Print 31 comment(s) - last by lemonadesoda.. on Feb 26 at 4:21 AM

Dell says that a large portion of its Mini 9 Netbooks are sold with Ubuntu

Netbooks are very popular today with much of the computer industry's growth coming from the segment. Netbooks typically come with Linux or Windows XP as operating system choices. Return rates for netbooks running Linux are reportedly significantly higher than return rates on XP netbooks, but Dell says that isn’t the case with its offerings.

Laptop Magazine reports that Dell's return rates on its Ubuntu-based Mini 9 netbook are comparable to the return rates on its XP based Mini 9, which are in turn described as "very low".

Jay Pinkert from Dell told Laptop, "A third of our Mini 9 mix is Linux, which is well above the standard attach rate for other systems that offer Linux. We have done a very good job explaining to folks what Linux is."

Dell also attributes its low price on the Linux-based Mini 9 as a reason for the large amount of sales. Dell's John New said, "Our focus has been making sure that before the order is taken is that the customer knows what he is getting."

Laptop figures that another reason for the popularity of the Ubuntu Mini 9 is the slick GUI that Dell has developed for the operating system, which makes using the Windows XP alternative easier for consumers to use. Many also wonder if some users might simply be taking advantage of the lower prices Ubuntu system and then installing their own existing copies of XP onto the machine.

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By sprockkets on 2/24/2009 5:01:49 PM , Rating: 2
Many also wonder if some users might simply be taking advantage of the lower prices Ubuntu system and then installing their own copies of XP onto the machine.

I would. I would take off that desert themed Ubuntu off and put in openSuSE 11.0.

RE: .
By mondo1234 on 2/24/2009 5:34:35 PM , Rating: 2
Many also wonder if some users might simply be taking advantage of the lower prices Ubuntu system and then installing their own copies of XP onto the machine.


Pronunciation: ken-jek-cher

: inference from defective or presumptive evidence

Ok Jason, come out, I know you wrote this...

RE: .
By sprockkets on 2/24/2009 7:49:34 PM , Rating: 2
Some people have no sense of humor.

It's called I dislike Ubuntu but would put on SuSE instead of an archaic OS called XP. I even run Vista on my Atom 330 system just fine.

RE: .
By Yawgm0th on 2/24/2009 8:04:21 PM , Rating: 2
That's not how conjecture is pronounced in pretty much any dialect of English.

Conjecture or not, it's a valid point.

I will counter it, however, by adding that for a while (still now?) the XP Minis had better hardware options. I would have purchased one of the Windows machines with better hardware and then put Slackware or Ubuntu on it myself.

RE: .
By phxfreddy on 2/25/2009 8:19:46 AM , Rating: 2
Ken Ject Shure. Must be more of the Scottish hillbilly talk of Sean Connery.

RE: .
By Dreifort on 2/25/2009 10:46:33 AM , Rating: 3
Trabek: "No....the word we were looking for was Conjecture [kuhn-jek-cher]. And sadly, the board is still yours Mr. Connery"

Connery: "Ah-ha! You try and riddle me with big words Alex! You'll rue the day you messed with me! I shall take 'Take It In The Rear' for $4000 Trabek!"

Trabek: "That's 'Bail Out', not 'Take It In The Rear'..."

Connery: "I can read Trabek! And it says 'Take It In The Rear' just like...."

Trabek: "Ok, there is no need to talk about my mother again. Let's just move on to final Jeopardy. The clue is 'What gets smashed in an Atom smasher.' Just write the word Atom and you will win..."

{music plays}

Trabek: "In last place with -$42,000 is Michael Asher. He wrote, 'What is a black hole?'...I'm afraid the only black hole is your mind. Next we have Jason Mick with -$20,100. You wrote 'Adom'...oouuuu, sorry Jason, that is incorrectly spelled. The correct answer was 'Atom'. Now to our leader with -$13,000...Mr. Connery. You wrote, 'the Joker and Penguin'. No. That is absolutely the wrong answer."

RE: .
By Redfoot on 2/25/2009 5:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
Well played sir, well played!

RE: .
By mondo1234 on 2/25/2009 11:43:46 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry Sprockkets, it wasn't aimed at you, I only used the same quote you did in the reply. Actually, I was teasing Shane for the "conjecture" in the quote. I have to laugh when articles are written with "references, quotes, and links" to only be filled with the authors unsupported summary that begins with "Many also wonder"..... its just so, Jason Mick(ish).
It leads to the question of "who" are the many and "how many" are you talking about...hense the "conjecture" (inference from defective or presumptive evidence) I have to remind myself that this isn't a news site, its just a blog with opinions. Its all good, none the less.

RE: .
By wordsworm on 2/26/2009 12:54:11 AM , Rating: 2
You need a better dictionary. Try, they offer several dictionaries per word. Conjecture is not as you say. Conjecture is a guess based on incomplete evidence. If you prefer books, American Heritage has a decent reputation if you want American. Gage is a good Canadian dictionary. Then there's the OED if you want the best. I believe they sell theirs on disc for a few hundred dollars.

RE: .
By wordsworm on 2/25/2009 7:41:06 AM , Rating: 2
Did you make up the pronunciation and definition all by yourself?

I know a lot of people who buy OS-less machines only to install MS Pirate XP themselves. This isn't conjecture - not by your definition nor by the various dictionaries that I consulted to confirm that both your pronunciation guide and definition were erroneous.

RE: .
By theapparition on 2/25/2009 7:53:52 AM , Rating: 2
From the Meriam Webster's dictionary.


RE: .
By mondo1234 on 2/25/2009 12:05:26 PM , Rating: 2
Did you make up the pronunciation and definition all by your self?

No. Please see my reply to sprockkets. The "conjecture" has more to do with the authors unsupported statement that was quoted.

Heres the (erroneous)link:

I didn't know how to rotate the "e" - sue me.
Next time, I will use a dictionary that is creditable [sarcasm].
You are correct though, piracy is not the same as conjecture.

No wonder
By kontorotsui on 2/24/2009 5:52:12 PM , Rating: 4
Netbooks are used to surf the net, write a few text documents and read/write emails. Free open source OS, browser, office application and email clients are more than adeguate for that. if they are free, why pay for them?

RE: No wonder
By mmntech on 2/24/2009 6:07:10 PM , Rating: 3
Well, it's not entirely free. Canonical does get paid for customizing the OS for companies. It's still a heck of a lot cheaper than what Microsoft wants. Linux is at the point now where it can be a pretty efficient OS for basic use.

RE: No wonder
By kontorotsui on 2/25/2009 7:41:03 AM , Rating: 2
Right, I stand corrected: if you can save 25% or more of the price of the netbook by using much cheaper alternatives, more than adeguate for the task, no wonder many people pick that choice.

I'm surprised only 30% realize that. It is not fanboy stuff, it is simple economics.

RE: No wonder
By on 2/25/2009 9:06:35 AM , Rating: 2
I am no fan of Microsoft, but from all indications OEM licenses for netbooks are under $10. Obviously, without the threat of linux this wouldn't be the case.

RE: No wonder
By sc3252 on 2/25/2009 12:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
If thats the case then why do they sell the ubuntu version for $40 less? I guess goodwill by dell?

Yup, that is what I did.
By A Stoner on 2/24/2009 5:04:40 PM , Rating: 3
I currently have 5 functioning computers in my house. Two computers (XP/XP), 2 Laptops (Vista/XP) and the mini 9 (was ubuntu now XP). I have a total of 7 retail Windows XP licenses and 2 OEM that came with the computer licenses, I have 1 OEM Vista license and 2 retail Vista licenses. I bought the ubuntu installed Dell mini 9 along with an M1330 (the vista machine) when they were giving a discount for the combo. I save $100 which paid for 80% of an upgrade to a 32GB SSD. I also upgraded memory to 2GB for about $17. $100 for a slimmed down crappy version of XP when I already have more licenses for full versions? It is an easy choice. There are few things in life that piss me off more than paying multiple times for the same item, I am glad Dell offers the cheaper alternative and we would never have considered buying the mini 9 at the price of the XP version.

RE: Yup, that is what I did.
By Screwballl on 2/24/2009 9:06:09 PM , Rating: 4
I currently have 6 running systems in my house and all but 1 run Ubuntu almost full time. Most are dual boot with XP or Vista but they run Ubuntu 99% of the time. One of them is even a Mac G3 333MHz with Ubuntu on it. The only one that doesn't is the wife's computer because she has some custom embroidery software that refuses to run in anything but XP. Will not run in Win2000 or Vista. Another is my laptop HP ze4540 with USB wireless RT8187B which runs just fine under Ubuntu. Took 5 minutes to set it up.

Why? Because it is faster, easier and much more powerful, and can do anything Windows can do. Yes even games... and not just tetris or minesweeper imitations, I mean games like Sins of a Solar Empire, CS:S, Supreme Commander, COD4, RoN and so on... Can Windows Update see if there are any updates for Open Office? or any game? or any non-Microsoft program? Ubuntu can...

There is a reason why Linux, and primarily Ubuntu, is the fastest growing OS out there. It has the same functionality for free.

By jonmcc33 on 2/24/2009 10:35:05 PM , Rating: 2
It's a shame that it's only a third. People are grabbing up more netbooks with Windows XP on them instead. Goes to show what the people REALLY want...

By pesos on 2/25/2009 2:15:09 AM , Rating: 2
the headline should be 1/3 are SOLD WITH linux, not 1/2 run linux... some people already have Windoze licenses...

Easy to understand
By mindless1 on 2/25/2009 7:49:01 AM , Rating: 2
The % with 'nix is higher than desktops because the core reasons to own one are different. It's a nice ebook, web browser and email client, portable video player.

If people had to set up 'nix from scratch, many would shy away, but when it comes installed and they just like to use their Firefox to surf the web or click an icon or menu to do something light, there's really not much reason to spend the time and use up a license to install windows. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

Install XP? Why would I...
By Doormat on 2/25/2009 5:22:49 PM , Rating: 2
Many also wonder if some users might simply be taking advantage of the lower prices Ubuntu system and then installing their own existing copies of XP onto the machine.

XP? Pfft! Try OSX on the Mini9:

Popularity of Linux
By freeman70 on 2/25/2009 9:19:33 PM , Rating: 2
There are several reasons why Dell Linux machines are popular. Firstly, they have been selling laptops with Ubuntu for a while so their machines are easy to use, have a slick desktop and have full functionality out-of-the-box. Secondly, Ubuntu is currently the most popular Linux distro and includes the latest apps and a large software database. (I had an Eee PC with Xandros and was disheartened by it because of the lack of software and updates.) Thirdly, Ubuntu's native applications are good enough for almost every common computing task most people will require from their netbook with the exception of window games compatibility.

By lemonadesoda on 2/26/2009 4:21:11 AM , Rating: 2
So 1/3 of sales are with Linux?

A more interesting statistic is how many are running Linux THREE MONTHS later?

I bet the majority of those 1/3 have a "recycled version" of Windows installed within 6 weeks. Recycled doesnt necessarily mean pirated... just an existing copy of Windows, perhaps from an old machine, or volume license, or "free beta", is installed onto this device.

Hold on a tick.
By rtk on 2/24/09, Rating: -1
RE: Hold on a tick.
By Josh Henly on 2/24/2009 7:45:20 PM , Rating: 4
Dell isn't attributing the overall large number of Mini 9 sales to the price of the Ubuntu versions. Rather, the relatively high proportion of models sold with Ubuntu (about 1/3) is probably due to the cheaper price on said models.

I don't see any bias here, except possibly that which the reader brought to the article. :)

RE: Hold on a tick.
By Chadder007 on 2/24/2009 11:06:31 PM , Rating: 2
I wish the price was still cheaper if you configured the Linux based ones the same as the XP ones.
If you add the larger storage space, and RAM to the linux units...they cost more than the XP one.

RE: Hold on a tick.
By GaryJohnson on 2/25/2009 1:45:48 AM , Rating: 2
There's actually two setup pages for the Ubuntu version. One has the 4GB base SSD option and the other has the 8GB base SSD option and a $25 instant discount. The 8GB has the same hardware as the Windows version and is priced identically (the windows version also has the $25 discount). Whereas if you change the 4GB to an 8GB it ends up $25 more than either of the other identical Ubuntu or Windows versions because it doesn't have the discount.

I bet many of them are running OSX
By corduroygt on 2/24/09, Rating: -1
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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