Dell: 33% of Inspiron Mini 9 netbooks sold run Linux

The very first Eee PCs might have been Linux-powered, but Windows XP has made considerable headway in the netbook market since then. Nevertheless, the biggest PC vendor in the U.S. apparently has no trouble selling Linux netbooks. Laptop Magazine spoke to Dell and found out that Linux models represent a third of the firm’s Inspiron Mini 9 sales.

Much like Linux-powered Asus and Acer netbooks, the Dell machines run a netbook-specific distribution with a special user interface and big, friendly application icons. In this case, the distribution is a tweaked version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix. As one might expect, Linux variants of the Inspiron Mini 9 cost less than the Windows ones—just $249 instead of $299 for the cheapest configurations.

Laptop Magazine quotes Dell’s Jay Pinkert as saying the uptake of Ubuntu-based Inspiron Mini 9s is “well above the standard attach rate for other systems that offer Linux.” Pinkert adds, “We have done a very good job explaining to folks what Linux is.” Dell believes pricing plays a big part in the Linux systems’ popularity, and interestingly, it says return rates for Windows and Linux netbooks are “comparable.”

Comments closed
    • mattthemuppet
    • 11 years ago

    where’s OSX come from? The article was about Linux vs. XP, not some technerd hack job OS on a platform.

    As for Linux on netbooks, it makes sense – they have more hardware limitations, so Linux should run more easily than XP, and the cost of the OS licence will be a large proportion of the purchase price (as Ubergerbil pointed out). That Linux penetration isn’t even higher most likely reflects a degree of Microsoft’s paranoia about other OSs.

    • Ashbringer
    • 11 years ago

    I heard that Realtek was kind enough to even supply wifi drivers for these notebooks that run OS X.

      • Corrado
      • 11 years ago

      Yup, and although the util they released for it is ugly, it works, and works pretty well.

    • Windogg
    • 11 years ago

    And of the 33%….
    50% of those run an “extended preview” copy of XP and a growing percentage will be running OSX. 🙂

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      I doubt the percentage running OSX ever grows above single digits. For the people who like to hack things that much, Linux is more attractive; if enough of Apple’s actual demographic starts doing this Apple will notice and offer a $600 NanoAir — or perhaps an iPhone “slate” — as an alternative. (Yes, for some that will still be too much $ and for others an actual hackintosh is a perverse enjoyment in itself, but you’re back to single digit percentages).

        • d2brothe
        • 11 years ago

        Try single tenths of a percent. Even among techies running OSX on a netbook is exotic, and using it fultime is even rarer. Don’t kid yourself, apple’s market share is still only a single digit percentage, their share of OS on non-apple machines is extremely small.

          • UberGerbil
          • 11 years ago

          I was being generous.

          • Corrado
          • 11 years ago

          Really? I know 17 people that own MSI Wind’s. Of them, 9 of them bought them SPECIFICALLY to run OS X on them and do so every day.

            • UberGerbil
            • 11 years ago

            You, and the people you know, are not a representative sample.

            • indeego
            • 11 years ago

            /[

      • Windogg
      • 11 years ago

      The smiley at the end of my comment wasn’t placed well.

      It’s a small joke on the Gizmodo article slowing the Mini 9 as the “perfect” NetMacbook. At my office, there has been a sudden influx of people curious about buying a Mini 9 through the Dell Employee Purchase Program.

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    A 25% premium is a lot to spend to get Windows on what is probably your second or third machine, especially one you’ll be using mostly for web browsing

    Of course there are also a lot of us tech types buying these things, and a lot of them are probably installing their own distro anyway, so there’s no reason to pay extra for any OS.

    • Kent_dieGo
    • 11 years ago

    $50 is nothing to laugh at. Especially if you plan to install WinXP anyway. All the cheap Linux netbooks I saw did not have enough RAM for Vista.

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