Dell sells PCs pre-loaded with Ubuntu, but you have to dig deep into its website to find them.
The Register adds this observation:
Dell, it seems, is reluctant to big up its Linux offerings. At every opportunity it reminds potential customers that open source is NOT Microsoft. About Ubuntu it says: “The main thing to note is that when you choose open source you don’t get a Windows operating system.”
It also goes on about the benefits and disadvantages of open source. According to Dell, it’s good for the community spirit created among all those friendly chaps out there holding hands and sharing code, but bad because it’s not compatible with lots of other software.
You might be forgiven for expecting the same even-handed approach from Dell to its Vista-based machines. But no such luck, instead it simply loudly bangs the Microsoft drum.
All very well, you might say. After all, Microsoft is the leading global provider of operating systems and does have an all-important Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) agreement with Dell.
But Dell appears to be missing one significant point; it claimed to have listened to its customers who strongly voted in favour of Linux via the computer giant’s IdeaStorm user forum.
A phonecall to the firm’s customer support helpdesk, however, seemed to underline Dell’s commitment to all things Microsoft.
A Dell support person, let’s call her Pat, told us that it was very unusual for anyone to request a machine that doesn’t come loaded with Vista or XP. She reckoned that “out of 500 customers only one person wants Linux.”
Pat was very keen to push Microsoft as the recommended operating system of choice for all Dell systems, even after we pointed out our desire for a Linux-based PC.
In fact, the request appeared rare enough to warrant her having to check the system before confirming with confidence what Linux operating system was on offer: in this case it would have been an Insprion 530 loaded with Red Hat available for just £20 more than the same machine with Vista inside.
And, during the entire conversation, Pat failed to once mention Dell’s Ubuntu offerings.
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