Dell adds Ubuntu 7.10 to its lineup

Dell adds Ubuntu 7.10 to its lineup

Summary: Dell is adding Ubuntu 7.10, also known as Gutsy Gibbon, to its consumer Linux lineup in the U.

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Dell is adding Ubuntu 7.10, also known as Gutsy Gibbon, to its consumer Linux lineup in the U.S. The company has also expanded its Linux offerings abroad.

First, the Ubuntu 7.10 announcement. Dell on its blog Tuesday said that Ubuntu 7.0 will be preinstalled on the Inspiron 530 and Inspiron 1420. Ubuntu 7.10 will also be available on the Inspiron 530 in England, France and Germany.

Also see Adrian Kingsley-Hughes Ubuntu 7.10 series with the review, installation process and galleries (right).

Another feature Dell is adding is the ability to automatic DVD movie playback.

Dell writes:

The experience we wanted is simple — when you put a movie in, it plays. It is easy enough for a child and an example of the steps we are taking to make Ubuntu as enjoyable as possible.

It's a bit comical that auto-DVD playback is a big deal, but that's where we stand with desktop Linux. Applications that we're all used to just aren't quite there yet. However, that is changing rapidly. As it does the fear about jumping to desktop Linux will erode.

This takeaway was clear at IBM's shindig yesterday. IBM is seeing employees convert to desktop Linux (Red Hat's version), but the big hurdle is the set of applications. When applications that run on Windows run the same way on desktop Linux conversion will be easy. In IBM's case Lotus Notes 8 had to offer the same experience on Windows and Linux to pave the way to switch.

Ubuntu is in a similar situation--once media features are easy ala built-in DVD playback--it may find some momentum. And with a refresh every six months the gap can close quickly. Gutsy Gibbon on Dell already has 3-D visual effects, a better desktop search engine, pre-installed Flash and recovery options.

But we aren't there yet. This comment from Dell is telling:

Dell is working on bringing Ubuntu to more markets over time. In the meantime, tell your friends in the existing markets to buy a system now. The more we sell, the sooner we can expand the program.

Translation: Dell hasn't sold enough to make it an option everywhere. It's a chicken and egg argument. If those demand stars line up desktop Linux will be ready for prime time. Personally, I see a virtuous cycle beginning with desktop Linux, but the timing is open to debate.

Topics: Linux, Dell, Hardware, IBM, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software

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105 comments
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  • I don't think it is a matter of there being no dvd software

    But can it be distributed legally with Ubuntu? There are good non-free dvd players for linux.
    zmud
    • You are exactly right, zmud.

      The problem has ALWAYS been you couldn't distribute the ability to play DVD's with your FREE distribution of Linux:

      http://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Movie_Player_Applications

      "Due to patented codecs and copy protection, SuSE is not allowed to deliver full-featured movie players with the distribution."

      The authors of this article make it sound as if there are NO decent media players with Linux, which isn't true, of course. Shows you where the loyalties lie of some writers with ZDNet: who's the biggest FUD maker?
      OButterball
      • Besides . . .

        all it takes is for Dell to pay the Licensing fee to allow playback on THEIR systems . . .Same thing with MP3's, etc, which is probably a "chicken feed" fee for them . . .
        JLHenry
        • Exactly, JLHenry.

          After reading THIS article, you would probably come away with the idea that there is some TECHNICAL INADEQUACY with Linux, in general, and not simply some challenges to be overcome with marketing OSS in a world dominated by proprietary software manufacturers.
          OButterball
          • You can call me . . .

            "JL", "Henry", "hey Stupid!!", or "The fat guy in the corner", as long as you don't call me late for supper!!! :)


            "ya' doesn't haf to call me Johnson!" ;)
            JLHenry
          • What is the matter...

            ... with people? This is a simple problem to fix, even if Dell or Ubuntu cannot automatically install the software, they can install a desktop icon linked to the fix. Hopefully people aren't looking for excuses to avoid adoption of Linux...

            Ubuntu has the links to play DVD's already on their system. It just isn't accessable for people who do not have the patience to look for it (you don't even have to look that far...).

            I have Ubuntu 7.10 running on a Hard Drive Key (1 GB). I am trying it out. It took a little digging and a few attempts to find out the right way to get it on the HD Key, but it is faster and persistent (saves settings) now.

            My major issue is the lack of wireless and modem drivers on intitial installation. This will likely be the next fix from Ubuntu. Other than that it appears quite similiar to Windows. The old installation and learning curve hurdles have been removed by the Ubuntu staff.

            There are some neat games and educational software. If you have the time it is definately worth a look (if not as a prime OS, then as an add-on). Ubuntu can also be run simultaneously with Windows (in a separate window). I am surprised more businesses haven't switched to cut costs???

            What is the price difference between Vista/XP and Ubuntu from Dell? Do we save anything? Otherwise I would be inclined to download and install Ubuntu myself. Then I get a legal copy of Windows for no added cost.

            Regardless, Linux has jumped some major hurdles in usability for non-computer inspired people... congratulations are in order... keep up the good work.
            Information_z
      • Or perhaps

        The problem is that the writers at ZDNET are writing from ignorance because they haven't done adequate research.
        Update victim
    • Ogle

      My favorite free player is Ogle, available in the Ubuntu repositories.
      acrididae
  • One error in your statement....

    "- Turbo-Tax. Still stubbornly requiring IE and Windows for the online version."

    I used Turbo Tax last year - with FireFox on Windows XP. :)
    Techboy_z
    • And . . .

      I don't know about your state, but Ohio has their OWN website where you can do your state taxes on-line . . .No fees or anything!
      JLHenry
      • Nice...but superfluous!!

        Income taxes are unconstitutional. And even if they weren't...why we put up with the onerous tax code we have is beyond me. A simple flat tax would suffice, be more fair, and save us all alot of grief!
        Techboy_z
        • What's that got to do . . .

          with what we were talking about? . . . .

          We were discussing Linux programs, Turbo Tax and the ilk . . .
          JLHenry
        • Wrong, Income taxes are NOT UNCONSTITUTIONAL

          Please see: http://www.constitutionfacts.com/index.cfm?section=constitution&page=otherAmendments.cfm

          The sixteenth amendment clearly and unequivocally authorizes Income Taxes.
          Update victim
          • The 16th amendment was never legally

            ratified. Do a little research... it goes a long way in this case. The income tax and the IRS is one of the biggest lies perpetuated on the American people to date.

            [url=http://political-resources.com/taxes/16thamendment/default.htm]A political resource.[/url] Know your government, understand your Constitution and your government is controlled by you. ]:)
            Linux User 147560
          • No one has ever won a Supreme Court case in..

            the matter; and unless even a single state complains about it they won't even seriously consider the problem. Perhaps complaining to your state congressman or state attorney general would be more effective.

            I would think a large enough petition during an election season would be sufficient.
            JCitizen
        • There is a simple flat tax

          in most states, it's called sales tax. Also, there is a federal flat tax on telecom services and gasoline. Flat taxes have been called unfair as much as income tax.
          alaniane@...
  • I don't have a problem?

    [B]"- Turbo-Tax. Still stubbornly requiring IE and Windows for the online version."[/B] - Been using Turbo Tax online for a while using Firefox and OpenSuSE. No real issues for me.
    Linux User 147560
    • No issues here either.

      I have used Turbo Tax for the last two years (and plan on using it again for 2007 taxes in April 2008). The first year I was able to get most of the way through the process on Linux, but had to dust off and fire up my old XP box to get the PDF forms for printing and archiving. This last year I was able to do the whole thing on Linux. With this said, officially they still say IE required when you go to use the site last I checked.
      enduser_z
  • Patents are the problem.

    Proprietary code is no issue, it can be replaced and already has been. Patents on fundamental mathematical operations are the problem...

    Jeremy.
    JeremyAllison
    • Incorrect...

      Not that I like the fact...but it is not "fundamental mathematical operations" that are being patented - it is *particular* mathematical algorithms. I think you understand: while noone should be able to patent encryption in general, why should they not be able to patent their own particular cypher? We just don't happen to like it when that cypher comes into commercial use and payment is required for it.
      Techboy_z