Dell rolls out SMB notebooks dubbed Vostro sans 'Trialware'

Dell rolls out SMB notebooks dubbed Vostro sans 'Trialware'

Summary: Updated below: Dell has rolled out notebooks and desktops designed to reach small businesses. The brand name: Vostro.

TOPICS: SMBs, Dell, Laptops, Mobility

Updated below: Dell has rolled out notebooks and desktops designed to reach small businesses. The brand name: Vostro. The pitch: Vostro PCs are "trialware" free (some of us would say crapware) and have tailored services attached.

The line appears to be rolled out at an event in Times Square later today. Michael Dell will be fielding questions from customers and reporters. I plan on attending. There is also a Webcast Dell announced.

How do I know all about Dell's plans when the company is so mum about its upcoming announcement? Well, there is the scheduled event targeted toward small businesses. And Dell has put some tech press under embargo on an announcement--I was offered one but couldn't make the timing work and it didn't seem like a must-have for me anyway.

So knowing all of this in advance--and how reporters are all under embargo until about noon--I found it comical that Dell spilled the beans in two print ads in the Wall Street Journal. Page A11 to be specific. Dell also mentioned Vostro in another ad noting that it is also sponsoring the freebie. And given the Journal didn't have the story perhaps the reporters are under embargo too. Dell's bet seems to be that the tech press doesn't read the print Journal (woops).

Update: Dell spills more beans in a New York Times ad (a full spread on C6 and C7). Dell claims "Dell Vostro is a new idea. A suite of systems and services designed just for small business. With Vostro , you get more than off-the-shelf PCs.)

Here are other details found in the ads:

  • Vostro notebooks start at $599 $499 with desktops at $319.
  • These Vostro systems have "no trialware" and "come only with the software you specify." Just as an aside I applaud Dell for this anti-crapware move. Ed Bott has more. George Ou walks you through getting rid of crapware.
  • Dell is offering services tailored for small businesses, "including a 1 year PCTuneup designed to help keep your system running efficiently." Dell also notes that "technicians trained specifically in small business are available to assist 24x7x365.
  • Dell includes a 30-day money back guarantee.

Dell also sends folks to where the Vostro is mentioned again.

Update 2: Frank Muehleman, vice president and general manager of Dell's small and medium business division, said that trialware had been on home/small business PCs, but not corporate ones. Dell decided to create a crapware-free brand based on customer surveys. I asked whether the Vostro brand would influence Dell's moves on the consumer side and Muehleman sounded doubtful. "Some customers want trialware," said Muehleman. That answer should take care of this talkback question a bit.

Other points:

  • Dell's PC tune service has the potential to be a standard offering.
  • Vostro targets companies with 1-25 employees.
  • Vostro doesn't come with the Ubuntu option yet, but Muehleman said he's considering it.
  • Dell's Vostro line includes printers and projectors also.
  • Other services include network assistant to set up wireless and wired networks.
  • An application for centralized support with Dell. This application comes with real-time health scans and upgrades.

Topics: SMBs, Dell, Laptops, Mobility

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  • Wow..... way to go Dell!!!!!

    If there is a Q&A session, someone should ask him WHY Dell included T&C-ware on their business PCs to begin with.
    Hallowed are the Ori
    • Will do--good question

      There's a press Q&A after the town meeting. Will ask.
      Larry Dignan
  • More garbage from Dell.

    Almost guaranteed these are utter CRAP. As is everything with the Dell name on it.

    Dell, just close up already. You will be missed by NOBODY!
    • Hello, my name is Nobody. :) (NT)

    • And since you post has the "Dell" name on it

      I take it that was a load of CRAP too?
      John Zern
  • Top feature! No Features!! :-)

    This is great news for the industry as a whole. It is simply too funny how things change, particularly the PC market. Manufacturers started selling computer systems without "value-added" software until people demanded it for "free". Of course, it, aka "crap-ware", got way out of hand. I applaud Dell's market sense to add value by not adding anything extra. ;-)
    • Unless you are in the CRAPWARE industry

  • Perhaps what is most interesting about these offerings...

    ... is the ability to configure them with either Windows XP or windows Vista.
    Confused by religion
  • Windows IS Crapware

    As long Vostro systems come preloaded with a Windows OS, I'd say they still have crapware prebundled.
  • Windows "Crapware"?

    Look, if you don't like Windows, fine. Go sit in the corner by yourself and play with Linux or whatever. I really don't care what you think of Windows, and I'm sure 99% of the rest of us don't, either.
  • Windows Vista ... is CRAPWARE !

    Anyone with a brain tied behind their left eye would know that Microsoft has suffered a huge loss with Vista. People are not embracing it as the Operating System of Choice. Proof of this is the short life expectancy of it. The next Version of Windows is due to hit in 2009. Windows XP was out for 5 years and is the mainstay of personal and business computing everywhere.

    I wouldn't own a PC with Vista on it. Microsoft dealt a death blow to themselves by splitting the OS into 5 versions rather than 2 as before. Can you hear the Cold North Wind a blowin?

    The Problem with Microsoft is that (1) they don't test their products enough and debug them enough before bringing out to the public, (2) they are too expensive for the average person to buy, (3) their INDIA support teams are hard to understand or work with, and (4) they are constantly "PATCHING" the crap out of them.

    Frankly, they ought to be PAYING US to DEBUG and TEST their ugly products.