It’s official: Dell chooses Ubuntu

Confirming yesterday’s rumors, Dell has posted an official announcement on its IdeaStorm website that says it has indeed chosen Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux as the distribution for its upcoming Linux-based PCs. Dell says it will offer the latest version, Ubuntu Linux 7.04, on “select Dell consumer models in the U.S. in the coming weeks.”

The IdeaStorm announcement doesn’t contain many details, but the company invites users to watch a “video blog” starring Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth, who discusses move. A report by CNet concerning the announcement also quotes Canonical’s director of operations Jane Silber as saying users who buy Linux-based Dell PCs will have the option to purchase support from Canonical. For users who’d rather not cough up the extra cash, Dell has added a Linux section to its Dell Community Forum, where Dell users are already exchanging tips and helping each other get Linux up and running on their PCs.

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    • blastdoor
    • 12 years ago

    I think that the most likely scenario for Linux to gain real marketshare is for China to put significant resources into making Linux the default OS in the People’s Republic. I think for both economic and nationalistic reasons, China would prefer not to pay money to MS and would prefer to have complete control over the OS being used by Chinese citizens. This could happen in Europe, too, but I think China is more likely.

    If a Chinese company, with financial backing from the govt, were to put serious resources behind a Chinese Linux (Chinux?) and make it free for all Chinese citizens (sort of a BBC of operating systems), then you’d see big market share gains for Linux, which might eventually have spill-over effects into other countries.

    But that’s what has to happen — a major player with deep pockets has to really throw their support behind a single version of Linux in a big way. I don’t see any PC company doing that, which is why I think it will take a government.

      • elmopuddy
      • 12 years ago

      *Google OS*

      They have the cash, and the brains to do it right.

      EP

    • hermanshermit
    • 12 years ago

    OK, so the bottom line here. Will there be a price drop on Dell machines?

    If so how many will have pirated copies of windows installed within a few days of being purchased.

      • IntelMole
      • 12 years ago

      Probably not.

      Take away all that bloatware that comes on a modern desktop, and you lose a substantial amount of subsidy towards the price of the desktop pc, and its copy of Windows.

      Then add on a bit of cost for having to put linux on there and support it – likely, the per unit costs are higher than that for windows because of the sheer disparity in numbers.

    • Dirge
    • 12 years ago

    As much as I want Linux to become popular/mainstream I don’t think people will switch.

    • bdwilcox
    • 12 years ago

    I think this is a huge loss for Apple. Apple had the chance to be “the” alternative OS by allowing Dell and HP to load OS X on their machines, but now that place is about to be usurped by Ubuntu Linux.

    Yeah, yeah, Apple says it’s a hardware company first. Blah, blah, blah. They’re just selling repackaged pretty PCs that happen to run a very nice OS. If they just let someone else build the Mac/PCs to their specs and kept their own branded hardware at a premium, they could have made a killing selling just the OS. There’s this one company that did that, Micro-something or other…

    Oh well, sounds like Ubuntu has a bright future ahead of it. 🙂

      • grug
      • 12 years ago

      “If they just let someone else build the Mac/PCs to their specs and kept their own branded hardware at a premium”

      …they wouldn’t sell any of their own branded hardware. Which is where the money lies, for them and their market share, not in selling OSes.

      This has nothing to do with Apple, and is certainly not a loss for them. Licensing OS X is NOT in their best interests. Steve Jobs killed the Apple clones upon his return for a very good reason.

      • blastdoor
      • 12 years ago

      The only way this hurts Apple is if Dell really pushes Ubuntu in the way that Apple pushes the Mac, and that ain’t gonna happen. Dell will never commit itself to Ubuntu the way Apple has committed itself to OSX — you’ll never see a big marketing push from Dell in support of Linux, you won’t see a bunch of in-house apps designed to work well with Linux. 95+ percent of the PCs Dell will sell in the future will have MS Windows, and Dell doesn’t want to upset MS by competing directly with Windows.

      What you’ll see from Dell is a lightly marketed option to have a PC with Linux on it. This will appeal to a niche user, and Dell will be only too happy to take their money. But Dell is not interested in making converts in the way that Linux users are (or in the way that Apple is).

      If Linux fans think they’re a few steps away from having a serious presence on the desktop, they need to think again.

        • BabelHuber
        • 12 years ago

        q[

          • blastdoor
          • 12 years ago

          y[

            • BabelHuber
            • 12 years ago

            q[

      • derFunkenstein
      • 12 years ago

      This only hurts Apple if somehow, by magic, Ubuntu becomes truly user-friendly. I’ve used Ubuntu and still don’t think it’s quite as friendly as Windows, even, let alone OS X. Oh, and if it gets the real-deal MS Office, Adobe suite, etc. Oh, and Apple’s frameworks start suddenly working in Linux and all the sudden the iLife stuff and the professional packages like Final Cut Studio, Aperture, Logic, etc. are supported.

    • SGT Lindy
    • 12 years ago

    Wow 11 comments!

    Dell has given into the loud pro AMD and Linux, anti “Wintel” crowd…you would think there would over a 100 posts claiming some sort of victory.

      • DukenukemX
      • 12 years ago

      Victory? What sort of candy land do you exist in?

      People want AMD and Linux. It’s like if GM and Ford started offering Hybrids then it’s like Electric fans won a victory over oil companies.

      Some day scientists will find something in our drinking water that causes this mentality.

        • SGT Lindy
        • 12 years ago

        People bitched and moaned all the time that Dell did not offer AMD or Linux…..like Dell was there only choice…..something like your analogy.

        AMD and Linux were many other places….and it’s not like Dell is some kind of world class vendor….more like the Walmart of PC vendors…high volume low price.

        Why is it news that Dell now offers this? Why because it’s like Dell had to be pressured into it. Dell now offers Linux to simply say it can. I bet a year from now the number of PC’s sold with Linux on it will be less than 1%. Going with AMD did not anything for them….HP stuck it to them and now their old CEO is back to fix problems. The AMD move was a pressure deal as well…..all image crap….that made news.

          • eloj
          • 12 years ago

          You’re quite disingenious about the AMD thing, because people wanted Dell to go over to offer Opteron systems soon after they came out and proved their dominance over the poor Xeons, but Dell held out for YEARS and then started offering AMD systems when Intel had almost caught up, thereby “missing the boat” almost completely!

          Also I don’t get why people get their panties in a twist about this, why do you care if Dell offers linux pre-installed or not, are you heavily invested in MS or what?

            • SGT Lindy
            • 12 years ago

            My point exactly….I dont care and thats why I dont see the big deal about this announcment. Especially since Dell allowed you to get Red Hat in the past. This should be NON news.

            If Dell was the sole PC vendor then this would be a huge deal.

            Right now they are #2….with Acer very close behind and many others. HP is #1 and they offer Linux and AMD….have for a while….so It was NOT like you could not get it. Dell servers in terms of market share and sales have always been behind the proliant servers which had AMD CPU’s well before Dell. It would slightly more interesting if HP the number one provider of X86 servers and desktops in the world….would not offer Linux. Only slightly because someone else would….or here is a idea get a FREE copy of Linux and install it your self. Especially when real computer people blow away any pre-installed OS to put on their own build of whate ever OS they want.

            The news in this article was that everyone thought Dell was in bed with Intel and MS…..and now after much pressure they have releneted. Only to save face…..because it sure wont help sales.

    • DrCR
    • 12 years ago

    Have to install a Linux distro on a 900MHz, 256MB rig for a donation only stipulation being Oo 2.2 installation.

    I was going to put VectorLinux on it, but now I’m slightly, just slightly mind you, considering Ubuntu — which is amazing as I consider it more appropriately named Ubloattu.

    Maybe I should research how to make Ubuntu lean and mean. Does that also remind you of another particular OS….

    Hum, as I doubt they are going to need to ever change anything about the rig for the life of the rig, VectorLinux is still getting the nod. 🙂

    Am I rambling? Anyway, I think Dell going Linux is a great thing for endusers, not just the “Linux community”.

      • bthylafh
      • 12 years ago

      Feisty needs 256 MB; you may want to consider either Xubuntu Feisty (lighter) or an even lighter distro.

        • DrCR
        • 12 years ago

        Vector it is then, thanks. 🙂

          • grug
          • 12 years ago

          You really should give Xubuntu I shot. I ran it on a 128MB system and it was surprisingly snappy.

            • shinta
            • 12 years ago

            I like DSL 🙂

    • UberGerbil
    • 12 years ago

    Did we really need three news posts for this?

      • Shark
      • 12 years ago

      why not?

        • pureevilmatt
        • 12 years ago

        yeah, why not?

          • pureevilmatt
          • 12 years ago

          i understand all that. but my question is, why not?

            • GodsMadClown
            • 12 years ago

            When one of the largest PC makers in the world chooses to offer its customers an OS NOT created by MS, I’d consider that pretty big news to any computer user in the world.

            This is pretty important news to the growing number of Ubuntu users, that thier community is about to get much bigger. When one distro takes off in usability and development, this can only be that much nmore of a threat to MS. We can only hope that this will bring prices down to the end-user.

            • eitje
            • 12 years ago

            good points. but… why not?

            • 5150
            • 12 years ago

            You’ll get over it.

      • TheTechReporter
      • 12 years ago

      Why not…. nah, just kidding.

      I don’t know if it needs 3 posts, but it’s very important news.
      For the first time, Average Joe can walk into Best Buy (or wherever they sell Dells – ?) and get a computer off the shelf with Ubuntu on it. Don’t get me wrong, these new Dells probably won’t come flying off store shelves, but it is an important step in giving Linux enough momentum to compete with Windows.

        • SGT Lindy
        • 12 years ago

        Dells are sold on the internet or in a rare Dell kiosk in a mall or airport.

        Dell has sold Red Hat on their PC’s for 3-4 years now if you want them….I bought a really cheap Pentium 4/IDE 1U server with Red Hat for a DMZ DNS server once.

        None of this is new. It would be new information if the number of PC’s they sold with Linux on it was greater than 1%

      • derFunkenstein
      • 12 years ago

      because it’s not Windows!!!11111!!11one11!!!!eleven

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