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Ubuntu 'more secure' than Windows, says Dell

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Dell reckons Ubuntu offers more protection than Windows online as it convinces consumer PC shoppers they shouldn't be scared of Linux.

In a statement flagged here by TheVarGuy.com, Dell picked on security as one of ten reasons why people should buy PCs running Canonical's Linux rather than Microsoft's operating system.

According to Dell's site (here, and a PDF here (pdf) in case the page is moved):

6) Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft Windows: The vast majority of viruses and spyware written by hackers are not designed to target and attack Linux.

Dell does not provide further details, but continues to state anti-virus and anti-spyware software is "unwarranted" for Ubuntu while such software comes at "extra cost" for Windows.

It's a new take on the classic argument that Linux, Mac or Windows is safer than one of the others, and one that's going to inflame and inspire fanbois on both sides.

Microsoft does actually offer free anti-virus software with Windows, with Windows Defender, along with its free Security Essentials service to protect against viruses and spyware.

Also, the operating system is not the only way into a system and its applications that leave users' vulnerable - even those on Linux. Adobe Systems Flash 10 contained a zero-day security flaw that affected Linux and Mac systems in addition to Windows and could let a hacker potentially take control of a users' PC.

The vendor, which has slipped to third place in global PC shipment rankings, buttressed its security argument by trying to neutralize potential concerns people might have on opening the box containing their new PC to find it doesn't run Windows.

"Linux has been around for nearly 20 years. The software itself is not only stable and reliable, but also pervasive. Linux is used on computers of all sizes ranging from the biggest to the smallest," Dell said.

Dell added it's been shipping Ubuntu since 2007 with every PC fully tested to "ensure the best possible Internet and multimedia experience Linux has to offer".

The push for Ubuntu comes as Dell's site indicated Ubuntu 10.04, released in April, will be appearing on Dell systems this summer. In a further push Dell said boot times have been improved dramatically over Ubuntu 9.10, currently on Inspiron 15n systems, to around 30 seconds. ®

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