So, you want some Feisty Fawn with that Dell?

So, you want some Feisty Fawn with that Dell?

Summary: So, it's official. Dell is to offer Ubuntu 7.04 "Feisty Fawn" on a select range of Dell PCs.

TOPICS: Dell, Open Source

So, it's official.  Dell is to offer Ubuntu 7.04 "Feisty Fawn" on a select range of Dell PCs. 

UbuntuAll the details are over on the Direct2Dell blog.  There's not a lot of substance to the announcement:

  • The Linux distro of choice will be Ubuntu 7.04
  • It will be offered "on select consumer desktop and notebook products."

That's it.

Let's face it, Ubuntu was the obvious choice (the folks from Dell could have just taken a peek at the poll I set up here - out of 7,100 votes, Ubuntu came top with 38%).  Of all the Linux distros aimed at consumers that I've tried it's the one closes to being ready for mainstream use.  Choosing Ubuntu will also mean that those wanting a more "Windows-like" interface will be able to install Kubuntu and everything should work fine.

[poll id=132]

Let's face it, Ubuntu was the obvious choiceComments on Direct2Dell are very positive, and that's to be expected given that the request for a pre-installed Linux distro was by far the most popular request on Dell's IdeaStorm site.

I've still got a few questions though:

  • Which product ranges will offer Ubuntu?
  • Will the drivers all be open source?
  • What will the support options be?
  • How will Dell distinguish between Windows-based and Linux-based systems?
  • When do I get my review unit?  ;-)

Congratulations to Dell for being brave and making this step (now all they need is for everyone who said they'd buy a system to actually flip open their wallets and buy a system.  But also congratulations to everyone involved with Ubuntu/Canonical for developing an open source operating system fit for mainstream adoption.

Well done!

Topics: Dell, Open Source

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  • I love the poll...

    ... it says "total votes: 1 Yes: 100% No 100%"

  • Will Dell succeed?

    It may well do, but in a limited way. It all depends on

    - How serious Dell is about this
    - How much Dell advertises it
    - How expectations are managed
    - How much the public is prepared to "try something new"

    I suspect that, in the short term, this will benefit nerds, geeks and propellor heads. If Dell stays the course then in a year's time Ubuntu 8 may be the distro that does the job.

    I would also load Kubuntu as the public is more likely to accept it and the nerds/geeks/etc will have no trouble rearranging the desktop in gnome if they wish tp.
    • Here come the excuses!

      "How serious Dell is about this" - They're offering it. Isn't that what the ABMers

      "How much Dell advertises it" - Why is this relevant. According to the ABMers the
      poll on IdeaStorm "proved" that there was considerable demand. As such why
      should Dell need to advertise?

      "How expectations are managed" - The expectation was that Dell should offer an
      alernative to Windows w/o a Windows "tax".

      How much the public is prepared to "try something new" - See my response to

      If Linux fails to catch with the general populace, which it's bound to do when
      someone attempts to install Office on it, I suspect we'll find the ABMers using
      every excuse in the book except that people just don't want linux.
      • The only valid reason

        which is not an excuse, but a valid reason, you nailed it, [B]The expectation was that Dell should offer an
        alernative to Windows w/o a Windows "tax".[/B]

        Now, obviously, if you can't find it, must call 3 800 numbers followed by a 20 minute quiz on why you know Linux won't run Office, etc, that could be a hindrence.

      • No excuses - just wondering about strategy

        One of the biggest things working against Linux is the lack of an effective advertising campaign. Microsoft and Apple run adverts all teh time to tell you how wonderful their products are. There is no one running Linux adverts.

        Dell may change that. If they are truly serious about this then they have the muscle and money to advertise Linux effectively. If they do advertise it then what level of expectations will they set? Will it be for Granny? Geeks? Techies? Everyone? Is it a Windows replacement? Is it a Windows competitor?
        • Already been said but not Dells job to advocate Linux

          "Microsoft and Apple run adverts all teh time to tell you how wonderful their products are."

          Exactly. So why should Dell be advertising for Ubunutu?
        • Marketing isn't the issue

          What kills Linux is games.

          Everyone wants to play games. They might not say so and they might not intend to at first but they will eventually. It's just something you can do on a computer and it's fun. It happens. Now Linux has games but they are limited. The day you can pick up a CD of puzzle game off the shelf at Walmart for Linux is the day Linux is viable to home users.

          Mostly at at least. There is also some other key apps but those will move quickly if the games are there.

          Back in the day Apple had the games and IBM PCs with MSDos were not that popular because of it. The APPLE II could do everything DOS could and more because it had games. Then the Mac came out and game developers shift to the PC. Then the PC became popular even though the Mac could do so much more than the PC. Then windows 95 came out and game developers shifted there and that made windows HUGE. Now we've been with Windows ever since. If game developers shift to Linux the market will shift to Linux in 3 years following.

          If this occurs, which it might seeing how Vista is so hands off the hardware, it won't spell doom for Microsoft. It might make Microsoft an even bigger company.
      • This good just avoid Windows Crapware

        You can buy a Dell PC with Linux then buy an OEM copy of Windows Vista that is clean to install. Now you could get Windows and do this too but to me it justs seem some how wrong to buy 2 copies of OEM Vista to get a clean install. At least with Linux you have a proven Linux you could use. 2 copies of Vista where one is loaded with crap ware doesn't get you much.
    • If this gives them some good vibes, and gives the a better negociating

      position with MS, it will have succeeded, regardless of huge numbers. I can just see Dell demanding more "marketing" funds: "Ok, if that is the best you can do, we will start offering Ubuntu on EVERYTHING".
    • Why does Dell care?

      As the Mac zealots proclaim time and time again (when it suits them of course), Dell, like Apple, is a hardware company. Dell wants to sell computers, that's it. OS is not important.

      [i]How much Dell advertises it[/i]

      Dell doesn't advertise Windows, Microsoft [b]pays[/b] Dell to "recommend" Windows. If Canonical pays Dell enough money, Dell would recommend Ubuntu. It is up to [b]Canonical[/b] to advertise Ubuntu, not Dell. Remember, Dell is a hardware company.

      [i]How much the public is prepared to "try something new"[/i]

      Here is the biggest obstacle to Linux gaining a foothold in the home. The truth is, for all the blustering that the ABMer zealots engage in, most home users are happy with Windows. I know you will say [b]NO THAT ISN'T TRUE[/b] but the numbers don't lie. If Windows was [b]that[/b] bad, people would either stop buying computers or migrate en masse to Mac. Neither has happened. Either way though, it isn't up to Dell to convince people to try a new OS.
      • Now, that might be interesting. Full page color adds for Ubuntu on Dell,

        paid for by Mark Shuttleworth. Mark has some pretty deep pockets. He does not care when or if he ever makes money on Ubuntu. He is having the time of his life right now. This gives him a purpose in life.
        • I didn't expect you to be down on Linux Donnie?

          As you've made abundantly clear in the past, you can't stand companies with "deep pockets". And if memory serves, Dell was the second most demonized company by linux zealots. Is it coincidence they are fine with the "over priced" Dells the day they offer Linux on a few models? <br>
          Let's see, Shuttleworth is rich and doesn't care if he makes money if he can get linux on as many desktops as your former life, that equated to evil. hmmmm.<br>
          I suspect we are going to see a lot of zealots showing their True colors now...suddenly Dell is their hero. TOO FUNNY.
          • Who said all rich people are bad? And, who said Dell was bad?

            Seems like Dell force the prices down in the PC industry, and forced everybody to be more efficient. And, now HP is giving them a run for their money.

            Come on relax. What could be better, falling prices of hardware, falling prices of Window, falling prices of MS Office. Enough to even make a run of the mill MS fan happy isn't it?
    • But geeks prefer whiteboxes

      If you're the kind of guy that likes Linux, you're probably also the kind of guy that likes to build your own PCs. That's the problem with retail PC shops offering Linux, the Linux crowd likes to build their own.
      • Just finished a new box last week...

        Abit board, AMD64X25600, Nvidia 7950, 4GigRam, 500GigSata3--- and installed (drum roll) - ubuntu 7.04.

        I build this box over the last 6 months, allocating 100 bucks or so each month and buying each piece one at time instead of the entire integrated Dell system. That's the way I've always done it.

        And I WOULD have bought a Dell had I known. I'll look for an Dell "Alien" machine with Ubuntu before I start building my next box.
      • Notebook computers . . .

        ... those are another story. That's what I'm looking for from Dell is a fully configured notebook.
  • You missed

    "How much extra will Dell charge over the same hardware preloaded with MSWinVista Ultimate plus MSOfficeProfessional?"

    History suggests that they'll tack on exactly $100.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
    • Dell ubuntu/suse HP pclinuxos

      It's not about home user, its about corp. Dell certify Suse on some models for corp.
      Then HP will follow with something like PCLinuxOS.
      • Just a Matter of Time

        Toshiba may be the next to break rank offering their own Distro
        D T Schmitz
        • I suspect they might be smart enough

          to wait and see how this goes. Which has as much chance to be dismal as anything. If the people that really support Linux, many of them openly ms hating zealots that think linux is the only system anyone should ever use, actually shell out for brand new DELLs, then you may see a slight bump in dell linux machines, but that's about it. <br>
          It's only a matter of time before those that don't know about Linux buy it and start the chain reaction of shrink wrapped XP and Vista sales spiking when they realize their mistake.