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Dell to Offer Ubuntu to Consumers May 1, 2007

Posted by Carthik in commentary, interviews, news, ubuntu.
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So Dell did not get caught in the storm of it’s making – it swept the storm off its feet! This is the day the scales started tipping.

Dell will start offering consumers PCs with Ubuntu 7.04 (aka Feisty Fawn) on its PCs for interested customers. The Dell Ideas in Action Blog announced as much earlier today, stating very clearly that Ubuntu was their distribution of choice, and that they have worked out the specifics of the deal with Canonical, the entity that support Ubuntu’s development. Read Canonical’s brief announcement here. According to Canonical’s Jane Silber, the timing couldn’t be better:

“The market is ready,” Silber said. “We think the combination of the timing, the technology and the partner are aligned to make it happen.”

There is a video interview with Mark Shuttleworth over at the Direct2Dell blog in which he talks about how the deal came about, and how this will make wide Linux adoption a much easier goal to achieve. He’s right when he says that this will increase Linux’s visibility across the board, and draw out closet Linux technologists who will now see some commercial benefit to advertising the Linux expertise they had, but never really talked about before.

I think this is a big step forward – hell, I look forward to answering, “what’s that Ubuntu-thing on your laptop?” with “Haven’t you heard, it comes pre-installed on some Dell PCs?”

Kudos to Dell for following up on their promise to listen to customers. My voted counted, for once. Depending on how many Ubuntu laptops get sold, Dell might just be the trailblazer in making and selling computers – once again. The interesting thing is, I wonder if Dell sees the future, can the others be far behind. Also, going by the example Mark states in the interview about how Linux adoption on servers led to hardware manufacturers ensuring that their stuff was up to snuff on servers, this can only mean better support for Ubuntu from the hardware component and peripheral manufacturers.

Congratulations Ubuntu – stand up and be recognized now!

Comments»

1. carthik - May 1, 2007

I was actually terribly late to the party – I had a paper to submit for which the deadline was earlier today. Good thing I logged in to check my mail etc one last time. :)

2. Vincent - May 2, 2007

I do hope the Linux community will put their money where their mouth is, otherwise this will be the last time in a while a large computer manufacturer decides to ship Ubuntu. I know I voted for having Ubuntu pre-installed, but I won’t be buying a (pre-made) PC for a while….

3. Mark - May 2, 2007

I was shopping for a PC recently. And I faced this very challenge…Dell nor did HP seem to make it easy to purchase a PC from them without the Windows XP or Visita OS as part of the package. So I began my search elsewhere, and found a few smaller guys who seem to sell such combinations.
I will most likely support the smaller shop right now, until Dell takes this mainstream, then I will grab up any good deals being offered with Ubuntu.
Glad to finally see consumers may have a bit more of a choice.

4. Step - May 2, 2007

Alright, this is a big break for Linux – but if it doesn’t pay off for Dell, they’ll stop doing it. If it doesn’t pay, Vincent might be right, and this might be the one and only chance for Linux to help take MS off its monopoly for quite a while.

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7. carthik - May 2, 2007

anonymous – right – since you don’t say “swept off it is feet”, I suppose “its” without the apostrophe is the right use.

Nice cartoon there!

8. Michael Perry - May 2, 2007

Dell preloaded Linux on desktops, laptps, and workstations back in 1999 and 2000. If you attended the Linuxworld New York show back then, you could see their Inspiron models running Linux. Back then I worked at this Linux services company and we certified and supported many of the Dell Linux preloads. They started supporting 4 different commercial distributions but after some restructuring went down to RedHat if memory serves. We actually talked Dell Personal Systems Group back then into looking at Debian as a community-based alternative.

I too wish them good luck with this though. I like the concept. I hope they see success.

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Please make a post telling “Ubuntu CDs fastly arriving”. I’ve got my CDs in 15 days! Check this out: http://forum.linux.org.ba/viewtopic.php?pid=30054#p30054
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