Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Why Won't Dell Promote Its Linux Desktops? 355

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the soemthing-to-think-about dept.
Brian McCoy writes "In this article, Steven Vaughn-Nichols proclaims "Last Thursday, when I wrote about Dell's new Linux desktop, was one of the most frustrating days of my professional life. My eWEEK colleague John Spooner and I tried our best to get Dell to confess that they really had released an honest-to-God Linux desktop.""
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Why Won't Dell Promote Its Linux Desktops?

Comments Filter:
  • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @10:22AM (#14816206) Homepage Journal
    Is there a Majority Shareholder keeping Linux support at the lip service level?
    Or, do Dell's executives own Massive Stacks of certain stock?
    Maybe Somebody would be Mighty Sore at Mr. Dell if he Mustered Sufficient courage to Make Significant choice available to people.
    Ah, Monopolistic Speculation: gotta love it.
    • Many Salespeople get commissions based on the cost of what they sell. Maximize Software cost is the operative principle here.
    • Could you, perchance, be referring to the part of TFA which says:

      At least one partner, Tangent Inc. [tangent.com], an OEM based in Burlingame, Calif., has come right out and said that Microsoft charges exorbitant fees from OEMs [thechannelinsider.com], distributors, and resellers for its operating system licenses.

      Do you know what else Tangent claims? That Microsoft entered into restrictive agreements with OEMs and system builders that limit or eliminate their ability to feature non-Microsoft products. The company filed an antitrust lawsuit in

    • MS Pac.Man , May Say about that , gobbling up all the pac-dots(in Marketing Shares) .
    • I am not sure other people realized it or not but the capital m and capital s seem slightly bolded in IE I think it is a conspericy by Microsoft to use sublimal messages as advertising on their products. Wierd...

      Honestly it is tough to see if they are bold or not in IE becuase of the crappy fonts.
  • I bet they don't want to be responsible for any sort of support. Like someone calling and asking how to get their scanner to work.
    • Why not? It can't be that hard to train technicians on how to remove temporary internet files and delete cookies in Linux.
    • I hear this canard very often. Yes, it's true that sometimes it can be a pain in the arse to get a scanner working under Linux. On the other hand, getting same scanner to work with Windows is not exactly a barefoot frolic in a summery meadow either.

      Windows scanner software tends in my experience to be buggy, crash-prone and awkward to use. Even the TWAIN drivers, which should allow you to scan straight into your favourite graphics editor transparently, are prone to memory leaks. The installation CDs v
      • my experience with scanners is opposite. a couple of days to get it working on windows (and then, only on a particular version, on odd numbered weekdays) and instant gratification with linux..

        not to say linux doesn't have its faults, but scanners isn't one i've seen
    • After fighting with my scanner in windows (couldn't find the CDs and the manufacturer's site was a bit wonky at the time), I decided to try a last resort. I plugged it into my linux laptop.

      Immediately (no driver installation, no softare configuration) it was ready and able to scan.

      Just like the computer industry did for Windows 15 years ago, they can do the same thing now, for Linux. Offering support is what people pay them for, so why shouldn't they? In fact, if a major PC manufacturer like that threw t
    • I bet they don't want to be responsible for any sort of support. Like someone calling and asking how to get their scanner to work.

      If Dell was smart they'd outsource the linux support to RedHat who already has an existing infrastructure of analysts to do phone support for Linux, and for whom a partner like dell would be big boon to the balance sheet.

      Of course, its equally possible Dell will just fail to teach their voice-response system the word "linux" to keep their support costs down. They can't burn tec

    • Re:Support (Score:2, Insightful)

      by singingjim (957822)
      I think this is probably one of the main reasons why a big computer company like Dell won't be more vocal about Linux. They know that the majority of folks out there, myself included, are clueless and scared when it comes to learning an entirely new OS that requires real effort to learn and master. Also, I went to Dell's website and put together an über penguin that came out over $14K (it was sweet! =] ). The base dual processor system starts at $1200 with no monitor and that's just not conducive to
    • I bet that is precisely it. They have a knowledge-base and set of scripts that adequately handles Windows XP. The cost of supporting a bunch of Linux newbies is not going to be trivial. If I were Dell, I'd probably stick to Windows too.
  • Support. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DogDude (805747) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @10:23AM (#14816217) Homepage
    It's very simple. Support will be an absolute nightmare. The few hundred bucks per machine that they're charging over Windows doesn't come close to paying the bill of the support that the "average" computer users would need if they actually bought these things. They want to make sure that people who buy them REALLY want them and know how to use them, already.
    • I'm sure you're right that Dell is keen to gently discourage the "average" user from buying these Linux boxes. Just look at the descriptions on the linked page: they're described as "workstations" (message: not one for Mom and Pop), and have suitably intimidating subtitles ("Elite", "Performance", "Advanced").

      Then there are the descriptions of "ideal owner": "Demanding, price-conscious users requiring the power of a workstation over a desktop for specialized tasks". Again, it's a "get lost, n00bs" message

    • It's very simple. Support will be an absolute nightmare.

      Not really. Dell's customer support currently has a "15 minutes then restore" policy. If the tech on the line cannot solve your problem in 15 minutes, then you are instructed to restore the PC to the "as shipped" state via an image on the hard disk or on CD.

      That puts a fixed upper bound on their support costs, regardless of the operating system being sold. Dell does not have to provide "how to use" Linux support any more than Dell provides "ho

    • I agree. It should only be for people that know what they are doing and understand that not all hardware is supported, fully, partially or at all.

      Linux is still a pretty small target. I don't think a mass seller like Dell has any business entering that market, it would be better served by shops dedicated to Linux support.
    • Doesn't Microsoft support Windows, Red Hat support Red Hat Linux WS and Dell support hardware?
  • Don't Buy from Dell (Score:2, Informative)

    by cyber_rigger (527103)
    There are plenty of other companies that sell Linux an no-OS machines. http://www.addonshop.com/ [addonshop.com] http://www.emperorlinux.com/ [emperorlinux.com] http://www.ibexpc.com/ [ibexpc.com] http://www.koobox.com/ [koobox.com] http://www.linare.com/ [linare.com] http://www.linspire.com/ [linspire.com] http://www.linuxcertified.com/ [linuxcertified.com] http://www.linuxsyscorp.com/ [linuxsyscorp.com] http://www.microtelpc.com/ [microtelpc.com] http://www.outpost.com/ [outpost.com] http://shoprcubed.com/ [shoprcubed.com] http://www.sub300.com/ [sub300.com] http://www.systemax.com/divisions.htm [systemax.com] http://www.walmart.com/ [walmart.com] http://tuxmobil.org/reseller.html [tuxmobil.org] http://www.us.debian.org/distrib/pre- [debian.org]
  • Retaliation!
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @10:29AM (#14816262)
    Just for fun and to see if it existed, I tried http://www.dell.com/linux/ [dell.com] and it brought up a page full of information about Dell Linux products and information.

    But it is interesting to note that on the http://www.dell.com/ [dell.com] page, there is nothing about Linux.
    Maybe Dell could add a link to Linux on their root page? Just a thought.
  • At this point, it seems anyone who would care about Dell's Linux machines are nerds like us who already know, and are least likely to base a computer purchase off an ad anyway. Why would they spend money on promotion that would preach to a choir and go ignored by the masses?
  • Novell Connection (Score:2, Interesting)

    by brickballs (839527)
    Novell puts out a monthly (free) magazine called Novell Connection [novell.com]. I just got the latest issue a few days ago and I do remember noticing a Dell / Linux Advertisement on the back cover.
  • Microsoft told them to

    //+1 concise?
  • Silly question..... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by XMilkProject (935232) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @10:46AM (#14816394) Homepage
    Everyone knows you can't try to make logical conjectures from anything Dell does.

    Why doesn't someone tell me why Dell screws my company out of hundreds of thousands of dollars each year selling them overpriced server equipment? Or why the Dell reps attempt to bribe our IT department with cash and free laptops if they'll continue to purchase only Dell equipment.

    Or howabout why our Dell contract reads that installing any non-dell equipment on our network violates our warranties? Or how we can't put non-dell ram into our desktop machines, even when Dell has no ram available to sell us.

    Dell can go fuck itself. It makes all its money by ripping off companies, bribing those that do know better and lying to those that don't. Not to mention the shit hardware they deliver...

    Go ahead and order 10 identical desktops from Dell. You'll get 10 boxes that look identical on the outside, but you'll be pleasantly surprised to find they've got 10 different motherboards and ram configurations in them. This is AWESOME for imaging disks! fuck dell.

    To make it more personal I'll mention that my company is one of the largest fast food chains in America, so depending on how you look at it, Dell is directly responsible for high priced fast food. Revolt!
    • Why doesn't someone tell me why Dell screws my company out of hundreds of thousands of dollars each year selling them overpriced server equipment?
      Because they can.
      • Because they can.

        Not only "can", but "must". Publicly held company, legal responsibility to maximize profits, etc.

        Your company getting ripped off is just another symptom of a culture-wide problem: once a company goes public (Google notwithstanding, because they've established 1) they don't give a flying fig about the stock price, and 2) their shares are distributed in such a way that a shareholder revolt is both unlikely and difficult), the focus goes from "How can we build customer relationships that wi

        • Indeed. What was the reasoning behind the decision to ditch the public charter and switch to "maximize profits or jail" model. Does anyone have any good book material or references that discuss this? I don't know too much about it but it seems to be a big problem. And how exactly do they define "maximize profits"? Clearly, corporations make donations to, say, the Red Cross which I assume bolsters the corp.'s image. But it seems there would be many grey areas between "this will boost profits NOW" and "

    • Why doesn't someone tell me why Dell screws my company out of hundreds of thousands of dollars each year selling them overpriced server equipment?

      Because your company buys it? If it is costing your company hundreds of thousands, perhaps IT consultants should be hired that can stop this unnecessary spending (though if it is like any other company, reducing your budget = lower budget next year which is not favorable either..)

      Or why the Dell reps attempt to bribe our IT department with cash and free laptops if
      • Yep it's obviously the companies fault for not having people that can make good decisions. Although that doesn't explain some of the trash-hardware we get from them.

        Unfortunately it seems to be a problem that plauges all large companies, constant waste on these sorts of purchases.

        I just paid 20k to dell out of my projects budget for a server that I priced out for about 9k if I built it. Obviously dell offers warranties and such against the hardware, but does anyone have an opinion on whether this is
    • my company is one of the largest fast food chains in America, so depending on how you look at it, Dell is directly responsible for high priced fast food. Revolt!

      Taco Bell must run linux.
    • Blame your company.

      I work for a place that got fed-up with Dell as a supplier. So they switched to IBM. IBM charged about twice as much for the same systems. But they gave various kickbacks so long as we only bought IBM hardware. Those kickbacks involved joint marketing, discounts on future purchases, and I don't know what else. The problem was that the IBM computers were terrible. And when all of the techies complained, the company did the analysis and determined that the kickbacks weren't worth it,
    • Or why the Dell reps attempt to bribe our IT department with cash and free laptops if they'll continue to purchase only Dell equipment.
      How do I get in on that? I have customers that will only buy Dell no matter how much I try to persuade them otherwise. If it's inevitable, I may as well lay back and enjoy it.
    • Interesting for me to read that list.

      I worked for IBM, for a while, some time back. Everything on that list was practiced by IBM.

      I wonder if it isn't just common practice within the industry.
    • That's what you get for buying cheap.. Dell originally started as an online supplier to be the cheapest of the cheap. They have gotten more expensive since then but still sell the same service and hardware quality.
    • Why doesn't someone tell me why Dell screws my company out of hundreds of thousands of dollars each year selling them overpriced server equipment?

      Probably has something to do with those purchase orders your company keeps sending them.
  • by Pedrito (94783) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @10:47AM (#14816397) Homepage
    Look, I like Linux in a lot of ways. It's definitely a great server OS. And the desktops have come along way. I love seeing the progress and I love playing with them. But given a choice, despite all my frustrations with Windows, I simply find Windows easier to use in a number of ways.

    It doesn't matter which version of Windows you run (okay, not necessarily with '95, '98 or something even more ancient) you can install the same .exe file and run it. On the other hand, with Linux, you usually have to get the executeable for your specific CPU if not your CPU and flavor of Linux. Or, God forbid, you actually have to download the source and build it yourself, which has happened with me with a number of apps because I simply couldn't get the package to install for some reason or another (maybe I couldn't find one of its dependent packages or I couldn't install one of the dependent packages). Installing apps in Linux, especially the less popular ones, can be a very trying experience.

    Just to give a single example, something as simple as a CPU temp monitoring app, turned out to be a nightmare. I spent 3 days trying to get a couple of them installed. Never managed to pull it off, despite passing tons of messages back and forth on linuxforums.org

    There are other things about Linux that simply aren't ready as well. On the other hand, there are areas where Linux has excelled beyond Windows, and that's terrific, but I generally see the failings in being the areas that affect your non-tech users. Ease of use, ease of finding apps, ease of installing said apps.

    These issues need to be addressed and I have no doubt they will be. MS, for all of their faults, have done a pretty good job of making stuff easy to use. It comes, in part, from spending a great deal of time and money doing usability testing of their software.

    Another failing in Linux is that, a lot of apps aren't terribly easy to use. Many Linux developers, especially for smaller apps, still have a tendency to focus on command-line apps. MPlayer, for example: An app for watching movies, is command-line. That makes no sense to me. Sure, I can get a front-end for it, but why don't they just include one so I don't go have to find one that: A> I can manage to get installed and B> That doesn't suck? Command-line should be the secondary method, not the primary method.

    Most non-tech users don't even know Windows has a command line. They don't need to know. That's a good thing.
    • Bute given a choice, despite all my frustrations with Windows, I simply find Windows easier to use in a number of ways

      .

      It's true -- Windows is definitely easier to use. The network transparency makes it really good -- I can fire up an xload on my remote machines and see how they're doing, or even tunnel my Windows connection over SSH for complete security. Oh, wait, you don't mean X Windows?

      In seriousness, reading your complaint I think that you may simply be trying the wrong technique. You shouldn't be t

      • This is probably the biggest problem facing those who would adopt Linux: there is such a huge morass of options it's hard to tell which path is the easy one.

        I think your first point generally addresses that: most vanilla installs of the bigger distros (Debian / Ubuntu, Red Hat / Fedora, Suse) pretty much take care of those choices for you, unless you want to start exploring. The adventurous user has the option to explore, while the generic user just uses the stuff that's installed.

        The adventurous user is in
    • >> Ease of use, ease of finding apps, ease of installing said apps

      I really have to say, install Ubuntu, enable Universe and Multiverse and fire up Synaptic, then come back here and say that ;)

      Plus the fact that 99% of drivers come pre-installed.

      There are still areas that are unnecessarily difficult I'll grant you. Multimedia configuration for a start, but I've now reached the point where if someone I'm going to have to support, my parents for example, wants a new OS, I'll try to move them to Linux. On
    • It doesn't matter what version of linux you run, if it has a package manager, you can find the right package and the right executable. I can install a new version of a program just by knowing its name; tell me how Windows provides anything even remotely that easy. Running a linux distro without a good package manager? You can download the same source code as everyone else and create the "Right" executable yourself.

      "something as simple as a CPU temp monitoring app, turned out to be a nightmare."

      Hmm. "a
    • But given a choice, despite all my frustrations with Windows, I simply find Windows easier to use in a number of ways.

      Having recently had to start using Windows after 5 years of not touching it, I can tell you that Windows is *exceptionally* unusable from my point of view. It's just nowhere near as userfriendly and capable as Linux.

      On the other hand, with Linux, you usually have to get the executeable for your specific CPU if not your CPU and flavor of Linux

      Yes, whereas Windows is far better because it onl
  • The pricing on these systems is really strange. Do this: Go to the Dell Linux workstations link in the article. There are three systems there. Now navigate back to the small business Dell Precision desktop workstations, and you'll find an almost identical page, with the same three workstations, but with Windows XP Pro installed. How much do you have to pay for Windows -- or rather, how much do you save by getting a Linux workstation? Nothing! Two of the three systems are exactly the same price regard
    • They cost the same because RedHat Enterprise WS is not a free-as-in-beer product.

      You get 3 years of RH support with Enterprise WS, and you pay for it. the pricing is about $180 for the OEM copy of RHEL WS, which is about similar to the OEM price for XP Pro.

      Just because it's linux doesnt mean it's always cheaper.

  • From the article they seem to be workstations. So why promote them in the same way they promote consumer machines? First and foremost Dell is a brand name as much as anything, and their goal is to give their customers similiar experiences regardless of which Dell consumer grade machine they buy. And part of that experience includes Windows.
    However, businesses are a different story. For the most part(cue cynics) you are going to have people who know what they need and will go straight for it. Why shoul
    • For at least a year (that i can verify), Dell has offered linux preinstalled on their entire Precision line. Use the customize option, build a machine (via the wizard, not the combos) and you will see. I have one sitting on my desk, this is nothing new. What they do not do is make a big deal out of it.

      I am sure their linux desktop sales are less than 5% of their annual sales and thus not important enough to pay attention to. Wait 12-18 months, until udev/hal/dbus/*DEs are polished, the vista hype has subsui
  • Many people have suggested that Dell are maintaining a low-key Linux offering because otherwise it would cost them a lot of money in after-sales support. This really isn't so, the cost of support can be extremely small and still provide a very effective level of service.

    Dell would need to do only two things, at minimum cost:
    1. Install a bog-standard release from one of the Linux big boys, like RedHat or SuSE. And, very very importantly, DO NOT CUSTOMIZE IT. At most, supply loadable binary modules for any h
    • As I understand it. And a lot of techs in India know Linux.

    • Install a bog-standard release from one of the Linux big boys, like RedHat or SuSE. And, very very importantly, DO NOT CUSTOMIZE IT. At most, supply loadable binary modules for any hardware that isn't standard, and that's all.

      The goal would be to get RedHat or SuSE to do all the software support, right? Supplying binary modules is way too much customization for that plan to succeed. Those would taint [tux.org] the kernel, and no other vendor is going to support that.

  • Same - Same (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The interesting thing to me is that the Linux version [dell.com] costs the same as the identical Windows version. [dell.com] In past Linux system offerings from Dell, the Linux system was actually more expensive than the Windows system!
  • There are plenty of rational reasons why they might not want to advertise it to the mainstream and just leave it to those (geeks) who are looking for it (IE: support is a bitch to grandma who bought the wrong scanner). But I'll give you one better: why should they have to?

    They are a company. They can do the hell they want with their products. Michael Dell is making more money than you are, is making more people more money than you are, is making more people more money than any other hardware manufacturer
    • by Tony (765) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @11:20AM (#14816671) Journal
      They are a company. They can do the hell they want with their products.

      Damned straight.

      And we are customers, and we have demands. We have the right to demand what we want, just as they have the right to refuse us. That doesn't mean we can't write articles detailing how coy Dell is being with their Linux desktops. We can write whatever the hell we like, especially if it's the truth.

      They are a company. One would hope they listen to their customers, try to keep their customers satisfied. I would further hope that people with money to spend would demand the things they want, as loudly and publicly as possible.

      His right to do what he wants with his company supercedes your right to see the word "linux" on the front page of dell.com.

      That doesn't mean we don't have a right to demand it.

      You seem to advocate quiet, sheep-like customers. I advocate just the opposite: demanding, loud, annoying customers. Demand Linux on the first page! Demand we don't pay a Microsoft tax! Demand we get what we want to get!

      Let Mike Dell do whatever he wants with those demands. That's his company's right. But don't try to silence the customer. It's not called "supply and demand" for nothing.
      • No, if you read the guy's articles he sounds like a whiny bitch. This is all way too reminiscent of the whole Massachusetts-forcing-Walmart-to-carry-Plan-B, most slashdotters tend to oppose the government mindset and yet when it comes to linux they fall right into that mindset.

        But don't try to silence the customer. It's not called "supply and demand" for nothing.

        Aren't enough of you to matter. (I don't buy computers...)
  • I've never understood the stupid "xyz vendor recommends Windows XP" campaign. It's not as if desktop users have much of a choice when they buy their Windows XP desktop. What's there to recommend to the user? By the time they have their machine... they have no say in the matter!
    • Vendor lock-in (Score:3, Informative)

      by wowbagger (69688)
      Simple. It is all about locking-in the computer vendors to Microsoft.

      Microsoft says to the vendor, "If you will put this 'We recommend Microsoft Windows' line in ALL of our advertising, we will pay you $$$ out of our advertising budget." The amount paid is large - large enough to pay for a good chunk of the vendor's advertising.

      However, the catch is that ALL ADS, bar none, must have this logo. So even is what is being sold is a Linux server, the "We recommend Microsoft" has to appear. Also, the vendor is ST
      • This is slashdot, talking about linux. You're supposed to be talking about conspiracy theories or how everyone involved is just too stupid to realize how good linux is or how Windows is virus-ridden and insecure.
    • I've never understood the stupid "xyz vendor recommends Windows XP" campaign. It's not as if desktop users have much of a choice when they buy their Windows XP desktop. What's there to recommend to the user?

      These add campaigns target the retail market.

      Win MCE for home use, Pro for the office. It's that simple.

    1. The Microsoft argument, made in the article, is tired and probably has some basis in truth. And while there is an additional cost for the end user to deal with a Microsoft Tax, since all vendors force you to pay it, it becomes part of the built-in price of the computer; and as long as that price is still both lower than people are willing to pay and high enough that the vendors can make a profit on it, the makeup of the pricing for the components will continue to be irrelevant.
    2. Linux is free. If you wa
  • by fak3r (917687) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @11:06AM (#14816549) Homepage
    the knee jerk response is because they can't afford to lose whatever deal they have with microsoft, but I'd hope that isn't the real reason. All I know is that I tried to buy a desktop w/o an OS from them (ok, you have to have a naked drive with FreeDOS included, close enough) but of course that one was more expensive with cheaper add-ons than their 'speicals' with XP Home! SO there ya go, I paid the MS tax by saving 150$ on a better machine from Dell. It frustrates me to no end, but I don't know what I can do about it save for complain, which I have to them. I know, buy from someone else, roll your own, etc...but I've done that in the past, now I want some kinda 'just works' hardware that I can buy and trust. (and ppl wonder why I'm so excited about the new apples...dual boot osx/linux and I'll be a happy camper)
  • I would really like to listen to the phone calls when a customer purchases with this link a Dell Precision Workstation With Linux [dell.com] and they are unable to get any of the bundled software to work.

    From the mentioned website, during the configure process, you have choices of business software you would like to add to the workstation. Last time I checked, none of these ran on Linux systems yet. Choices include :

    1. Avid Express DV
    2. Adobe Video Collection Standard 2.5
    3. Adobe Premier Pro 1.5
    4. Adobe After Effects
  • How many years has Wal-Mart been selling a dirt cheap Linux system online without generating enough demand to bother putting it on store shelves? Dell isn't promoting the Linux desktop because there isn't enough demand for a Linux desktop to make it worth the bother. Linux nerds already buy Dell machines and install Linux themselves, so there's no point marketing to them, and the last thing Joe Blow on the street wants is to try and learn to use another operating system after finally learning how to use Win
  • Dell are not a boutique. They want volume. If your order was big enough - millions of bucks big enough - they'd probably install your pet chipmunk as an OS. In the meantime, they do offer Linux for those who want it. However, this is for the few folks who want and need Linux for a reason, in the same way that some folks might need a Sun workstation. It is absolutely not about offering the same stuff cheaper just because it has Linux and not Windows. Hence I would imagine, RHEL in the equation rather than so


  • Look at the description of one of these linux systems:

    Ideal owner: The most demanding users requiring elite dual-processor power, cutting-edge features and plenty of room to grow

    "Elite dual-processor power." Hrrrmmm... Something tells me they aren't aiming this at your average home user. This is aimed at the basement hackers that have been bitching about Dell not selling anything but Windows on their desktops. It's a way for them to still sell hardware to geeks that don't feel like building their own
  • Windows is to Linux as AOL is to the Internet.

    Once you get enough experience, you take the training wheels off.

    AOL is dying as users become more sophisticated. Windows will too. It might take longer, but it is just as inevitable.

    My five year old daughter uses a Linux machine almost every day, and does not use windows.
  • And those out there that own one too can back me up on this:

    Dell not promoting Linux to run on their machines is a net positive. Not that Linux won't run on them, it's just that most of the hardware is really bad stuff. You can't polish a Dell turd by sticking Linux/MacOSX/*BSD on it.
  • So why did Dell refuse -- no matter how we tried to word the question -- to admit that they really had moved a bit further toward offering Linux on the desktop?

    Or, better still, why doesn't Dell just start offering one Linux distribution as an option on their complete desktop line?

    The reason is that, when push comes to shove, "Dell recommends the use of Windows XP Professional" on its desktops.

    So I, for one, think that the real reason Dell keeps the Linux desktop at arm's reach is that it doesn't want to t
  • Here in the UK, we have been shipping linux systems both within the country and around the world.

    Our customers in some cases demand Dell hardware. In some other cases they require three years of next-business-day hardware support, and about the only manufacturer from which this is available at a reasonable price (in places like downtown Bangalore, for instance) is Dell.

    Dell have been extremely unhelpful when it comes to supplying systems with linux preinstalled. For an example, see Exhibit A [dell.com] showing v

  • Microsoft could immediately put a nine figure dent into Dell's earnings, just like they did to IBM in the 90's.

    Per-processor licensing is still happening.

  • Than a bunch of news / blogs / other anti-MS sites? ;)

    Seriously though, walmart has been selling linux PCs for a while now without hyping them as much as the anti-MS crowd would hope. If you feel a company has a good product, give them some of the best advertising they can get... word of mouth!

My computer can beat up your computer. - Karl Lehenbauer

Working...