Dell and Ubuntu: Still in the Closet

By August 5, 2007July 4th, 2020the Foul Fish

Dell Ubuntu

I’ve been planning on getting a new PC, and figured I should check out the new Ubuntu PCs over at Dell. Dell started selling Ubuntu desktops not long ago, but the relationship kind of reminds me of a secret affair. Dell and Microsoft are still together, but Dell likes to hop in bed with Ubuntu occasionally. Of course, Ubuntu gets the short end of the stick because Dell is only leading them on.

Here’s the thing, Dell sells PCs with Ubuntu preinstalled, but they sure don’t let that be known on their web page. Every single computer on the home page is equipped with Windows. Every computer that you can navigate to through the side bar has Windows pre-installed. The only way to reach the new Ubuntu PCs is to find the open-source PCs link under the desktop menu.

I had expected Ubuntu to simply be an option on the usual selection of desktops. This navigational hardship was disappointing, but I was even more horrified by what I easily found on the next page.

You asked, we listened. For advanced users and tech enthusiasts, we’re happy to offer a new open-source operating system, so you can dive in and truly enjoy a PC experience just the way you want it. In addition to the FreeDOS systems we already offer, we are proud to announce PCs with Ubuntu.

I’m sorry, but Ubuntu is not just for “advanced users and tech enthusiasts.” Maybe Gentoo or Slackware, but not Ubuntu. It’s easier to use than Vista! This idea that Linux is only for “advanced users and tech enthusiasts” is a plague. Furthermore, what is this (see below)?

Not sure Open Source is for You?

The main thing to note is that when you choose open source you don’t get a Windows® operating system. If you’re here by mistake and you are looking for a Dell PC with Windows, please use the following link.

Shop Dell PCs with Windows

What is that? They make “you don’t get a Windows® operating system” sound like a bad thing. This basically says, “You don’t really want Ubuntu. Here, check this out instead.” Why not direct visitors to the Ubuntu web site or explain what it is. This a new product. You can’t just say, “If you don’t know what this is then you shouldn’t buy it.”

After clicking my way through the maze I finally found what I was looking for. Dell is selling PCs with Ubuntu… three of them. Yes, they offer three different models featuring Ubuntu. I’m not even going to count how many Windows based machines they sell. Also, they do not offer nearly as many options for these PCs. Come on Dell. Couldn’t you do any better than this? I understand that Ubuntu is an attractive option, but at least have the decency to treat her with a little respect.

I know that everyone is excited about Dell selling Linux on a non-business class PC, but this deal needs to be worked out. The current situation only hurts Ubuntu. People get scared. They think, “Oh, that’s that thing for advanced users. I don’t want that.” Maybe it’s a good thing that most people won’t even make their way to that page.

My final word:

Do it right or don’t do it at all.

Just like to add that I’m not the only one noticing. Check out Dell Idea Storm.

Nicholas Garofalo

Nicholas Garofalo

Nick is the technical wizard whose workings keep the gears spinning. His cross-discipline skill set and heuristic approach to problems ensures that we run like a well-oiled machine. The man himself is fueled by Red Bull and black magic.

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