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ArmorFiend's Journal: Dell's Hidden Barriers to Ubuntu

Journal by ArmorFiend

So I found out that Linux is a serious competitior in the emerging "netbook" laptop market. Cool, I need one of those. So I do my homework and decide on the Dell model, in no small part because it comes with my favorite distro of Linux already pre-configured. Rather than spend three days tearing out my hair trying (and likely failing) to get suspend/resume to work, it should work out of the box, as should all the peripherals. That's worth a little money to save a lot of time.

I truck on over to buy the laptop at their website.

First check: the windows version is ready to ship today, but according to the website the linux version won't ship for 2-3 weeks. Why is that? Are they not DONE with the OS yet? No, the time doesn't tick down 1:1 with wall-clock time, as I notice after three. weeks. of waiting. I think it's just so they can steer you to that other OS.

Second check: "Instant Savings" actually make the Windows machine cheaper by about $40. Fortunately, I happen to log in a day where they also offer that discount for Linux-configured systems. I'm not sure if this accident or desperation on their part.

Third check: that particular day the webcam is gone from the configurator. The only web cam option is "No Web Cam". Ooooohkay. I call their sales support and they goof around for a while taking my personal information, then tell me they can put the web cam in ... but only if I order The Other OS. They won't sell me the laptop with Linux and the webcam, even though they'd been giving it out to reviewers and such for months.

So, Dell, are you going to give us Linux, or are you going to give us artificial barriers? And why are the artificial barriers there? The Cluetrain wants to know.

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Dell's Hidden Barriers to Ubuntu

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