you missed the part where it says that Ubuntu will be pre-installed on these Dell PCs. That should take care of the codecs and decss issues, as well as those of proprietary drivers (as long as the latter are actually installed when the *user* first boots the computer, in order to comply with the GPL).

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Too early
by thecwin on Tue 1st May 2007 20:02 in reply to "Too early"
thecwin Member since:
2006-01-04

Are you aware that a plain non-OEM Windows install will not play DVDs either? It's the computer manufacturer's responsibility to bundle a codec, and I would imagine that Dell will do so for Ubuntu too.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Too early
by DrillSgt on Tue 1st May 2007 20:22 in reply to "Too early"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"....but still inadequate (doesn't play dvd's after installing the codecs, because of the deccs problem)."

Well, since this will be a commercial offering, there is nothing saying that Dell can not provide the decss and hopefully take care of the licensing of it for distribution. Could be easily done by including it on a CD separate from the Linux discs, with instructions to run the CD after you set the machine up.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Too early
by rm6990 on Wed 2nd May 2007 01:20 in reply to "Too early"
rm6990 Member since:
2005-07-04

You would actually pay more for the laptop (it will likely be more expensive than the Windows option due to lack of crapware) just so money doesn't go to Microsoft? I mean...I know we all hate Microsoft and all, but give me a break.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Too early
by Supreme Dragon on Wed 2nd May 2007 04:15 in reply to "RE: Too early"
Supreme Dragon Member since:
2007-03-04

"it will likely be more expensive than the Windows option due to lack of crapware"

You think "crapware" pays the entire cost of Vista? Ubuntu is free, it should cost less, not more, even without the "crapware".

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Too early
by diskinetic on Thu 3rd May 2007 17:58 in reply to "RE: Too early"
diskinetic Member since:
2005-12-09

"You would actually pay more for the laptop (it will likely be more expensive than the Windows option due to lack of crapware) just so money doesn't go to Microsoft?"

Within reason, yes. To be utterly honest, it's not just keeping money away from Microsoft (because, really, how much can it hurt them at this point?), but its also about making Microsoft behave more reasonably in the marketplace. They aren't THE pit of evil, they've just had it their way long enough, as far as I'm concerned.

Edited 2007-05-03 18:02

Reply Parent Score: 2