Dell's Linux PCs withheld from UK

Dell's Linux PCs withheld from UK

Summary: No timescale for the provision of pre-installed Ubuntu machines in the UK — despite the fact US customers will be able to buy them this month


Dell will not sell Linux PCs in the UK — at least for the time being.

The PC supplier said on Tuesday it would sell machines with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed later this month. But Dell has told ZDNet UK that the systems will be only be sold in the US for now. It refused to reveal any timescale for the sale of such systems in the UK.

In a statement sent to ZDNet UK, Dell said: "Currently these are only being offered in the US. Dell is still working out details of its global programme." The company refused to put a timescale on when UK users might benefit.

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It is not the first time that Dell has offered products to US customers but refused to ship the same product to the UK. It already offers so-called "naked PCs" — computers without operating systems — to customers with a US address. But customers in the UK are unable to order such a system.

Dell's customers have waited a long time for a pre-installed Linux operating system. Over 130,000 users of Dell's IdeaStorm forum have "promoted" a suggestion that the vendor should offer pre-installed Linux as an alternative to Windows. About 60 percent of respondents to a separate survey by Dell said they would prefer Ubuntu ahead of any other Linux distribution.

It took Dell three months to respond to those users' demands, although it will still not reveal which systems are involved and how much users will have to pay.

Dell offered Linux-based systems starting in 1999, although it withdrew the portfolio after two years. The PC supplier could provide no clear reason why its products should succeed this time. All Dell would say was: "When customers win, Dell wins." The company said it would issue no sales targets for Linux systems.

Support — also as yet unpriced — will be provided by Ubuntu's commercial backer Canonical, but Dell will also answer users' queries on the software, the company said.

Separately, Dell hinted that it might extend its use of Ubuntu beyond the desktop and into its server portfolio. Spokesman Kent Cook said: "We're looking at Linux across the breadth of our product line. It takes a bit longer sometimes on that side. Stay tuned."

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  • What ashame :(

    What ashame :( no preinstalled Ubuntu Dell comps in the UK, and a load of other countries/islands soon, for the consumer market.

    Consumers should be educated about open source, alternatives such as Ubuntu, Open Office, and Mozilla Firefox. I believe that Dell should explain on there website, where the average Dell customer can get to the information from the homepage (or any other page) easily, about the advantages and disadvantages of GNU/Linux and other open source, and Microsoft, in a good easy non technical way. Also provide FAQ's.

    Also hopefully Dell will make preinstallations of Ubuntu (and other distros if Ubuntu is a success) for the consumer market, global, and more mainstream, in the near future, even if this means providing a dual boot option, Ubuntu and Vista.

    If you got money to spend on pretty much anything, I suggest you buy a pre installed Ubuntu Dell, and use it yourself, or give it to someone else to use. The more of these things sold, and the more and more people actsaully using them the better, for Dell and us Linux users. Just a reminder, Dell are a for profit company, and so they are about making a profit, and so if pre installed Desktop Linux will earn them a lot of profit, well then that's good for them, and us open source users.

    Computers like a lot of stuff is about market share (how many people use something), and Ubuntu plus Kubuntu I expect can deal with a much bigger market share, very nicely. Open source is the revolution and I hope will become the mainstream future before the end of this decade, or if not soon into the next.

    I also hope that Dell will in the near future if preinstalled Ubuntu for the consumer market is a success, will spend money on TV adverts for it, and other types of mainstream adverts.