Dell moves 40,000 Ubuntu PCs
Dell agreed to ship PCs and laptops with the Ubuntu operating system after more than 130,000 people promoted the notion on the company's IdeaStorm web site. It would seem, however, that only a fraction of these zealots were willing to back their votes with cash.
Dell has shipped close to 40,000 systems pre-installed with the Ubuntu flavor of Linux, according to multiple sources. By most accounts, that's a heck of a total for what remains more or less a fringe operating system. Ubuntu fans are urged to hold back their virtual quills of vitriol following that last sentence and remember that the OS trails major desktop and notebook OSes by quite a margin.
David Lord, a spokesman at Dell, declined to discuss the 40,000 figure, saying the company "does not break out" those types of numbers. Lord was, of course, willing to say that, "Adoption has been very good" and the IdeaStorm push where Dell asks customers to promote things they would like to see represents "a two-way street" where Dell hopes users "will vote with their minds and wallets."
The Ubuntu experiment marks the second time Dell has flirted with letting any old customer order a Linux PC off its web site. Grizzled open source warriors will remember CEO Michael Dell telling the 2000 LinuxWorld that "the only thing growing faster than Linux is the number of Linux systems Dell is shipping" after Dell revealed that Red Hat Linux would appear across its entire computer and server line.
Dell quickly gave up on a broad Linux desktop push, citing a lack of demand. More inquisitive types came up with other reasons for Dell's Linux abandonment.
Is 40,000 units over a number of months enough to keep Dell interested?
Your guess is as good as ours. The company sells about 10m machines per quarter.
For more on Dell's relationship with Ubuntu, check out our interview with Canonical chief Mark Shuttleworth. ®
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of course sales are low!
Dell simply refuses to sell their Ubuntu -preloaded computers outside of specific countries such as US and UK, at a time when the largest demand is in Central and Eastern Europe. No wonder the sales are not what they expected!
"OT - I resurrected an old laptop and put PCLOS Linux on it. I gave it to my dad who was having no end of grief from his Windows system (poor performance, bubblefests, adware, crashes, BSOD etc). You know what? He hasn't had ONE SINGLE PROBLEM with it in over 6 months."
Oddly enough, the WinXP Pro machine I have at home has not had a BSOD for more than 6 months too...
Where do you get this crap that Windows BSODs all the time? It screws up when the hardware screws up (just like your precious Ubuntu), or when new hardware is added (which is more of an issue with Linux).
Why blame Dell?
Why should Dell care what OS you use?They sell hardware.They control their costs by multi-sourcing the bits.When MS deepen the discount for Dell, the Linux option will disappear.
They install Windoze because most people want it. When most want Linux, they will go with it.Meanwhile they use it as ammo in price negotiations.
Linux's savior will not be a hardware company, it will be a distro which works for non geeks.
Would have been 40,002
It would have been 40.002 if the final price had not worked out more expensive than the equivalent XP machine.
Check your facts: 130,000 points != 130,000 people
130,000 points != 130,000 people At one point during the poll, an unregistered vote counted for 3 points and a registered vote counted for 10 points.
Ubuntu machines have been available from May in USA but only since August in UK/France/Germany. They are still not available in countries where many of the voters live but the poll was global.
Various discounts on their Windows machines were not applied to Ubuntu machines. In some cases this made it cheaper to buy with Windows and install Ubuntu yourself.
Dell seems to have gone out of their way to hide the Ubuntu option on their website.
I am one of the voters and I will buy an Ubuntu laptop from Dell when they decide to make them available in my country.