Could a desktop Ubuntu bundle earn share?

Ship everything the average user might need, in other words, at a knock 'em dead price. Turn it on and it runs. You can load it up with ads for support offers, and other downloads you're not including.

Dell Ubuntu laptop from Indiecom, 2007
The big news from Ubuntu is they're aiming at the server market with a bundle that includes an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application or Point of Sale (POS) software.

But does this mean desktop Linux is dead? Or could a bigger bundle make headway?

UPDATE: No, not a smaller bundle like this CherryPal silliness. A bigger one.

Ubuntu has long flown the flag for desktop Linux. Red Hat's decision to abandon the space left it alone. But even with Dell support, its market share languishes.

Rather than play the blame game, the question occurs what might Ubuntu do differently?

The answer, it seems to me, is simple. Increase the size of that desktop software bundle with applications.

Dell may be reluctant, so this is an effort Ubuntu needs to lead. Don't just ship a laptop with Linux installed. Ship a laptop with:

  • GNOME
  • Open Office
  • Firefox, with bookmarks to Linux stuff.
  • Thunderbird, along with its calendaring plug-in
  • A Linux media player
  • Some Linux games

Ship everything the average user might need, in other words, at a knock 'em dead price. Turn it on and it runs. You can load it up with ads for support offers, and other downloads you're not including.

My guess is this will give you a full-powered, fully-functional laptop with a good screen, running screaming fast, for under $500. With plenty of headroom for profit.

When you add any flavor of Microsoft Office, the Dell-Ubuntu bundle costs 50% less than any competing HP laptop.

Everyone would do what they do best. Dell would deliver the hardware. Ubuntu would deliver the software. The only addition would be the funneling of support for the applications through Ubuntu, giving customers one throat to choke.

And you wouldn't have to worry about retail distribution, because Dell barely plays there.

I'd buy one. Heck, I'd buy two. How many would you buy?[poll id=86]

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