August 16, 2010

Has Dell Dropped Ubuntu Linux?

Dell LogoImage via WikipediaBy: David Murphy

Has Dell dropped Ubuntu Linux as an operating system selection for its panoply of PCs? Yes… and no. PC Pro is reporting that one can no longer pick up consumer PCs preloaded with the popular Linux distribution, but that's only if one's trying to order online.

PC Pro goes on to quote a company spokesperson: "We've recently made an effort to simplify our offerings online, by focusing on our most popular bundles and configuration options, based on customer feedback for reduced complexity and a simple, easy purchase experience. We're also making some changes to our Ubuntu pages, and as a result, they are currently available through our phone-based sales only."

However, the same spokesperson—in an interview with PC Pro—went on to suggest that a majority of Dell's sales go toward consumer PCs laden with Microsoft's Windows operating system. Ubuntu systems tend to shop out to, "advanced users and enthusiasts," a sentiment that's reflected in Dell's own on-side material about Linux.

On the company's "Windows or Ubuntu?" page, Dell states that the former is the better choice of an OS for those that are already familiar with Windows programs or, conversely, for those completely new to the world of computing in general. Ubuntu, on the other hand, should be reserved for those that, "do not plan to use Microsoft WINDOWS," or those who are, "interested in open source programming."

The caveat, however, is that this material—as well as the lack of online Ubuntu options—seems to be limited to the European Dell hub. The standard domain still features a "Top Ten" list of facts to know for consumers interested in an Ubuntu system, as well as purchasing links to both an Ubuntu-backed Dell Mini 10n notebook and a Dell Inspiron 15n notebook.

That said, Slashdot commenter "Nimey" points to a key visual indicator that Dell's Ubuntu support, in general, might be waning.

"They don't offer any with 10.04, and two of the four models they offer still have 9.04," Nimey writes. "Doesn't seem like they're too keen on it."

According to Canonical, Ubuntu's primary commercial sponsor, the Linux distribution is currently used by more than 12 million individuals. Data taken by the site Distrowatch—which has been tracking the popularity of hundreds of Linux distributions since its inception in 2001—ranks Ubuntu as the most popular distribution based on an analysis of hits to the site's official "Ubuntu" section.
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Geno Anderson said...

So, Computer Doctor, what brand of computer, especially of laptop computers, is making itself more Linux-friendly? I've got a Toshiba, and I know that company has done Linux no favors. When this Toshiba dies (and it's showing a few signs of illness), is there a good company to look at first for a replacement?

TheComputerDoctor said...

Since I'm an Ubuntu user for desktop and server applications I highly recommend checking out the products at system 76.
Although their laptops are in the $750 to $900 range they come completely set up. On the other hand if you find a great deal on a laptop with Windows already installed and have a bit of patience and use the forums, you can turn most any laptop into a functional Linux machine.

Geno Anderson said...

Computer Dr:

Thanks for the link to System 76. Never heard of them before.


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