Dell drops online sales of Ubuntu

July 26, 2010 // 12:34 p.m.

Tags: #buy-dell-ubuntu #buy-ubuntu-dell #dell #dell-drops-linux #dell-drops-ubuntu #dell-ubuntu #linux #open-source #ubuntu

Dell has stopped selling consumer PCs and laptops featuring Ubuntu Linux operating system on its website, but claims it remains committed to the OS.

According to a Dell spokesman, who talked to PC Pro regarding the disappearance of the Ubuntu-based systems, the company is "currently making some changes to our Ubuntu pages, and as a result, they [the systems] are available through our phone-based sales only."

When quizzed as to the reason for the 'changes' which have seen Dell's Ubuntu-based systems disappear from the website - with only a single, business-oriented laptop available with the OS based on a search of the site - the Dell spokesman claimed that "the reason why they're not on our main pages is because Ubuntu systems are primarily targeted towards advanced users and enthusiasts, and the vast majority of consumers purchase PCs with Microsoft Windows pre-installed."

Dell's decision to restrict Ubuntu-based systems to telephone sales only - with, it has to be pointed out, no actual advertising to alert people of the fact that such systems are available if they bother to call up and ask - is likely to become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy: with no easy way to order a system running Ubuntu, Windows-based systems will continue to dominate the sales charges - giving Dell the perfect opportunity to cease offering the devices altogether at a later date with a minimum of backlash.

PCMag.com points out that Dell's own advice for choosing between Windows or Ubuntu warns that the Linux-based operating system is only suitable for users who "do not plan to use Microsoft Windows," or those who are "interested in open source programming" - a somewhat restricted set of choices that may come as a surprise to the operating system's estimated 12 million users.

Do you think that Dell's decision to drop Ubuntu-based systems from its website indicates a desire to drop the line altogether, or is the company just responding to a general lack of interest and making it easier for the vast majority of its customers to find the Windows-based system that they're looking for? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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