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Dell drops Ubuntu PCs from website... for now

Dell Latitude Z

By Barry Collins

Posted on 23 Jul 2010 at 14:02

Dell has stopped selling consumer PCs preloaded with Ubuntu from its website, and doesn't know when they're coming back.

A search for Ubuntu on the Dell UK website returns only one laptop - the Dell Latitude 2100 from the company's business range.

Dell insists that it's continuing to sell Ubuntu systems, but only over the phone. "Dell has offered select consumer systems with Ubuntu pre-installed for more than two years, and is continuing to do so," a company spokesperson told PC Pro.

The reason why they’re not on our main pages is because Ubuntu systems are primarily targeted towards advanced users and enthusiasts

"A number of our current consumer and SMB systems are available with Ubuntu, including a number of our Inspiron and Vostro laptops and desktops, the popular Inspiron Mini 10 netbook and the Studio XPS 7100 desktop.

"We’ve recently made an effort to simplify our offerings online, by focusing on our most popular bundles and configuration options, based on customer feedback for reduced complexity and a simple, easy purchase experience. We’re also making some changes to our Ubuntu pages, and as a result, they are currently available through our phone-based sales only."

When we asked why Dell had decided to sideline the Ubuntu PCs, the spokesperson said "this is not a permanent decision, and Dell remains committed to offering Ubuntu." However, the spokesperson couldn't confirm when, or even if, Ubuntu-based PCs would return to the website.

The Dell spokesperson also suggested Ubuntu is failing to win over the public. "The reason why they’re not on our main pages is because Ubuntu systems are primarily targeted towards advanced users and enthusiasts, and the vast majority of consumers purchase PCs with Microsoft Windows pre-installed," the Dell spokesperson claimed.

One reason why consumers might not be snapping up Linux-based systems is that Dell's own advice page warns anyone other than open-source developers to stick with Windows.

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User comments

Lost My Patronage

I have been a customer of Dell....but now it has lost me.

I could see this coming. Step-motherly treatment for Ubuntu. A big win for the MonopoliStic player,---.

By IndainArt on 23 Jul 2010

Web pages availible over the 'phone...

"We’re also making some changes to our Ubuntu pages, and as a result, they are currently available through our phone-based sales only."

Or do they mean via dial-up modem?

By greemble on 23 Jul 2010

Ubuntu not popular in real world

Shock horror!

By Lacrobat on 23 Jul 2010

Non-serious Friday comment - maybe Ubuntu users want free hardware as well as free software?

(Actually - maybe that's not quite as nonsensical as I thought - why do these guys think it's OK to sell hardware but morally wrong to sell software?)

By AdrianB on 23 Jul 2010

jeez, if the past is any indication...

Dell already has to pay a $100 million fine for not disclosing their financials properly. they actually lied to investors about the money they were taking from Intel at the time to keep AMD chips out of their computers. Well, when they stopped doing that (we now know why and what happened to Intel), Dell lost about 75% of their operating income. They lied about that as well, claiming hard times, high costs and such. Now, I wouldn't doubt that they're feeling the same pressure, taking payoffs from Microsoft to keep Ubuntu as far away from the consumer's eyes as possible.

By ubuntu_user on 24 Jul 2010


Just so you know that I'm not making this up...

By ubuntu_user on 24 Jul 2010

"..first we must kill all the lawyers..."

Don't get me wrong - not all lawyers are bad. I am sure that there are some good ones out there. However, this stinks of a legal battle in the back rooms of Microsoft, Dell and Ubuntu. Dell pays Redmond a vig for every system they sell. I have many, MANY times attempted to purchase a system from them without an OS. No matter how far up the ladder I went, the best answer I could get was "no".
Contrary to the marketing campaign which they probably spend a boat-load on, Dell are NOT the best out there. If you dug deep enough and paid a few more bucks, you could get something just as decent.
I stand by my prediction - this has Microsoft Lawyers crawling all over it.
Bill, Steve and the rest of your Glitterati, how much MONEY do you really need?

By bartock on 24 Jul 2010

More than one Dell linux machine available

OK so it only two instead of one, but at least it is listed alongside the Windows offerings:

By ranger on 24 Jul 2010

People need to stop buying dell systems and start buying from companies that actually support GNU/Linux. I can say at least and are and is gathering products and links to companies that have explicitly supported GNU/Linux and free software so there is zero chance you'll get hardware that is hostile to GNU/Linux like you do from Dell, and even many companies that sell systems with GNU/Linux on them. Sadly even System76, LinuxCertified, and other well known companies are selling systems and peripherals that require non-free drivers and firmware. EmperorLinux even sells systems with MS Windows on them. And companies like Dell are never going to be able to advocate GNU/Linux for the consumer. So stop spending money on Dell GNU/Linux computers unless you have no other choice., codeweavers, and other free and open source companies are making a difference and funding projects that target non-technical users and hit Microsoft where it hurts.

By joe233 on 25 Jul 2010

Regret ever buying Dell

I bought a Mini-10 with Ubuntu on it. Nothing wrong with the OS (it is the 8.04 LTS release) but the after-sales service from Dell was sufficient to persuade me never to deal with them again., and the machine itself is decidedly average.

If they had been serious about offering customers choice, then Ubuntu would have been offered on every machine, not just some crippled half-hearted doorstops.

By brunnian on 25 Jul 2010

if you want to use Ubuntu, buy Windows PC

The problem always has been that Dell supplied windows PCs at cheaper price than same spec Ubuntu PCs. The only reason for this is that an MS install must be paying Dell. There may be many reasons for this e.g. commission from upgrades for Virus Killers, or MS Office. Well if this reduces the cost of a PC then, fine, I will just throw away the Windows licence and install Ubuntu with a note of thanks to MS for reducing the cost of the PC for me. Or for those still wanting to cling on to the apron strings of Windows... install as dual boot. I just wish there is a way of letting Dell know that there windows install was deleted, otherwise they would never know how many of their PCs are now running Linux

By saiftynet on 25 Jul 2010

Same old machines available from the US..

Dells website is just hard to use... Here is what I wrote up about this ...

By bwagner on 26 Jul 2010

Actually , Dell not dropping Ubuntu, adds new ubuntu-powered tower to online store


By Neriman on 28 Jul 2010

Actually , Dell not dropping Ubuntu, adds new ubuntu-powered tower to online store


By Neriman on 28 Jul 2010

well... now that intel cant pay dell anymore, maybe MS will

By ioushephf on 29 Jul 2010



Free as in libre, not as in gratis. Sometimes it happens to be both.

(Delayed comment, my apologies)

By SmithTein on 7 Oct 2010

It is a distro of GNU/Linux

The kernel might be Linux, but the distro/OS is GNU/Linux, as essential parts are from the GNU project!

By lakersforce on 11 Oct 2010

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