[ubuntu-uk] Going back to the Dell deal...

Mark Harrison Mark at yourpropertyexpert.com
Fri Sep 7 21:22:59 BST 2007

Michael Holloway wrote:
> 2. How many Linux users would buy a one? I'm not sure i can answer this, but i imagine not too many. Most linux users like to customise their machines, and put all the latest and greatest (or cheapest and oldest) compenents into it.

10 years ago, that would have been me. In fact, about 10 years ago I 
_did_ build my Own PC (a Pentium-90 in fact.)

Now, I want a machine that works, with an operating system that works.

Don't get me wrong - I work in IT, I'm into the latest toys as much as 
the next geek, but desktop O/Ss aren't an exciting playground for me 
compared to Ajax apps :-)

As I said, I want a machine that works, with an operating system that 
works. Hmm... let me think? Should I go with (out of date) XP? Should I 
go with (utterly, cripplingly slow) Vista? or... can we think of another 
O/S that might run a lot faster on modern laptop hardware AND be more 

I'd be INCREDIBLY tempted to go with a pre-installed, 
manufacturer-supported, Linux-laptop next time round.

Mainstream buyers have a different mind-set, and the "Dell with Ubuntu 
pre-installed" is hitting a lot more of those buttons than "download 
this distribution" ever did.

The worst case is that Dell do the work (or get Canonical to) to come up 
with a standard image for their Ubuntu laptops, and that image sits on a 
server farm in Ireland not being installed from much. Net cost to Dell, 
a small amount of disk space. Net benefit to Dell, marginal increase in 
customer choice.

Marginal benefit to Ubuntu - huge - endorsement from Dell that our 
chosen distro is supported by the biggest and the best. (Yes, I know, HP 
/ IBM / RedHat, but heh... Dell has the biggest mindshare for desktops / 
laptops, I suspect.)

And, for people like me, who are already on pure Ubuntu-servers at work 
(4 in the operational farm, 2 development servers, and a spare box 
sitting around to swap in in the event of catasrophic hardware failure), 
this has a marginal benefit to ME even if I never buy a Dell Linux 
Laptop - it helps convince my board (who to be fair, I've trained to 
trust my technical judgement) that I am backing the right horse with 



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