Dell UK releases Ubuntu netbook but favours Windows
Get a better deal with the XP version?
Dell UK has introduced the Linux version of its Inspiron Mini 9 netbook, but potential buyers will undoubtedly be annoyed at the lack of configuration options.
Available now, the Linux Mini 9 runs Ubuntu 8.04. It's powered by the obligatory 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor, has 1GB of 533MHz DDR 2 memory, and a 8.9in 1024 x 600 display with a 0.3-megapixel webcam in the bezel.
Dell's Mini 9: better value with XP?
The Small, Cheap Computer's storage facility is an 8GB solid-state drive. Dell originally promised to offers the Mini 9 with a choice of SSDs: 4GB, 8GB or 16GB. Right now, however, punters are limited to 8GB for the Linux model - if you want the 16GB version, you have to take XP as your OS. Do so and you get a 1.3Mp webcam too.
The 16GB, XP version of the Mini 9 costs £299, the Linux version £269. Since the two models' other key specs remain the same - both have all the usual ports, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth - either Dell's SSD suppliers aren't charging much for that extra 8GB, or Microsoft has cut the PC giant a very good XP licensing deal.
It's a pricing strategy that makes it very clear which model Dell wants you to buy. Which you can do here.
Thanks to reader Matt Law for the tip.
Netbooks and Mini-laptops Buyer's Guide
"Dell's SSD suppliers aren't charging much for that extra 8GB, or Microsoft has cut the PC giant a very good XP licensing deal"
Probably both. And? Dell can undoubtedly cut a slightly better deal on the MS OS and the hardware. Where's the shocker?
XP tax comes in at about £20 on SCC machines after the shakedown. Which is decent enough value as far as I'm concerned. The faffery and hacking around getting Linux to perform the way I want it would come to much more than £20-£30worth of my time.
And as has been said, you can always decline to agree to the licence and claim your dosh back. How? As per the standard Linux fanboy attempt at a smackdown: "Check the forums."
Where's the anti-Tux* icon (and the pro- / anti- Google ones too)?
*Pro-Tux icon: cos he's a cutie.
Do you outraged folk act the same when supermarkets do offers on one product on the premise that you buy another.
Yes, it's a bit stinky, but it's the manufacturers' way of punting more product by offering it at a lower price.
Linux is free, but even bearing that in mind, folk haven't flocked to it. Thaqt isn't purely (or even mostly) down to bully-boy tactics you know. Folk who know what they're talking about can give you plenty of reasons why Linux isn't up to scratch for their purposes. Yes, MS' dominance is due to reasons that go way back. As has been said, the SCC market is supposedly a 'clean slate' of sorts, but Linux as a free product Vs XP for £20-30 still hasn't seized the initiative.
re: Here we go again
Nobody buying? So the returns are nonexistent? You have to sell before you can be expected to accept a return.
Are the returns 100%?
No? So it's not that people aren't keeping either, is it.
Here we go again
A major manufacturer gives in to the incessant badgering from a tiny but vocal minority and produces a machine with linux on it.
The linuxians then rip it to shreds because it doesn't run their particular favourite flavour of linux, or because the version of KDE is three weeks out of date, or because the hardware isn't supported [well, duh], or because the manufacturer are keeping the price the same as the Windows box to cover the extra hassle and expense of wriring new drivers, setting up a separate image, the imaging process, and the support structure.
And then nobody buys it anyway.
The people who agitated so loudly for a linux version don't buy it because they're quite happy with the machines they've got, and because the version of KDE is three weeks out of date etc etc.
Everyone else doesn't buy it because they want a computer that works the same as everybody else's, which is why they're buying from a major box-shifter like Dell in the first place.
How many people who sign the online petitions to get Dell etc. to produce linux versions turn that petition vote into an actual purchase? Linux is a fine server and embedded OS but [no matter how desperately the enthusiasts try to massage the figures] is a minority desktop/PC OS, and is still many iterations away from being an all-purpose home/ SME OS.
Mass hardware sellers know that, and only produce the occasional linux PC to pacify the vocal minority up for a bit.
oh Dellybottom, when will you learn
Dell has done this over and over again, we've seen it all many times. The Windows version mysteriously is either the same price and/or has some magical hardware perks attached to it. Only difference this time around is it's actually right there side-by-side next to the Windows version for once, but in this case of course that's not a GOOD thing because of the perks, which there are NO REASON FOR.
Give each model the same hardware, then we'll see if the theory about Windows crapware making Windows free is true or not. Then, imagine how much cheaper the Linux version would be if these companies made crapware for it too.