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Dell and Ubuntu: one step forwards, two steps backwards?

It’s hard to make out what’s going on with Ubuntu in the increasingly schizophrenic world of Dell, one of the UK’s/world’s largest suppliers of computer equipment.

Ubuntu logo

In June the specialist IT press was buzzing with an announcement from Dell that ‘Ubuntu is more secure than Windows’, whilst praising its ‘fast boot-up speeds and elegant design’, as well as giving a list of 10 reasons why users should consider Canonical’s offering over Redmond’s finest. A typical article of the period is this one from PC Pro.

However, over the weekend and this morning news has been circulating that Dell is now dropping sales of machines with pre-installed Ubuntu from its UK website, although the company told computer magazine PC Pro that it would continue to sell Ubuntu laptops and desktops via the telephone. The Telegraph has a surprisingly good piece on the story.

The reason given by Dell for dropping the machines from its website was that it had decided to remove the Ubuntu machines from its online sales channel because the platform was better suited to advanced users and computing enthusiasts.

Your scribe gets the impression that Dell doesn’t know its customers very well. After all, wouldn’t those ‘advanced users and computing enthusiasts’ be exactly the sort of people who would be more likely to purchase their kit online?

I think we should be told…

2 Responses to Dell and Ubuntu: one step forwards, two steps backwards?

  1. woodsy July 27, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    Update 27/07/10: The story is still doing the rounds today, as per the following tweet from our friend, technology writer Glyn Moody:

    glynmoody Dell UK decides to sell Linux boxes over the phone – oh, yeah, that makes sense… #dell #linux

  2. woodsy October 15, 2010 at 7:07 am #

    Late update, October 2010: Jules in the States informs me that in that country too Dell’s Ubuntu offerings are very limited and cost far more than the same machines with Windows. Shame. 🙁