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Old 07-26-2012, 07:12 PM   #1
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LXer: Dell's Increasingly Excellent Linux Adventures


Published at LXer:

The weather outside may be frightful, to adapt a phrase for the scorched and overheated world here in the Northern hemisphere, but there's no denying that July is turning out to be delightful for our favorite operating system. The latest news now is the apparent return of none other than Dell to the desktop Linux world.

Read More...
 
Old 07-26-2012, 07:32 PM   #2
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I'll believe it when I see it.
If Dell start selling multiple models with Linux pre-installed and present them as standard options rather than hidden away on the website or only for corporate, then I will believe that this isn't just a bluff they'll keep up until they get cheaper Windows licenses.
As for
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linux Rants
The average consumer would surely be interested in Linux's many advantages "if only they knew about them."
What advantages?
Costs more to buy due to OEM having to build an image?
Needs new skills to use?
Won't play your favourite games? [yet]
Can't sync with your iPad?
Won't let you get media from Hulu, Lovefilm, or iTunes?


I've been using Linux pretty much exclusively (I have VMs for syncing with phones, etc.) at home for the past 8 years and I don't miss Windows but, seriously, apart from freedom and flexibility, which no "normal user" cares about, what advantages? Please?

Last edited by 273; 07-26-2012 at 07:35 PM.
 
Old 07-27-2012, 09:25 PM   #3
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I'm farily cynical about Dell and linux...I remember what happened last time. (i.e., introduce soem linux models, then slowly drop them, or keep ancient hardware going so that your 'new' dell running a linux distro was 2-3 year old hardware and just as expensive as brand new hardware). IMO it was at least in part an effort to reduce the cost of windows for dell.

This time though there is probably a a bit more bet hedging going on......windows 8 looks more and more like its going to bomb. Not just due to the insane interface...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
Costs more to buy due to OEM having to build an image?
Needs new skills to use?
Building an image shouldnt cost that much at all. Considering that dell was asking just as much for linux computers as they were for windows, you wouldnt have to sell many at all to recoup the cost.

Dont know about how much you need 'new skills', depending on your use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
I've been using Linux pretty much exclusively (I have VMs for syncing with phones, etc.) at home for the past 8 years and I don't miss Windows but, seriously, apart from freedom and flexibility, which no "normal user" cares about, what advantages? Please?
Gah, not 'normal user'. That (and 'average user', etc.) is such a loaded term that I try to avoid it.

As for advantages.....repos. Its a lot easier to get safe, 'clean' software with minimal risk with the repo system that most linux distros use.
 
Old 07-27-2012, 09:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Building an image shouldnt cost that much at all. Considering that dell was asking just as much for linux computers as they were for windows, you wouldnt have to sell many at all to recoup the cost.
That was my point -- people talk of "no Windows tax" yet in effect both cost the same. Yes, Linux ought probably to be cheaper but various reasons mean that's not true in reality.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Dont know about how much you need 'new skills', depending on your use.
A little exaggerated on my part, but you need to learn different ways of thinking to use Linux -- take the posts on here about updating Firefox because it's not the latest version as an example.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Gah, not 'normal user'. That (and 'average user', etc.) is such a loaded term that I try to avoid it.
Yes, sorry, I meant novice or person who uses "a computer" meaning a windows machine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
As for advantages.....repos. Its a lot easier to get safe, 'clean' software with minimal risk with the repo system that most linux distros use.
With you there, a very good example. MS are trying a "store" in Windows 8 but it will likely be a while before it works properly.

I am pro-Linux for everybody but I think the advantages of Linux are not things that most people give a **** about. Steam coming to Linux though, for example, may let people see it as a viable option. I reacted a little badly to a Linux advocate who sees advantages being held back from people when I know that the people I have mentioned them to don't care.
 
Old 07-27-2012, 09:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
That was my point -- people talk of "no Windows tax" yet in effect both cost the same. Yes, Linux ought probably to be cheaper but various reasons mean that's not true in reality.
Call me cynical, but IMO that is mainly because of microsoft.

Miscosoft dont want a competitor having a price advantage. Leveraging linux to get lower priced windows licences is one thing, making linux versions cheaper might actually backfire, microsoft might charge more for windows in that case. O.K., its more complex than that, and because of the way that microsoft prices its licences means that they are _meant_ to charge a 'flat rate' for windows. The trick is that Dell (et all) get 'credits' for 'advertising'.

Dell is also smart/cynical enough to pocket any difference in prices between windows and linux.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
Yes, sorry, I meant novice or person who uses "a computer" meaning a windows machine.
No need to be sorry, I'm the one who has a problem with teh whole 'average user' thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
With you there, a very good example. MS are trying a "store" in Windows 8 but it will likely be a while before it works properly.
Thats part of the problem with windows 8. Bit fuzzy at the moment, but it looks to me like the windows 8 'store' will be the only way to get programs/applications into win8. Which makes it even more of a 'walled garden' than apple.

I could be wrong on that, or a I could be right (currently) but microsoft might back down.
 
Old 07-27-2012, 10:02 PM   #6
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You still have to wipe a drive to install linux. I dont see that it matters whether you are wiping off windows or ubuntu. I guess it will probably be cheaper tho.
 
Old 07-27-2012, 10:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
That was my point -- people talk of "no Windows tax" yet in effect both cost the same. Yes, Linux ought probably to be cheaper but various reasons mean that's not true in reality.
Call me cynical, but IMO that is mainly because of microsoft.
Totally agree, it's something OEMs have to do due to Microsoft licensing terms.
As I said, I was possibly overreacting to something that tends to annoy me -- a Linux advocate saying that Linux has advantages for the consumer when the consumer often does not care about those advantages.
People lease cars and rent homes, people pay to have their hair cut and their lawn mowed.
 
Old 07-27-2012, 10:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fogpipe View Post
You still have to wipe a drive to install linux. I dont see that it matters whether you are wiping off windows or ubuntu. I guess it will probably be cheaper tho.
Advantage is more likelyhood of driver support -- that's why I bought this netbook with whatever hideous mess it had on it anyhow.
 
Old 07-27-2012, 10:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
Advantage is more likelyhood of driver support
Good point It would have been nice to see them go with a more usable distro tho.

Last edited by fogpipe; 07-27-2012 at 10:10 PM.
 
Old 07-27-2012, 10:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fogpipe View Post
Good point It would have been nice to see them go with a more usable distro tho.
True, but not as much a problem for a Debian user as a Slackware one though .
 
Old 07-27-2012, 10:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fogpipe View Post
You still have to wipe a drive to install linux. I dont see that it matters whether you are wiping off windows or ubuntu. I guess it will probably be cheaper tho.
Point. Though that is probably part of why Dell has always sold more windows computers than linux, even when they offered ubuntu and windows computers for the same cost.

If you're going to wipe the original OS, it makes sense in many ways to get a windows version. If the laptop came with windows, you can always reinstall it if you want to sell it.

Most of the people who got a dell with ubuntu are the same sort of people who tout system76, zareason etc..

Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
Advantage is more likelyhood of driver support -- that's why I bought this netbook with whatever hideous mess it had on it anyhow.
Another good point, but AFAIK Dell didnt do many (if any) computers with different specs to the 'standard' windows versions. They still tended to come with boardcom wireless, etc..

Quote:
Originally Posted by fogpipe View Post
Good point It would have been nice to see them go with a more usable distro tho.
I am in No Way a ubuntu fan, but in the defence of ubuntu and Dell, when they were Dell were shipping comptuers with linux they tended to come with 8.04-10.04. Which were probably the last of the good ubuntu versions.

Dell also chose ubuntu because 'its the most popular'. Ubuntu is/was popular in part because of the amount of 'how to' guides on the net. Because lots of people run/ran ubuntu, more people wrote the 'how to' guides. Catch 22.....

It could have been worse than ubuntu. I forget the really nasty linux distro that some manufactuers used, but it was worse than the *buntus IMO. I think it was xandros, but I'm not sure.
 
Old 07-27-2012, 10:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9 View Post
It could have been worse than ubuntu. I forget the really nasty linux distro that some manufactuers used, but it was worse than the *buntus IMO. I think it was xandros, but I'm not sure.
I tink that was what this EEEPC came with -- hideous thing it was and the interface looked a little like Windows 8 or Unity .
 
Old 07-28-2012, 03:09 AM   #13
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That sounds more like meego/moblin than xandros to me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MeeGo

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=meego
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=moblin

Xandros looks like XP than horror that is unity or metro.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xandros
 
Old 07-28-2012, 06:48 AM   #14
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Pretty sure it was Xandros, but with a custom interface:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asus_Ee...8deprecated.29
The Wikipedia article has things wrong as it suggests mine (a 1000) would have shipped with Ubuntu but it didn't.
 
  


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