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Dell has confirmed that the company will be bringing Linux to future PCs and notebooks

Dell recently announced that it will expand support for Linux further than servers and the Precision workstation line.  The popular PC maker's first step will be to offer Linux pre-installed on both notebooks and desktops, Dell said in an online statement.

Dell asked for customer input in February on the company's IdeaStorm web site.  More than 100,000 responses were submitted to Dell, with more than 70 percent of respondents wanting some sort of pre-installed Linux product from Dell.

It may also take Dell a long time to get potential support issues sorted out before the Dell products enter the PC and workstation markets.  Linux users are now curious to see which version(s) of Linux will be installed on future products.  Users are more interested in kernel level and open driver support instead of particular Linux distributions, according to Dell.

Dell already has working relationships with Novell and Red Hat, both of which create popular Linux operating systems.  But other popular Linux alternatives include Ubuntu, Slackware, Debian and Lindows.

The company plans on asking for more user input regarding Linux and open source technologies.  Dell has had to rethink business plans due to increased competition with competitors such as Hewlett-Packard.



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Should Microsoft worry?
By cochy on 3/29/2007 3:42:26 PM , Rating: 2
Wow. This could be much more interesting news than meets the eye. If the 2nd largest PC vendor, starts shipping with a pre-installed Linux distro, then this distro might start gaining lots of market share. Depending on the price savings to consumers and how/if Dell markets this, could this pose a threat of some sort to MS?

Plus whatever distro Dell desides to offer would be huge boon to whatever company makes the version. I'm sure they would only offer one flavor of Linux.




RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By h0kiez on 3/29/2007 4:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
From what I understand, there's little to no cost advantage...what Dell pays MS, they make up in bloatware fees. I guess they could sell pre-bloated Linux machines...but I don't see many enthusiats going for that.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By noirsoft on 3/31/2007 7:52:43 PM , Rating: 2
What I'd like to see is a third-party bloat-ware-free pre-installation of Windows on a Dell.

Oh, wait, the courts found that to be anti-competitive, since Microsoft is somehow forcing people to use their (better, more stable) software instead of (crappy, unstable, non-standard) other people's.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By Ralph The Magician on 3/29/2007 4:11:13 PM , Rating: 1
The only distro that makes sense to pre-load is Red Hat or SuSE, because that's where the support is. I'd LOVE to see a custom tailored line of Red Hat workstations and notebooks. I mean, custom. Not just pre-loading the OS. Pick a selection of hardware and stick to it. Give me a keyboard without a Windows key. Don't just re-bag a notebook and throw a distro like Ubuntu on it with only community support for hardware/drivers. That does nothing for anyone.

Ideally, I'd like to see Ubuntu on these things, because that's a distro that could actually challenge Windows. It just isn't there yet. Maybe around v10 it will be ready to really stand up to the plate, but not yet.

Red Hat, on the other hand, is somewhat standardized and support does exist. They'd just have to work with them to create a real, long-term solution. Red Hat notebooks with everything working right out of the box would be pretty damn sweet.

I have a feeling though that all Dell is going to do is pick a particular model from a couple existing lines and throw OpenSuSE on it. Garbage.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By johnsonx on 3/29/2007 6:32:13 PM , Rating: 2
Instead of OpenSUSE, I'd guess Dell would install Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop or the Red Hat equivalent thereof. Novell would be particularly keen to make this happen, though Dell seems to have more going on with Red Hat.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By smitty3268 on 3/29/2007 6:41:33 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. That way they can simply buy support contracts from Red Hat or Novell instead of having to say it is community supported. From a PR standpoint it also gives them a reason to keep charging the same amount as they do for Windows, which they'll probably need to do to make up for the lost revenue they get by installing crapware.

The good news is that they seem to understand the way to go is by having linux-friendly hardware, which means it would be simple to install whatever distro you want.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By cheetah2k on 3/29/2007 9:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have a feeling though that all Dell is going to do is pick a particular model from a couple existing lines and throw OpenSuSE on it. Garbage.


It might be garbage, but its a damn good start!


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By Etern205 on 3/29/2007 4:15:13 PM , Rating: 1
Linux might get market share if they start redesigning their
OS to be more user friendly to the average user.
I've tried Ubuntu a few times and getting that simple beryl affects to work was a pain in the a55!
1. There is no one solid place for all the infos that you want to know about your version of linux.
2. Each person has their own way of doing something,
but they never write the full instructions as to how they got it to work.
e.g. I've seen almost 5 different way of how to get beryl to work on ubuntu, but each of them has instructions written differently.
3. They are all dependent to other sites or links.
If the link you need is down, then your screwed.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By smitty3268 on 3/29/2007 4:25:20 PM , Rating: 2
With the next version of Ubuntu (and I think OpenSuse and other user friendly distros) you can turn on/off 3d effects with a single button. It was previously really confusing because everything was still experimental and every single possible option was exposed to the user.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By Etern205 on 3/29/2007 4:33:11 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, I hope so too.
Those beryl effects are pretty! *___*
1000x better than Vista's Flip 3D crap. :)


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By Chadder007 on 3/29/2007 4:32:06 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I think Linux is still too open, they need to standardize a few more things across the board of Linux distros to get it going more.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By mlau on 3/29/2007 4:49:18 PM , Rating: 1
You all confuse "user-friendly" with "should look-and-feel-and-talk-like-windows".
Face it: the UNIX desktop does things differently, and you
can even choose the way things are done (console/klicky/..).
Of course windows users are scared by choice (after all they
are used to being spoon-fed only a single solution) and
differences.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By MrDiSante on 3/29/2007 5:02:25 PM , Rating: 2
I do believe you are confusing Windows with Mac. Aside from that, the problem with Linux is that there are two many distros and each one is vastly different from the other. That's why it's not a matter of Linux vs Windows, it's SuSE vs Red Hat vs Ubuntu vs [Insert flavour here] vs Windows XP vs Windows Vista.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By Etern205 on 3/29/2007 5:55:15 PM , Rating: 3
Spoon feeding people is where the money is.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By smitty3268 on 3/29/2007 6:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
I'd actually say GNOME spoon feeds users a lot more than Windows does. Probably a little too much, IMO. The issue is that it's different, and a lot of people don't like change even when it ends up being easier.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By malubitch on 3/30/07, Rating: -1
RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By kalak on 4/2/2007 12:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree... If you look for, let me say, a Graphical Interface for Linux, you will find DOZENS of different versions and each one with different ways and feels... Linux is too much "diversificated". There always 99 ways of do something. If they "padronize", they will conquest the final user. If you have too much options, you really DON'T have a easy choice.....


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By EntreHoras on 3/29/2007 4:16:21 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think this will such a big deal. If the costumers have the choice to choose between Vista y Linux, only the current Linux users will choose Linux.

At the end, this will be have far more less real impact than the option of AMD processors.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By Ralph The Magician on 3/29/2007 4:25:54 PM , Rating: 1
Because AMD processors really made a difference? I mean, look at all the AMD fanboys flocking to Dell.com to buy Dell hardware...oh wait, there's no one there.

I never understood the push by AMD enthusiasts to get AMD processors into Dell computers. It's not like they were going to buy them.

Pre-loading Linux onto hardware can change the hardware industry as we know it. The trick is proper support. It's got to work out of the box, and there have to be packages that you can download that are easy to install. There are some great package managers out there, but they aren't quite ready for mainstream yet.

Really, what a company like Dell or HP needs to do is BUY a company like RedHat.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By PitViper007 on 3/29/2007 5:06:06 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
The trick is proper support. It's got to work out of the box, and there have to be packages that you can download that are easy to install. There are some great package managers out there, but they aren't quite ready for mainstream yet.


Hasn't this been the problem with Linux all along though? It never seems to be quite ready for mainstream. I've been toying with different distros of Linux for the last several years, and they have gotten better. The problem is that you still need to be a techie to be able to do the same things that you can with Windows. Case in point, I just set up a media center PC. I was going to run it with the latest version of Fedora Core. I had it all set up and was going to put MythTV on it. There were so many different places that I had to go to get different little pieces that I finally said forget it. I loaded a spare copy of XP Pro and had GB-PVR up in running in minutes. I consider myself to be pretty computer savvy, so if I give up on something like that, what does that say for the average shmoe out there that can barely run Windows?

Bottom line, the linux distros need to become so easy to operate (and upgrade, and install new software onto) that my father can do it before they'll ever be able to rival Windows.

PitViper


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By cheetah2k on 3/29/2007 9:34:38 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Linux distros have been quite a mixed bag of support in the past.

I am really hoping, (drooling at the mouth) that with such a major player in the market as Dell looking to impliment Linux on their mainstream PC offerings, this will bolster a new generation of fully supported and developed Linux distros.

It can only mean good news for all of us!


By NoSoftwarePatents on 3/30/2007 11:28:22 AM , Rating: 3
One of the nice things about UBUNTU (at least 6.10 anyway), is you can boot from the CD and you'll get a good idea of your hardware will be supported or not. If it is, then you can install it from there. If not, just remote the CD, and reboot the system and go back to Microsoft Windows or whatever...although I think Knoppix did this idea before Ubuntu picked it up.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By kalak on 4/2/2007 1:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Really, what a company like Dell or HP needs to do is BUY a company like RedHat.


I agree !!!! Like Oracle with SuSe.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By AGAC on 3/29/2007 5:32:52 PM , Rating: 2
I have two words for you, cochy: Third World or more politicaly correct: Developping countries. Cheap Dell boxes sells very well in third world countries because they're cheap machines tailored to cheap people/business. Now, if Dell can shave a few dollars by going the Linux way, than the grey market that thrives on pirated Windows copies will shrink substantialy.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By appu on 3/29/2007 6:39:10 PM , Rating: 3
I assure you, coming from a third-world country myself, that people will buy Linux-loaded Dells for cheap, promptly erase the contents of the HDD and install Windows using a pirated copy. This way, they get the cost benefit *and* the comfort zone, and that really gets my goat at more than one level :(.


RE: Should Microsoft worry?
By smitty3268 on 3/29/2007 6:44:56 PM , Rating: 2
Studies from Brazil, which sells a lot of preloaded KDE Linux computers, show that 20% kept Linux and the other 80% loaded pirated windows. That's both good and bad - only a 20% retention rate doesn't sound very good, but on the other hand that's 20% of a lot of computers. Given the low rates of Linux usage, it adds up to quite a bit.


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