Dell’s Linux Software Architect blogs on behind-the-scenes moves towards Linux support on Dell client systems and announces a new public mailing list for related discussions. “We put a lot of effort into our Linux offerings on our workstations and servers. On the client side, our efforts are much more behind-the-scenes. We recognize the chicken-and-egg problem though: it has to work before many people will want to buy it; and it won’t work unless effort is put into it before people start buying it. So we’re cracking the egg, not quite making omlettes.”
Linux on More Dell Client Systems?
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2006-11-02 7:35 pmjakesdad
only when you see the boxed and oem installation media floating in Boston harbor.
2006-11-02 7:59 pmShkaba
look closer can’t you see some floating … ooops, sorry, wrong ocean. There are some floating on the pacific. Nuff funy stuf.
I can hardly wait for the day where there will be a bigger product line from bigger PC makers without windows tax. It makes sense for them to diversify their offerings as well as could entice people to experiment with alternative OS’es
2006-11-02 8:31 pmtwickline
I would say yes, 2007 will be a year in which Linux has the potential to achieve 10 to 15% desktop usage. Why ? Because Microsoft has totally went over board on “Genuine Advantage” checks on 100% of its software.
And Vista is really a lost cause as its a expensive resource hog with no real innovation. Microsoft is there own worst enemy and there the reason why so many people want to distance there selves as far away as possible from them.
Is 2007 going to be the year of Linux breaking out on the desktop?
I believe it is achievable!
2006-11-02 8:52 pmShkaba
It is very achievable, but maybe not in 2007 (unless something majot happens). I still see it as a very gradual process, very slow in North America, very fast in Asia and at moderate pace in EU and Latin America. Big PC makers will find it easier to make the inclusion of linux if there is a growing demand for linux workstations from businesses. This is going to take a wee bit of time, but its moving in that direction.
2006-11-02 9:25 pmshotsman
I tried to buy a laptop from a UK Maker a few years ago. I have an unused XP License so I said to the maker “Please supply the laptop with NO Software”
“Sorry they replied. Its against the LAW!”
I said that I have a valid unused XP license so please load XP and use my license key
“No sorry they replied. Its against the Law”
“So, if I come to you with an unopened XP retail pack, you wont sell me the laptop with no software on it?”
“No, Its against the LAW”
Since when did Microsoft make law in the UK?
They ( the laptop maker) were blatantly breaking UK LAW so I reported them to the local Trading Standards office.
Suddenly, the PC Maker said “Sure we can sell a laptop with no software. By the way, it will cost £20.oo more than if you buy it with XP”
I called Trading Standards again.
I got an offer for the Laptop that was below their advertised cost of it with XP. By then I had gone to a make who would sell me one with nowt on it.
This shows the stranglehold MS has on PC Makers. The Microsoft TAX is going to be here for a long time yet.
2006-11-02 9:52 pmShkaba
They just tried to strong arm you by using the wrong terminology. What the salesman should have said is “I am sorry but that violates a contract with one of our suppliers” and not “…. LAW”. People like that salesman piss me right off. Nothing worse then a semi-literate, pushy salesman bullshitting left and right. Excuse the language but it is really annoying when you read about how stupid some people are. Good on you for sticking to your rights. If that would happen in US that store would probably be sued
2006-11-02 10:00 pmPhloptical
Yeah, sure….there would have been a lawsuit, but I think it would have been against the user regarding some hidden fine print in the DMCA, or some other absurd legal “safety net” like that.
Either way….I also commend the poster for not taking any sh*t….way to stick it to the man!
2006-11-05 7:15 pmtwenex
Fortunately there is now at least one vendor who sells laptops with Linux preinstalled:
I used them to buy a couple Linux DVD’s a few years back and at that time they were very good – very quick to ship. I can’t comment on their Linux or laptop support as I haven’t as yet had the opportunity to try it, but I hope to soon.
I am not an employee, shareholder, or regular customer of the linux emporium.
Hopefully the MS threat to sue Linux users will not stop them supplying it – as they supply Ubuntu with them, or The Distro That Shall Not Now Be Named for an extra charge.
(They also do dual-boot with XP for an extra charge.)
2006-11-03 5:41 pmtomcat
You’re dreaming. Dell has tried this before and there wasn’t enough interest — so they cancelled the program. Coupled with the fact that close to 100% of all desktops ship with Windows — and cost/TCO doesn’t seem to be a significant factor in purchasing an OS for most people — this seems like more of a marketing experiment than a serious effort to displace Windows.
An OEM shipping machines with Linux pre-installed, instead of Windows is exactly what Linux needs to make some headway against Windows, and Mac OS X (both of which have OEMs shipping machines).
Now we just need an OEM shipping these machines to home users. An distro like Ubuntu does pretty much everything most casual users need it to do right out of the box anyway, so why not?
This is pretty serious. Once big name vendors like Dell officially support Linux, thats when you know it is becoming mainstream enough for casual (read non-geek) users to play with.
Distributions like Ubuntu are great and I can give them to friends to install themselves. Linux has came so far in the 7 1/2 years I’ve been playing with it and its amazing how easy it is getting.
Whats next after offering official support for Linux on Dell hardware, Dell shipping Linux by default or as an option instead of Microsoft software? That would be interesting.
A big name company shipping Linux as an option on their desktops would get an additional look from me, as it stands I go with HP for laptops as their machines are very Linux friendly.
but if I could get a Dell Laptop with the distro of my choice pre installed… that would be worth a long hard look for me.
“iXsystems Bought PC-BSD” was the news couple weeks ago.
Can we expect something like “Dell to buy PCLinuxOS”?
Probably not but I see many good signs for future of Linux.
MS offering sales support for Suse. Now that is a trip!
2006-11-02 9:18 pmshotsman
Thisis very off topic but would someone please explain how the code shipped in say SUSE Linux not violate the same Microsoft patents as the very same code shipped in RedHat, Ubundu, Mandriva, Debian or the likes of Gentoo not attact a law suit?
If I were a judge and got this presented to me I would ask MS why they are not suing every other Linux distro that included the offending code?
“Well Your Honour, we have an agreement with Novell not to sue them”
“If you agree that Novell are not violating your patents then <insert distro here> who are shipping the same alledgely violating code are not as well. Case dismissed”
IMHO, you have to sue every offender or none but I am most certainly not a lewyer/shyster/leech on society.
2006-11-02 9:25 pmDevilotx
The contract would offer Novell a license for the offending technology, thus insulating Novell from the lawsuit.
2006-11-02 9:30 pmshotsman
Sorry, for being thick. But, how would a court decide that Novell had not infringed the very same patents as say, RedHat had when the code is identical. Unless, the agreement between Novell & Microsoft specified exactly what patents they were exempt from. The SCO debacle has demonstrated that a blanket coverall license is not good enough for a well informed Judge.
MS has to specify what patents Novell are exempt from othewise IMHO the agreement is not worth the paper it is written on otherwise, Novell is exempt from violating EVERY MS Patent and MS will not be granting that sort exemption unless hell freezes over.
2006-11-02 9:45 pmShkaba
I believe that key here is in the following sentence:
“In addition, Microsoft won’t assert rights over patents over software technology that may be incorporated into Suse Linux”
keyword here is “MAY”. If MS had ANY case against, ANY of the companies that support/distribute linux they would have filed a lawsuit long time ago. On the other hand, there is no way, one can patent knowledge otherwise we would be suing each other everytime someone says “I’ve got an idea”
2006-11-02 10:20 pmWindows Sucks
But remember, MS doesn’t like Linux but linux in a lot of ways is good for MS! The main way it’s good for MS and the reason they have not sued anyone (Directly! Cause indirectly they have through SCO) is because MS now can tell the US justice dept that they have competition!
Long as there are small Linux companies they can go after them in some respect and use them as a shield in others.
I’ll be happy when I see a price difference when you choose Linux.
If for some reason they have some contract saying that to get a discount on licenses all PCs need to be sold with Windows, then if I choose a Linux PC and can’t get a discount I’d want a VMWare image of Windows on there since I’m paying for it anyway.
2006-11-03 5:43 pmtomcat
I’ll be happy when I see a price difference when you choose Linux.
I agree — but you might even see Dell offering these PCs at around the same price — because (a) this would result in greater revenue share for Dell, and (b) Dell still has to support them.
….but I’m still not convinced any Linux is ready for mass prime-time. Meaning, any distro might be usable out of the box, but I would never install it on my mother’s machine, for instance. I couldn’t even imagine the problems that would cause when she would want to load a program that wasn’t there.
Installing a program into linux is a friggin headache, just give me something like a gd exe file and that’s it. Yeah, I know this is flame-bait, but I really don’t care….when it takes me 30 minutes to try and install Flash, or some simple program without using the package manager….it’s too much.
If the communities can get together and iron simple things like that out, I’d be a happy camper.
2006-11-02 10:53 pmLobotomik
OK, I’ll bite the hook.
Windows may have great advantages over linux, but ease of installation is not one of them.
In most current distributions, especially those that are Debian-based such as Ubuntu, you open the package manager, you scroll down the list to the program you want, you click install, and you’re done. If other packages are necessary for your chosen program to run, they are automatically downloaded and installed. And if next week an update comes that fixes a security hole, it will be automatically installed. When the distro is updated in a few months, all the software may be automatically upgraded to the lates version (and you don’t have to pay a penny for that).
Compare that with hunting different programs around the internet, downloading and installing the components one by one, with no updates to new versions and, if there are security holes, then blissfully ignoring them.
Edited 2006-11-02 22:55
2006-11-02 11:55 pmPhloptical
You’re absolutely right, and I get it. All I’m saying is that there are things about Linux that I still don’t think translate to the common user from years of Windows training/brainwashing…whatever you want to call it. Folder structure is a big one as well.
Simply stated, I think Ubuntu (Kubuntu, is the one I use) is the sh*t, I’ve got it quad-booted on my system with XP, BeOSMax, and VistaRC-whatever using Grub. I’ve got the easiest time installing and setting up Ubuntu over a lot of the other linux flavors that I’ve tried. Although the prettiest looking distro that I’ve seen so far has to be VLOS. I’m also using IPCop as my firewall on another PC.
The only problem I have with Linux is that I can’t help but remember back to the days before MS dominated the world. Every computer manufacturer had their own OS and none of them were compatible with the other. The simple reason why everyone is bitching about MS today is due to the fact that everyone was bitching 25 years ago about the fragmentation in the computer industry and the lack of “standards”. MS provided that standard, whether you agree with their business practices or not. It gave the industry what it needed, and what the consumers were asking for…..simplicity. IBM became the hardware standard and MS had the software. In my point of view, MS has become what IBM was 20 years ago, and I think it was unavoidable.
So that’s the rant, I’m not dissing Linux at all, but I believe that it has to standardize the distros to effectively compete against MS.
These marketing peoplettes … Take whatever they say whith a pinch of salt, or maybe two. Direct2Dell, my a$$.
I bought a Dell Dimension E521 a few weeks ago; it seemed pretty good value, though it would’ve seemed even better if I could’ve saved, say 50€, on the license for WinXP that it came married to. However, unlike the US you cannot get that computer without an OS in Spain.
And so much the better, because there is not A SINGLE LINUX DISTRIBUTION that runs OK in this device. The mouse pointer either freezes after while, and only thaws after unplugging and replugging, or is frozen from the moment Linux comes up and nothing can free it.
I’ve tried Ubuntu Dapper, Ubuntu Edgy, Debian Etch. I know that Fedora 6 and SUSE 10.1 fail too. There’s a thread in Dell’s forums, but NOBODY FROM DELL has posted a single line. Some people have tried to get to tech support only to be told there is no support for third party products.
So, this benign attitude towards desktop Linux user is nothing but a farce. What does it boil down to? Nothing more than a condescending simile. It is evident that not only their support is much less than wishful thinking, but they have not even tested Linux on these devices. Not that it is an obscure problem: simply booting Dapper’s live disk makes it evident.
If they did not want to spend a € in correcting Linux USB drivers, they could have said it did not run Linux at all, and saved us a lot of grief. It is very sad, because it *almost* works fine, and very little would be needed to fix the problem.
I was talking to my Gateway sales guy the other day about having a preinstalled Linux on a consumer grade computer. He actually told me that Gateway wanted to release a Linux system, but Microsoft threatened to drastically up the price of their OEM windows license. Pretty sad.
2006-11-05 7:34 pmtwenex
And yet people think that the Microsoft-Novell deal equates to Microsoft “coming to terms with” Linux and “supporting” it.
Ha ha, bloody haha.
is nearing its end?