[Bug 1] Dell: one step forward, two steps back

Conrad Knauer atheoi at gmail.com
Wed Dec 19 12:35:04 UTC 2007


"Ubuntu CDs contain only free software applications; we encourage you to use free and open source software, improve it and pass it on."


"I hear you when you say “users want proprietary codecs”. That’s why we make sure these items ARE available, at the user’s option, as packages on the network repositories. That allows users who need that functionality, or who choose that functionality over free alternatives, to exercise that choice freely. We don’t make that choice for them, though of course there is huge demand from real users for that. And we will stay firm in that regard. Ubuntu does not, and will never, include proprietary applications."


one step forward...

"Today, we're adding Ubuntu 7.10 (a.k.a Gutsy Gibbon) to the Dell
Consumer Linux line-up for customers in the United States.  It will also
be available on the Inspiron 530 in England, France, and Germany later
this week."

two steps back...

"Pre-installation of [Adobe's] Flash for a better web experience"

"we now include built-in DVD movie playback with all Ubuntu 7.10 systems" using LinDVD (http://www.intervideo.com/jsp/Product_Profile.jsp?p=LinDVD)

While its one thing if Dell wants to preload flashplugin-nonfree (which
still is clearly NOT in the 'spirit of Ubuntu'), I am much more
concerned by the fact that they're using LinDVD to play a restricted
format, as its not available in Ubuntu's repositories (contrast with a
case like MP3 support via gstreamer0.10-fluendo-mp3).  The LinDVD page
says "LinDVD, InterVideo's Linux software DVD player, is currently
available only to manufacturers for evaluation and integration."  Is
this only legally available to Dell owners then?

It looks like Dell wants to create a DellOS distro based on Ubuntu with
various of proprietary things in the mix (ala Linspire) to help sell
their computers.  There's nothing stopping them from doing that, but is
it really fair for Dell to be calling this "Ubuntu" though?

Microsoft has a majority market share
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