Linux to be pre-loaded on Dell desktops, notebooks

Dell has put up an update on its Ideas In Action website saying it will begin to offer Linux pre-installed on desktops and notebooks. The announcement follows the February 16 opening of its IdeaStorm “suggestion box”-style website, where the company received tens of thousands of requests for PCs pre-loaded with Linux. On March 13, Dell put up a survey to ask users what they felt they needed for a “better Linux experience.” Dell says the survey’s highlights include:

  • More than 70% of survey respondents said they would use a Dell system with a Linux operating system for both home and office use.
  • Survey respondents indicated they want a selection of notebook and desktop offerings.
  • Majority of survey respondents said that existing community-based support forums would meet their technical support needs for a tested and validated Linux operating system on a Dell system.
  • Survey respondents indicated that improved hardware support for Linux is as important as the distribution(s) offered. [The PC maker explores the topic of free versus non-free drivers in more detail on its Direct2Dell blog.]

  • With that in mind, Dell says it has decided to offer Linux pre-installed on select desktop and notebook systems. “We will provide an update in the coming weeks that includes detailed information on which systems we will offer, our testing and certification efforts, and the Linux distribution(s) that will be available. The countdown begins today,” the company states.

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      • Shintai
      • 13 years ago

      Only option really, atleast the next 10 years. Would be for MS to make such a stupid move it would get angry with the EU, and the EU angry with it. Before something like that happens, I doubt we gonna get a real alternative OS anytime soon.

      • adisor19
      • 13 years ago

      The way i see it, if the same Dell computer is 200$ cheaper because there is not MS tax on it, then damn right i’ll buy it and install a devilsown version of XP on it 🙂

      Adi

        • Shintai
        • 13 years ago

        They are 10-30$ more expensive due to Windows for the OEM.

      • Dirge
      • 13 years ago

      I am using ubuntu and think it’s great Linux is gaining traction on the desktop. The problem for Dell is going to be user support, none of the Linux distributions are as familiar or as simple as Windows.

      I also wonder if those who voted on IdeaStorm will in-turn front up with the cash. I suspect the idea will flop due to lack of sales, or people not being adaptable enough to cope with the OS.

      • CampinCarl
      • 13 years ago

      This could be very nice. If they give their Linux-based laptops the same warranty coverage that they give their Windows-based laptops I would be sold. I had already planned on buying a used Dell or HP and installing Linux on it for College (since it would pretty well prevent me from gaming while in class, since there is hardly anything available game-wise (unless one uses Wine or similar product)).

      A laptop that would have a damage-protection warranty would be nice for someone like me.

        • Xylker
        • 13 years ago

        That would be called Complete Care and available in ~48 states…

      • just brew it!
      • 13 years ago

      I do have to wonder…

      Most people who are willing to use Linux in the first place probably aren’t afraid to (or perhaps even prefer to) install their own OS.

        • apsog33
        • 13 years ago

        I wonder if they will install a bunch of default crap like they do for windows?

        I’m more excited about having a notebook that is certified to work with linux. While I haven’t tried installing linux on one yet (don’t own one), I’ve read enough threads about power management issues to make skittish on which notebook to get.

          • IntelMole
          • 13 years ago

          Well considering a lot of that software is installed for the financial incentive OEMs get, not having to put windows on there means they’ll probably just keep the price the same and pocket a bit of cash.

          Also, what rubbish is there on the linux side to install?

            • just brew it!
            • 13 years ago

            If Linux starts to gain traction in the commercial desktop space, the crapware will soon follow.

      • Shintai
      • 13 years ago

      IBM and HP did this before..flopped massively.

        • poulpy
        • 13 years ago

        First it didn’t “flopped massively” because it was rather discreet attempts (not worlwide and on a handful of certified machines at best) on a still too immature Linux desktop offering IMO (I was involved in the HP attempts).

        Second since when “if it failed before therefore it’s doomed to fail” hold water?
        Over the past 4 years Linux has become way more mature on the desktop, it may still be too early -time will tell- but that doesn’t mean it will never work..

        Edit: For me this is another step further after the previous attempts, and even if it doesn’t end up in a customer surge towards Linux it’s still one more sign of credibility for Linux. And as a customer I wouldn’t mind a more levelled OS field like in the CPU business where Intel is pressured by AMD to release good stuff.

          • Shintai
          • 13 years ago

          We heard that tune over and over again. Try ask IBM and HP how many Linux units they sold. Linux is just as immature now as it was back then.

            • poulpy
            • 13 years ago

            Don’t read and troll away that’s the smart move..

            • just brew it!
            • 13 years ago

            I disagree quite strongly with the statement that Linux is still just as immature as it was a few years ago.

            Still not quite ready for “Joe Sixpack”? Yeah, I’ll give you that.

            But it has improved a *[

            • apsog33
            • 13 years ago

            Just out of curiosity……what is your experience using linux over the years?
            Even as a very recent linux user, I’m amazed how much progress has been made in the last 8 or so months. I agree that it’s not completely ready for prime time (xorg 7.3 may fix some of this) but you can’t say that it hasn’t matured in the last 4 years.

              • Shintai
              • 13 years ago

              Daily operating

          • wierdo
          • 13 years ago

          I’d get a Dell with Linux on it if it was dirt cheap. I wouldn’t mind a second PC for playing around on using Linux.

          I wouldn’t use it as a primary system though, I tried Linux before and it didn’t do it for me, the main reason I’d want it would be for educational purposes.

          If worse comes to worse and I don’t get into Linux, I’ll just install another OS on it.

            • just brew it!
            • 13 years ago

            IMO the best system to learn Linux is a “FrankenPuter” assembled from spare parts that are all at least a year old. That way you’re pretty much guaranteed that the stock drivers that ship with the distro will recognize all of your hardware. As long as you stay away from bleeding edge hardware, stock driver support in Linux is actually better than Windows in most cases…

              • poulpy
              • 13 years ago

              A hand-picked PC could be better to learn Linux but in this case it’s more about mass market and people that just want the job to get done.
              Certified PCs from such a big brand as Dell with worldwide availability and support can only be good for Linux and us (customers).

          • BabelHuber
          • 13 years ago

          I think Linux as such is cool.

          But I don’t use it because of the non-existant availibility on games. I don’t want to dual boot OSes, because I also can do everything in Windows. That’s easier.

          If game fvendors would massively support Linux, I’d give it a try. If I wouldn’t play games, I’d give it a try, too.

          Probably a lot of Dell customers are not interrested in gaming, so it makes perfect sense for them.

      • just brew it!
      • 13 years ago

      Well, I haven’t seen the survey in question (it has been taken down), but it is probably simple self-selection bias. If there’s a survey that asks if you’d be interested in a system with Linux pre-loaded, people who want Linux are more likely to respond. People who don’t give a crap about Linux will probably just ignore the survey altogether.

      So having 70% of respondents say they’d use Linux isn’t surprising to me at all.

        • Dirge
        • 13 years ago

        Off the top of my head I think that question was reffering to the use you would require of a Linux machine. I assume 70% of those surveyed will put it to home and office use.

      • Proesterchen
      • 13 years ago

      Those answers sound like a bunch of Linux fans teamed up to spam that Dell survey.

        • kvndoom
        • 13 years ago

        Time will tell. This could be a big first step for mass consumer adoption of desktop Linux. I’d like to see that, but a PC-compatible MacOS release would be even better.

          • BiffStroganoffsky
          • 13 years ago

          I’m not holding out for mass consumer adoption. My thought is that adoption by the big corporations and government agencies would be more likely and more desirable. The needs of the workplace are much more in line with what Linux can deliver now: basic word processing, e-mail, maybe chat/group type discussions and internet browsing. I see the consumer space as more difficult to penetrate as people will want to use software for entertainment and other things that will require add-on hardware which don’t have Linux drivers.

          For Dell, this works out better because they won’t have as much of a support headache and these customers are more likely to upgrade on a given schedule than consumers. I’m wondering if the time is right now for this to happen as more tech positions in the workplace are being filled by geeks that homebuilt that crazy overclocked gaming machine in their teens are entering the work force. Of course, they could be in a situation like me wherein the ‘old’ folks are still lingering around and making decisions based on politics and less about tech.

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