"Over the past few weeks much has been written about Dell’s decision to offer desktop and notebook PCs that have the Ubuntu Linux distro installed on them as opposed to Windows. Dell offered this distro based on overwhelming levels of feedback from the IdeaStorm community. The community cried out for a Linux distro (Ubuntu in particular), Dell delivered. But despite the fact that this is a huge step towards making a Linux distro mainstream, I firmly believe this move won’t have any significant positive effect on the Linux market share."
Why would the world's second-ranked PC seller make an effort to sell an operating system that it's never sold before on custom hardware - and do it in a half-hearted manner? Why would it do this at a time when it's desperately trying to regain its number 1 ranking?
Dell replies to extended warranty claims on Ubuntu systems.
"Recently, folks like Slashdot and others reported that we are no longer offering extended warranties or CompleteCare on Ubuntu-based systems. User johnnyk submitted an idea on IdeaStorm asking us to bring back warranty options for these systems. The short answer—we will soon."
"Apparently Dell has decided that Ubuntu-based computers are ineligible for their famed CompleteCare service, or any form of hardware warranty what-so-ever. The news has only recently hit Dell's own IdeaStorm website, via a forum post describing an interaction with the company's customer service. Says the customer, 'I am looking for protection from bricks. The laws of physics do not differ from one OS to the other...do they?' After so recently decided to support Linux on their machines, including limited technical support, Dell seems to be squandering any possible good-will with this decision to leave purchasers of these machines high and dry for hardware warranty coverage."
On the StudioDell site where they have all their DellTV-ish how-to's and infos, they've got a new 5 minute video called: "Linux 101: What's all the Fuss?" It focuses heavily on Ubuntu with screencasts to go with the commentary that roughly explains the concept of open source and gives examples of popular open source applications.
"Visit Dell's home page. Click either the desktops or laptops option. Now tell me if you see anything at all about Ubuntu or GNU/Linux. No? Why is it that Dell hides their Ubuntu option in a menu bar? It turns out that you have to know to choose the menu bar at the top of the page (once you've gotten past the home page), to find it."
"Contrary to many earlier expectations, it turns out that Dell's prices for its Ubuntu PCs are cheaper than similar Windows Vista PCs for all three Models. With the savings for skipping the Microsoft Tax ranging from $50 to $140, it looks like kickbacks for pre-installed software weren't that big a deal after all."
Later today, Dell will offer U.S customers three different systems with Ubuntu 7.04 installed: the XPS 410n and Dimension E520n desktops and the Inspiron E1505n notebook. These systems will be available at www.dell.com/open by 4pm CST today. Starting price for the E520n desktop and the E1505n notebook is $599; the XPS 410n starts at $899.