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buntunub
November 30th, 2007, 04:11 PM
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/30/ubuntu_dell_sales/


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."

Ya. Remember that whole "Idea Storm" thing that most, if not all of you voted on?..

Although I believe this article is mostly speculating, it should be fairly accurate, as statistics like this are not all that difficult to find. However, Dell was obviously expecting that everyone who voted to have them adopt Ubuntu preloaded, was going to put their money where the votes were. This obviously is NOT happening, as many predicted based on the notion that "Linux users are cheapskates and nothing but a bunch of malcontent's" stereotype im sure we've all heard. 40k is a good number, but far short of what it would take to sustain the kind of profit margin it would take to stimulate interest in pursuing this further. Keep in mind too that other companies are closely watching Dell's success or failure on this too. One could easily surmise that the future of Desktop Linux adoption hinges on this, and not be far off the mark. Additionally, stronger Desktop line adoption from OEM's tends to push IHV's to produce Linux drivers for all the things we have so much trouble with (wireless, video, usb, etc). So what does this mean? Time to buy Ubuntu preloaded Dell for Christmas!

stoodleysnow
November 30th, 2007, 04:17 PM
It would help if Dell actually did something to advertise their Ubuntu PCs to the masses. Currently, the only people who know about these Dell offers are already Linux users and mostly already have a fairly new PC, and so have no need to buy another for a while. If Dell would actually start promoting its Ubuntu PCs in a big way, on TV, Billboards, newspapers etc, as well as in a more prominent way on their homepage, people may start noticing.
At the moment, ask people if they know about Dell's Ubuntu offerings and all you get is a surprised look and "I didn't know that!" or "So what?"
:(
And it's Lacklustre, not 'Lackluster'
SPELLINGS!!!!!!!!

bash
November 30th, 2007, 04:23 PM
Dell said they expected to sell 20.000 Ubuntu PCs in one year. Now they already sold 40.000 ...

x0as
November 30th, 2007, 04:25 PM
Last time I looked there was only about Ģ10 difference between Windows & Ubuntu laptops. After getting a refund on the vista license, the Windows version would have been cheaper.

As stoodleysnow said, Dell's advertising is crap. If they want to sell linux pc's they need to start advertising them a lot more than they do currently.

BigSilly
November 30th, 2007, 04:28 PM
They're going to have to sort the prices out if they want these to take off I reckon. It shouldn't cost more for the same PC with Ubuntu on it, compared to a Vista PC. I smell Microsoft behind the curtains....

stoodleysnow
November 30th, 2007, 04:34 PM
They're going to have to sort the prices out if they want these to take off I reckon. It shouldn't cost more for the same PC with Ubuntu on it, compared to a Vista PC. I smell Microsoft behind the curtains....

Too flippin' right. Dell need to sort their ideas out and fast. Bravo for being brave enough to try selling Ubuntu PCs, but this isn't exactly 'giving it their all'...

meindian523
November 30th, 2007, 04:34 PM
Also,it's been rumoured that the Dell lappys come with a statutory warning.....Loaded OS is not complete OS.....or something to that effect.......No wonder Dell's not selling enough.....

buntunub
November 30th, 2007, 04:40 PM
http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/linux_3x?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs

$499 for the Desktop, and $749 for the Notebook. The base hardware offered is not top of the line, but not bad either. Those prices are certainly not bad. Its not at the level of the gPC offered at Wallmart, but then, you get what you pay for when it comes to hardware. Is it cheaper than buying a Windows preload?.. Who cares? Its not about that anyway. Its about supporting Linux, which is the only thing that matters.

kanem
November 30th, 2007, 04:58 PM
Although I believe this article is mostly speculating, it should be fairly accurate, as statistics like this are not all that difficult to find. However, Dell was obviously expecting that everyone who voted to have them adopt Ubuntu preloaded, was going to put their money where the votes were. This obviously is NOT happening, as many predicted based on the notion that "Linux users are cheapskates and nothing but a bunch of malcontent's" stereotype im sure we've all heard. 40k is a good number, but far short of what it would take to sustain the kind of profit margin it would take to stimulate interest in pursuing this further.
I don't remember anything in that poll that said something like "would you buy a Dell if it came preloaded with Linux", it was just asking if we thought they should preload Linux. I did think they should preload linux, so I said yes. Who doesn't want more choices when it comes to which computer to buy or what it comes with?

And, 40k (or whatever they had sold in the US several months ago) was certainly a good enough number for them to pursue this further as that is when they expanded their Ubuntu offerings to another model and to France, Germany and the UK. So they must have been happy about those numbers.

jrusso2
November 30th, 2007, 05:27 PM
Dell is still selling last years processors with Ubuntu while the core2duo's you have to get windows and now the quad cores are coming out.

Why do the Linux users have to buy the old hardware? Plus Dell hides the fact they sell Ubuntu loaded and buries it on their website.

They don't provide DVD software or other things such as Nvidia drivers to provide a complete experience.

Kingsley
November 30th, 2007, 05:59 PM
And it's Lacklustre, not 'Lackluster'
SPELLINGS!!!!!!!!

'Lackluster' is the correct AMERICAN spelling.:)

kripkenstein
November 30th, 2007, 06:03 PM
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/30/ubuntu_dell_sales/



Ya. Remember that whole "Idea Storm" thing that most, if not all of you voted on?..

Let's assume the numbers are right. Then 130,000 people voted on IdeaStorm, and 40,000 bought PCs. That figure doesn't seem odd to me, I'll explain.

Dell isn't pushing Linux onto 'normal' consumers. Clearly the intended initial market are Linux users. So the only question is why did 130,000 vote but only 40,000 buy. Well, the answer is obvious: I voted, but I am not going to buy a computer when I don't need one immediately after they make them available... I'll probably need a new computer sometime this year, and Dell will be the first place I'll look when I do so. That is, these are 130,000 potential purchases.

Dell certainly expected that, so it is no wonder there isn't any disappointment from there. Also, there is little cost to them - they already support most hardware for Linux for their servers. They don't support desktop Linux themselves, they leave that to others. So really the risk is negligible, and if all they get are 40,000 computers sold / year, then I am sure they are happy with that.

buntunub
November 30th, 2007, 06:04 PM
Dell is still selling last years processors with Ubuntu while the core2duo's you have to get windows and now the quad cores are coming out.

Why do the Linux users have to buy the old hardware? Plus Dell hides the fact they sell Ubuntu loaded and buries it on their website.

They don't provide DVD software or other things such as Nvidia drivers to provide a complete experience.

Inspiron Desktop 530 N
IntelŪPentiumŪ dual-core processor E2140 (1MB L2,1.60GHz,800 FSB)
Ubuntu Desktop Edition version 7.04

Inspiron Notebook 1420 N
IntelŪ Core™ 2 Duo T5250 (1.5GHz/667Mhz FSB/2MB cache)
Ubuntu version 7.04


Those processors are both duo's. In fact, those are not bad processors at all, and the bus speed is standard. If you want better than that it makes most sense to just build your own system. you can soon build a system with dual quad cores, 8G ram, and SLI 8800's. System like that will scream on Ubuntu.

buntunub
November 30th, 2007, 06:09 PM
'Lackluster' is the correct AMERICAN spelling.:)

:)

x0as
November 30th, 2007, 06:10 PM
Dell are still trying to sell ubuntu laptops here with celerons & 512mb ram.

Nano Geek
November 30th, 2007, 06:11 PM
Yes, I agree that it's partitally Dell's fault for not advertising them better and for not giving us more hardware options.

macogw
November 30th, 2007, 06:12 PM
Let's assume the numbers are right. Then 130,000 people voted on IdeaStorm, and 40,000 bought PCs. That figure doesn't seem odd to me, I'll explain.

Dell isn't pushing Linux onto 'normal' consumers. Clearly the intended initial market are Linux users. So the only question is why did 130,000 vote but only 40,000 buy. Well, the answer is obvious: I voted, but I am not going to buy a computer when I don't need one immediately after they make them available... I'll probably need a new computer sometime this year, and Dell will be the first place I'll look when I do so. That is, these are 130,000 potential purchases.

Dell certainly expected that, so it is no wonder there isn't any disappointment from there. Also, there is little cost to them - they already support most hardware for Linux for their servers. They don't support desktop Linux themselves, they leave that to others. So really the risk is negligible, and if all they get are 40,000 computers sold / year, then I am sure they are happy with that.
Yep. I voted for it because my brother and sister are going to college next year. They're both going to have Ubuntu laptops, and now the options are System76, ZaReason, or Dell.

aysiu
November 30th, 2007, 06:13 PM
Well, if they really wanted their Ubuntu computers to sell well, they could have strategized a bit better: Don't immediately hit visitors with an 'Is open source not for you?' when you go to the open source page. Instead, have an explanation of the benefits of not using Windows. Likewise, ditch the whole recommending Windows Vista on the Ubuntu page Do not use comparable specs for the Vista and Ubuntu computers. If people see a Windows computer that's cheaper than or comparable price-wise to the Ubuntu computer for the same specs, they'll buy the Windows computer, even if they're just going to install a dual-boot with Ubuntu. Learn from Apple. Don't invite comparison. Have a completely different model with different hardware and different specs. Have something special about the Ubuntu model. Have it be cheap. Seriously. That's why people come to Dell, not to get an $800 laptop, but to get a $600 laptop. Have it be high-end. This is the other thing that appeals to Linux users. Linux users either have minimalist needs in terms of hardware (email, text editing, web browsing, music) or they have super high-end needs (I can't believe there are people on this forum who use 4 GB or more of RAM!). Have promotions! That's another Dell is about. The Ubuntu computers are almost always the regular price. The Vista ones, however, get special deals or sudden free upgrades of the RAM or hard drive. Ubuntu and Linux users may sometimes be cheapskates, but they do also vote with their wallets if they think they're getting real support.

The support Dell is offering is in name only.

They were either sincere and had a poor marketing strategy, or they were just trying to say "I told you so. Linux users are cheapskates."

Edit: By the way, after reading the article, I don't know why this thread is entitled Lackluster Dell PC sales with Ubuntu. Neither the article nor the Dell spokesperson indicated that the sales were lackluster.
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. Sounds positive to me. 40,000 doesn't sound like a lot, but it's a lot for what remains a fringe OS. Yes, it's a lot. Positive.
]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" Again, very positive. Adoption has been good. I think by saying
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." They're saying they wish the sales would be better. "Good adoption" is good, but it isn't great or spectacular.

On the other hand, 40,000 purchases out of 130,000 votes is about 30%. I voted and I didn't purchase. Do you know why? I don't need a new computer right now. The vote wasn't "If we sell Linux preinstalled, are you going to buy a computer from us within the year." The vote was "Sell preinstalled Linux." So if 90,000 people voted for it and didn't buy a Dell, why is that surprising? Some of us actually keep our computers for 3-5 years and use them without purchasing a new one.

That said, if they want their sales to go from good to spectacular, they should take the approach I outlined above.

Tuxtur
November 30th, 2007, 06:16 PM
Trouble with using the OEM installed OS numbers is that doesn't tell you what people are really USING. This PC dual boots XP and Ubuntu. I use Ubuntu 99% of the time. of those millions of PCs Dell sells each year it's impossible to know how many are booting multiple OSes.

I for one find it necessary to use Windows apps occasionally. So when I purchase my next PC I will probably get one with Vista. I can then just install Ubuntu myself and have a dual boot system. Of course by doing that I get lumped in the Vista sales column even though I may only use it for my tax software.

To me the important thing isn't to get Ubuntu preinstalled. its to get a PC that is Linux compatible so I have a choice of OS.

buntunub
November 30th, 2007, 06:19 PM
Well, if they really wanted their Ubuntu computers to sell well, they could have strategized a bit better: Don't immediately hit visitors with an 'Is open source not for you?' when you go to the open source page. Instead, have an explanation of the benefits of not using Windows. Likewise, ditch the whole recommending Windows Vista on the Ubuntu page Do not use comparable specs for the Vista and Ubuntu computers. If people see a Windows computer that's cheaper than or comparable price-wise to the Ubuntu computer for the same specs, they'll buy the Windows computer, even if they're just going to install a dual-boot with Ubuntu. Learn from Apple. Don't invite comparison. Have a completely different model with different hardware and different specs. Have something special about the Ubuntu model. Have it be cheap. Seriously. That's why people come to Dell, not to get an $800 laptop, but to get a $600 laptop. Have it be high-end. This is the other thing that appeals to Linux users. Linux users either have minimalist needs in terms of hardware (email, text editing, web browsing, music) or they have super high-end needs (I can't believe there are people on this forum who use 4 GB or more of RAM!). Have promotions! That's another Dell is about. The Ubuntu computers are almost always the regular price. The Vista ones, however, get special deals or sudden free upgrades of the RAM or hard drive. Ubuntu and Linux users may sometimes be cheapskates, but they do also vote with their wallets if they think they're getting real support.

The support Dell is offering is in name only.

They were either sincere and had a poor marketing strategy, or they were just trying to say "I told you so. Linux users are cheapskates."

If you look at how they are doing it, you cant help but realize that they consider Ubuntu to be a niche market. IE, they know that Linux users make up about 2% of the market and treat their marketing approach as such. Its more of a, "see? we even support those guys" kinda thing. I agree that Dell does not seem interested in changing the market dynamic, but they are a major OEM player, and have many and varied entanglements with M$, some of which im sure, carry some hefty legal strings that cannot easily be disentangled.

aysiu
November 30th, 2007, 06:27 PM
Yes, I realize Microsoft probably gives them some serious discounts on Windows and Office if they keep saying they "recommend Windows Vista" instead of saying they "recommend Ubuntu."

But even if Linux users aren't the cheapskates they're often made out to be, they're not stupid either. They can compare prices on laptops that are exactly or almost exactly the same specifications and hardware.

Take a page from Apple. Don't make the comparison easy. Then people will be willing to pay more.

buntunub
November 30th, 2007, 06:28 PM
(I can't believe there are people on this forum who use 4 GB or more of RAM!)

Are you serious?????

Why do you think there is a real need for 64 bit OS's? Not because of the 64 bit processor, thats for sure! I mean, why even bother with all the hassles of 64 bit Linux if you DONT have more than 4G of ram on your system?

hanzomon4
November 30th, 2007, 06:30 PM
Inspiron Desktop 530 N
IntelŪPentiumŪ dual-core processor E2140 (1MB L2,1.60GHz,800 FSB)
Ubuntu Desktop Edition version 7.04

Inspiron Notebook 1420 N
IntelŪ Core™ 2 Duo T5250 (1.5GHz/667Mhz FSB/2MB cache)
Ubuntu version 7.04


Those processors are both duo's. In fact, those are not bad processors at all, and the bus speed is standard. If you want better than that it makes most sense to just build your own system. you can soon build a system with dual quad cores, 8G ram, and SLI 8800's. System like that will scream on Ubuntu.

Nope the desktop is showing this : IntelŪPentiumŪ dual-core processor(?) E2140 (1MB L2,1.60GHz,800 FSB)

And they changed the notebook because I checked about two weeks ago and both systems displayed IntelŪPentiumŪ dual-core not core 2 duo.

Vadi
November 30th, 2007, 06:38 PM
I too believe the main problem is that the Ubuntu PC's are somewhere hidden deep down the Dell website. Heck, after I "sold" a Dell Ubuntu laptop to someone, and went to the website to find a link, I couldn't find it. (amazingly enough, the person who isn't a computer expert found it before me).

kripkenstein
November 30th, 2007, 06:57 PM
Well, if they really wanted their Ubuntu computers to sell well, they could have strategized a bit better: Don't immediately hit visitors with an 'Is open source not for you?' when you go to the open source page. Instead, have an explanation of the benefits of not using Windows. Likewise, ditch the whole recommending Windows Vista on the Ubuntu page


Well, Dell's goal is to sell more computers, not to sell more Ubuntu-loaded ones instead of Windows-loaded ones. So long as you buy from Dell, Dell doesn't care what OS it is; they make the same money. So promoting Ubuntu over Windows on their website doesn't make sense for them.

Dell's goal is to get people who would not otherwise have bought a Dell PC to do so. Perhaps most of the 40,000 Ubuntu PCs are exactly that, Linux people who might otherwise have built their own, bought from a Linux-friendly vendor, or something else.

Perhaps people see 40,000 and are not impressed. But you need to look at it through Dell's eyes. Selling the same amount of PCs with Ubuntu replacing Windows is useless. Selling 40,000 additional PCs by targeting a specific market makes Dell happy. The desktop Linux market isn't too developed, no big players are seriously invested in it. If Dell solidifies its position there, it might sell (say) 100,000-200,000 extra PCs a year that it would not have sold otherwise. The OS doesn't matter to Dell, but those sales numbers certainly do.

stimpack
November 30th, 2007, 07:00 PM
I need a new laptop and check dell.co.uk. They have 'won' in the respect that I would never check dell normally, they 'lose' because the Linux range is too low end for my needs, so while they got me to look, I moved elsewhere.

aysiu
November 30th, 2007, 07:11 PM
Are you serious?????

Why do you think there is a real need for 64 bit OS's? Not because of the 64 bit processor, thats for sure! I mean, why even bother with all the hassles of 64 bit Linux if you DONT have more than 4G of ram on your system?
Yes, I'm serious. I don't know anyone in person who has more than 2 GB of RAM.

The people on these forums appear to have that much, though.

2cute4u
November 30th, 2007, 07:29 PM
I think we need to take some action to change the perceptions at dell. If EVERYONE in the ubuntu community contacted, dell requesting that:

All Dell computers be offered with Ubuntu as an option, at a price that is less than the windows version by the amount dell pays for windows.

That the Ubuntuu options be as prominent on the page as the Vista and XP options.

That nothing on the webpage would be geared to dissuade anyone from choosing Ubuntu or persuade people to choose Vista.

aysiu
November 30th, 2007, 07:29 PM
Well, Dell's goal is to sell more computers, not to sell more Ubuntu-loaded ones instead of Windows-loaded ones. So long as you buy from Dell, Dell doesn't care what OS it is; they make the same money. So promoting Ubuntu over Windows on their website doesn't make sense for them. I can buy that for the short-term, but it is not in a company's best interests to (for the long-term) offer a line of computers that is not going to sell well. It is not cost-effective. If they are going to offer Ubuntu-preloaded computers, it's in their interests to do what they can to make those computers appealing. Not all customers who opt for a Vista-based laptop will buy one from Dell.

It's not hard to imagine (in fact, I think I've read such thinking on these forums) a Ubuntu user considering a Dell Ubuntu laptop, seeing that it's the same cost as or more than the Dell Vista laptop and then saying to herself, "Well, if it's just the same price as the Vista laptop, I might as well get a Vista laptop." It's not necessarily, "I might as well get the Dell Vista laptop." So that person has ruled out preinstalled Ubuntu and will then go hunting for Vista laptops... not necessarily at Dell.

It is not good business sense to offer a product you don't give your all. If Ubuntu is not worth their energy to promote, why offer it at all?


Dell's goal is to get people who would not otherwise have bought a Dell PC to do so. Perhaps most of the 40,000 Ubuntu PCs are exactly that, Linux people who might otherwise have built their own, bought from a Linux-friendly vendor, or something else. How do you know those 40,000 would not have bought a Dell otherwise? That's just speculation. Perhaps, indeed.


Perhaps people see 40,000 and are not impressed. But you need to look at it through Dell's eyes. Selling the same amount of PCs with Ubuntu replacing Windows is useless. Again, that's short-term thinking, not long-term thinking.

They could have sold more than 40,000 if they'd tried. After Dell announced they were going to sell Dellbuntus, the Linux community was really excited. There were a whole bunch of people ready to buy them. And, in fact, if I'm remembering correctly, there were people who said things like, "I'm going to recommend my Windows-using friends and family buy their Windows computers from Dell." Then the prices came out. Then people realized there was no easy way to find the Ubuntu page. Then people saw they were still "recommending" Vista, even on the Ubuntu pages. That's a lot of lost potential customers.

I'm not in a position to buy a computer now, but given Dell's strategy, I can honestly say that even later they won't be getting my money (for Windows or Ubuntu) if they keep their current approach to the preloaded Ubuntu computers. Am I alone in that?

Do you honestly believe the sale of Dell computers would stay at only 40,000+ if they promoted Ubuntu more, didn't recommend Vista on the Ubuntu pages, and made the prices either cheaper or harder to compare to the Vista one?

Paqman
November 30th, 2007, 07:31 PM
I don't really think the prices are competitive. It's possible to get a Windows PC with a higher spec for less money than what they're asking for their Ubuntu boxes. Even if they were the same price it would still make sense to buy the Windows machine over the Ubuntu one.

kripkenstein
November 30th, 2007, 07:42 PM
Do you honestly believe the sale of Dell computers would stay at only 40,000+ if they promoted Ubuntu more, didn't recommend Vista on the Ubuntu pages, and made the prices either cheaper or harder to compare to the Vista one?

I tend to think that more promotion wouldn't help much, but lowering the prices certainly would (based on people's reactions on these forums to Ubuntu not being much cheaper than Windows PCs). So I agree about the price, but I don't know if they can lower it and stay profitable (I don't know otherwise, either - no idea).

In any case, I stand by my original point - Dell's goal is to sell more computers, regardless of OS. They are already doing their best to sell them with Windows, and this Ubuntu initiative is an attempt to tap a new market. Assuming this is right - and, as you correctly said, it is just speculation on my part - then 40,000 new customers is pretty good. Even 20,000 would be pretty good; these are initial results, they might improve them next year, who knows.

toupeiro
November 30th, 2007, 07:45 PM
In regards to the amount of RAM a 64-bit OS/hardware can address and the amount a person needs...

I think what bothers me here is that the 64-bit OS pushers, even Microsoft, are not scaling the price depending on how much you want to take advantage of 64-bit framework in regards to memory. 64-bit linux, and 64-bit windows, will handle the amount of memory the arch-type can address. The hardware, however, is not the same Now, I can understand paying more money for a dense stick of RAM, but to pay more memory so my mainboard will address more than 4GB on a 64-bit framework is wrong in my opinion. My mainboard only has 4 memory slots on it, so the most memory my board can support is 4GB at 4x1gb chips. But I can buy 8gb chips now that are the same speed and form factor as the 1GB one that I bought in early 06. It's ridiculous that I cannot address that amount of ram, I run a 64-bit architecture, I should be able to. No 64-bit hardware user in the consumer market is really getting what they are paying for..

As far as actually using it. I never like to make that kind of a call. People use their computers for very different things. I get close to using 4GB in my machine very rarely. Granted, there are some things I would like to do which I don't because of my RAM limitations, but its not a showstopper enough for me to fork out the cash for a newer mainboard that will only get me maybe 4 more GB. At work however, I use on average between 8 and 12GB or ram, and every once in a while I will take up the full 16GB in my machine. My usage varies with what I am doing. You have games now that can install more than 4GB to the hard disk. If you OS could load that whole game in RAM, then you are using more than 2GB just by playing the latest game available.

I want to see the doors blown off the mathematical limits put on 64-bit addressing, and make the bulk of the cost for my "performance system" come in the components I buy, not the components I am being allowed to use because Dell wants me to pay $$$ to have that ability.

DoctorMO
November 30th, 2007, 07:47 PM
From talking to both the Dell and System76 guys I'd have to say that the biggest problems is with the hardware refresh cycle and the out of sync ubuntu release cycle.

Not only does Canonical _not_ have anywhere near the required resources to offer the required coverage to Dell or System76 for hardware and compatibility testing; but they have to test every hardware refresh twice, once for the previous ubuntu release and once for the next.

As soon as they've worked out the processes for testing all the hardware properly, I'm sure there will be more models and a bigger push in the advertising.

I also happen to think that Dell would have better sales if they bought some aluminium case badges and stuck those on instead of those ridiculous n-series resin ones.

aysiu
November 30th, 2007, 07:50 PM
I tend to think that more promotion wouldn't help much, but lowering the prices certainly would (based on people's reactions on these forums to Ubuntu not being much cheaper than Windows PCs). So I agree about the price, but I don't know if they can lower it and stay profitable (I don't know otherwise, either - no idea). They don't have to lower the price.

Look at Apple.

A lot of people think Macs are overpriced, but Mac fanpeople can still defend the high cost of Macs, because Macs are usually impossible to compare to Windows PCs. You can never get the exact specs to match.

If Dell had created Ubuntu laptops that were similarly priced to Vista ones but had completely different specs or hardware, people wouldn't realize the Ubuntu laptops were a bad value. Or they'd get the Ubuntu ones because they're "cute" or "they look different." Right now the N series computers look exactly like the non-N-series computers and have the exact same components with the exact same brands. The one exception is the video card, and based on comments I've seen from people in these forums, the Ubuntu video card appears to be worse than the Vista one.

Erunno
November 30th, 2007, 08:00 PM
I can't believe there are people on this forum who use 4 GB or more of RAM!

If you ever start compiling large applications/libraries you'll beg for every byte of additional memory as it can seriously speed up the compilation process. Throw in a virtual machine or two which are sometimes needed to run server environments for development/testing purposes and you'll quickly come to the conclusion that 2 GB might not be enough. Plus, 4 GB RAM isn't as expensive as it used to be. So, it's not really that unlikely that people use and need these amounts of main memory. :-)

aysiu
November 30th, 2007, 08:05 PM
If you ever start compiling large applications/libraries you'll beg for every byte of additional memory as it can seriously speed up the compilation process. Throw in a virtual machine or two which are sometimes needed to run server environments for development/testing purposes and you'll quickly come to the conclusion that 2 GB might not be enough. Plus, 4 GB RAM isn't as expensive as it used to be. So, it's not really that unlikely that people use and need these amounts of main memory. :-)
I understand people do have more than 4 GB of RAM. I know people on these forums have that much RAM.

I am just amazed by that fact.

And, as I said before, I know no one in person (or "real life," as they call it) who has more than 2 GB of RAM. That includes friends, co-workers, and family members.

kripkenstein
November 30th, 2007, 08:28 PM
They don't have to lower the price.

Look at Apple.

A lot of people think Macs are overpriced, but Mac fanpeople can still defend the high cost of Macs, because Macs are usually impossible to compare to Windows PCs. You can never get the exact specs to match.

If Dell had created Ubuntu laptops that were similarly priced to Vista ones but had completely different specs or hardware, people wouldn't realize the Ubuntu laptops were a bad value. Or they'd get the Ubuntu ones because they're "cute" or "they look different." Right now the N series computers look exactly like the non-N-series computers and have the exact same components with the exact same brands. The one exception is the video card, and based on comments I've seen from people in these forums, the Ubuntu video card appears to be worse than the Vista one.

That's a good point. I guess sadly Dell are not investing enough in their Linux line to try to do this, but hopefully some other vendor will (actually perhaps things like the Eee and Zonbu are along these lines - nonstandard devices that run Linux and can't be compared to Windows PCs easily).

aysiu
November 30th, 2007, 08:40 PM
That's a good point. I guess sadly Dell are not investing enough in their Linux line to try to do this, but hopefully some other vendor will (actually perhaps things like the Eee and Zonbu are along these lines - nonstandard devices that run Linux and can't be compared to Windows PCs easily).
Right on.

Even though I've seen a few people complain about the Eee PC being too expensive (even though it's cheaper than most regular laptops), the novelty of its design and specifications still appeals to people.

buntunub
November 30th, 2007, 09:40 PM
If you ever start compiling large applications/libraries you'll beg for every byte of additional memory as it can seriously speed up the compilation process. Throw in a virtual machine or two which are sometimes needed to run server environments for development/testing purposes and you'll quickly come to the conclusion that 2 GB might not be enough. Plus, 4 GB RAM isn't as expensive as it used to be. So, it's not really that unlikely that people use and need these amounts of main memory. :-)

Agree! I got my extra 2 sticks that im using on my older home machine for $40. 4+G for a total of $80 for that architecture (DDR2 4200). Thats next to nothing. Yet, even on that slower architecture, the performance boost is off the charts. Its so cheap and so easy to use that the question really is - why NOT have 4+ G on your system nowadays?? Other than the fact that you cant get the benefit of it on a 32 bit system since it wont "see" more than like 3.2 or 3.5G of it, and 64 bit Ubuntu can be a pain sometimes (nspluginwrapper, wireless, etc) to get things working as well as they do on vanilla 32 bit Ubuntu.


I do agree that Dell ~could~ model after Apple, and that might help, but they really do need to find a new niche, rather than bandwagon off someone elses gravy train idea.

buntunub
November 30th, 2007, 10:00 PM
On retrospect, when considering a new market, or breaking in to one that is already flooded with similar products, your choices are rather limited. 1) Make a product which nobody can compete with/ featuresets that nobody else has, and yet will generate a demand. 2) Beat the competition on prices. Since Dell is breaking into a niche market (ie. one in which the market share is extremely low), their choices are more limited still. They are serving a product line(s) where there is not much of a demand (the OS), and serving it on hardware that is somewhat outdated, again, defeating the purpose. This is Economics 101 stuff here. Dell must decide where it wants to take this, and just how serious they are about making their Ubuntu line a real success. The suggestions provided on this thread are a good place for them to start -

1.) Fix their website. Stop recommending Vista over Ubuntu. Put the Ubuntu choices on the main page, or an easy to find link to them.

2.) Create a unique product line specifically FOR Ubuntu, and not an older Windows product line that is refitted with Ubuntu. Make it high end/high spec, or low end/low spec depending on the polls. Price should reflect. IE. if its unique and high end, then price will be higher, low end and low spec, price should be extremely low. Very good demand has already been shown for Wallmarts gPC, so comparisons can be made there.

3.) Market it properly!

Dimitriid
November 30th, 2007, 10:21 PM
They don't have to lower the price.

Look at Apple.

Lets not: last thing this world needs its more people equating technology to a fashion statement.

2cute4u
November 30th, 2007, 10:27 PM
They don't have to lower the price.

Look at Apple.

A lot of people think Macs are overpriced, but Mac fanpeople can still defend the high cost of Macs, because Macs are usually impossible to compare to Windows PCs. You can never get the exact specs to match.

If Dell had created Ubuntu laptops that were similarly priced to Vista ones but had completely different specs or hardware, people wouldn't realize the Ubuntu laptops were a bad value. Or they'd get the Ubuntu ones because they're "cute" or "they look different." Right now the N series computers look exactly like the non-N-series computers and have the exact same components with the exact same brands. The one exception is the video card, and based on comments I've seen from people in these forums, the Ubuntu video card appears to be worse than the Vista one.

I don't think your comparing apple to apples (no pun intended). If Apple sold Macs with OS X and Macs without OS X at the same price people would complain about having to pay for OS X if they didn't want it. Lets say apple sold iMacs with ubuntu, I don't think anyone would expect to pay the same price as the same iMac with Mac OSX.

Last Year I was thinking about buying a different kind of computer, but when I added up the hardware costs, I discovered that buying an iMac would still be cheaper, than any other computer similarly configured. So the arguments about macs being more expensive doesn't hold up.

Nano Geek
November 30th, 2007, 10:33 PM
Lets not: last thing this world needs its more people equating technology to a fashion statement.

He didn't mean that.
Please don't try to turn this into an Apple flamewar.

aysiu
November 30th, 2007, 10:38 PM
I don't think your comparing apple to apples (no pun intended). If Apple sold Macs with OS X and Macs without OS X at the same price people would complain about having to pay for OS X if they didn't want it. Lets say apple sold iMacs with ubuntu, I don't think anyone would expect to pay the same price as the same iMac with Mac OSX. Well, that's actually my point. Apple doesn't sell iMacs with OS X and iMacs with Ubuntu. They sell iMacs with OS X, and that's the only operating system you can get with that configuration.

My point is Dell is selling model ___ with Vista and selling model ___ with Ubuntu. Ubuntu is sometimes slightly cheaper, sometimes the same price, and sometimes slightly more expensive (depending on the user-defined configuration and whatever promotional deals the Vista model is getting).

So what the user sees is this

Model-hardware-specs A with Vista for $X
Model-hardware-specs A with Ubuntu for $X

Versus what happens now between Macs and Windows PCs

Model-hardware-specs B with Vista for $Y
Model-hardware-specs C with OS X for $Z

It's harder to compare $Y to $Z, because model C is different from model B.

It's easier to compare $X to $X, because model A is the same for Vista and Ubuntu.

So if Dell wants Ubuntu PCs to sell, they should make a model D, something that isn't easy to compare prices with.

Dimitriid
November 30th, 2007, 10:38 PM
Specs on a mac are intentionally a little bit off as an excuse to not touch on the same hardware and performance issues. I don't want tricks to sell Linux cause it doesn't needs any: Unlike OS-X it doesnt close the source and intentionally tries to obscure as much as possible to avoid touching on what should be THE most important decision when it comes to buying hardware: performance and quality of it!

Linux its an alternative OS based on FOSS and it should remain just that, it shouldn't be an excuse to sell hardware or need hardware as an excuse to distribute Linux.

Its separate, it should remain separate, and people have to get that through their thick heads and there is no magical or easy way to make people realize Hardware and Software are separate things.

Sporkman
November 30th, 2007, 10:43 PM
It would help if Dell actually did something to advertise their Ubuntu PCs to the masses. Currently, the only people who know about these Dell offers are already Linux users and mostly already have a fairly new PC, and so have no need to buy another for a while. If Dell would actually start promoting its Ubuntu PCs in a big way, on TV, Billboards, newspapers etc, as well as in a more prominent way on their homepage, people may start noticing.


Exactly - you have to dig for in on their website to find it - it's in a special hard-to-find section.

Vadi
November 30th, 2007, 11:51 PM
So that very safely means that a very high percentage of people won't even know about it's existence from the dell website.

Do you sell a product like that? No.

Pretty soon the linux wave will die out if Dell doesn't cooperate and it's just word-of-mouth, and the whole effort will just choke.

GS2
December 1st, 2007, 12:19 AM
......

Why do you think there is a real need for 64 bit OS's? Not because of the 64 bit processor, thats for sure! I mean, why even bother with all the hassles of 64 bit Linux if you DONT have more than 4G of ram on your system?

Could be because of the dreaded 2038 'bug' :| If you belive in it...

sloggerkhan
December 1st, 2007, 12:30 AM
I thought about buying a dell linux machine, but 2 things stopped me.
1. A dell rep told me I couldn't get an academic discount on the thing unless I buy with a monitor (which I don't need). This really angered me.
2. The power supply was too low of wattage on the desktop model.

As it is, I still haven't purchased a desktop, but I most likely will at some point in the next year.

SonicSteve
December 1st, 2007, 12:37 AM
I agree with all the other users who have blamed poor Dell advertising. It is very obscure on the website. Unless you know it's there you would never find it. I mean no one surfs the Dell website and clicks on all the obscure links. Even doing a search on site for "Ubuntu" doesn't really bring up a link to buy the Ubuntu pc's it takes you to "free dos and linux" computers.
When I was done on the Dell site they asked me to answer a survey. Since I was looking specifically for the Ubuntu computers I ranked them 5 out of 10 in most catagories since I couldn't find what I was looking for easilly. In the comments box I explained this to them.
They are selling Ubuntu very much half-as*ed, it's like they want it to fail. They certainly aren't setting it up to succeed. Though 40 thousands units is hardly failing considering how pathetic their marketing has been thus far.

EDIT
Another thing, yes I was one of the people who voted on Idea storm in favor of Ubuntu on Dell systems. No I haven't bought a PC with Ubuntu from Dell to this point. However 1/4 of the those who voted have! I currently have a laptop that is working for me and I don't need a new one yet. When I do need a new laptop I will consider Dell as a source strongly because of their support for Ubuntu. I can't say this about any other maker except the few that sell only Linux such as System 76. They will also be on my radar when the time comes. The fact that they haven't sold 160,000 units doesn't mean that those who voted will never buy one from them. Hey we don't all need new computers at the same time.

altariel
December 1st, 2007, 04:41 PM
but as others have pointed out
a) they are buried deeply in the system! with next to nothing in advertising or even a broader range of model!
b) they ARE NOT sellling to more than a very few countries outside the US (NOT for example here in Sweden)

Mateo
December 1st, 2007, 05:08 PM
Linux users rarely have to upgrade their computers, unless they are just tech enthusiasts, so this isn't that suprising really.

Vadi
December 1st, 2007, 05:12 PM
I don't get the above comment.

Why shouldn't I upgrade my computer? In fact my new harddrive just arrived two days ago.

Mateo
December 1st, 2007, 05:13 PM
No one said you should/shouldn't upgrade your computer. What I was saying is that because you use Linux, it's not absolutely necessary to do it every 2 years like on Windows machines. It's up to you.

Since your upgrading just your harddrive, i'm guessing you are a tech enthusiast.

Vadi
December 1st, 2007, 06:49 PM
You're quite wrong! I'm a normal user. My old harddrive was just small (40gb), slow, and it nearing the end of it's like (500k something out of 600k). So I got a new one. I'm no tech enthusiast at all.

I do agree though that Linux does not have the ultra-heavy requirements - my Radeon 7500 card runs Compiz just fine. But, you're looking here from windows point of view - if you take a more "neutral" pov, you'll see that windows is unnnesarily pushing the hardware limits (possibly to generate more revenue), while it's not all that necessary. Linux just does it when it is necessary.

In fact I don't get your original point at all. A "Linux enthusiast" isn't who this whole thread is aimed for - we're discussing here how the average John will buy a Ubuntu computer from Dell.

Dixon Bainbridge
December 1st, 2007, 08:13 PM
It would help if Dell actually did something to advertise their Ubuntu PCs to the masses. Currently, the only people who know about these Dell offers are already Linux users and mostly already have a fairly new PC, and so have no need to buy another for a while. If Dell would actually start promoting its Ubuntu PCs in a big way, on TV, Billboards, newspapers etc, as well as in a more prominent way on their homepage, people may start noticing.
At the moment, ask people if they know about Dell's Ubuntu offerings and all you get is a surprised look and "I didn't know that!" or "So what?"
:(
And it's Lacklustre, not 'Lackluster'
SPELLINGS!!!!!!!!

Also, the fact that its Dell hardware might be putting people off. I wouldn't touch Dell with a 200 ft pole.

Mateo
December 1st, 2007, 08:21 PM
You're quite wrong! I'm a normal user. My old harddrive was just small (40gb), slow, and it nearing the end of it's like (500k something out of 600k). So I got a new one. I'm no tech enthusiast at all.

You're one of a kind then. I don't know anyone other than a couple of tech enthusiasts that have upgraded their HDs. I've never even done so myself. When I get to the point that my HD is too small, then my other components are probably out of date too, so I just get a whole new computer.

maniacmusician
December 1st, 2007, 08:39 PM
Aysiu made some pretty excellent points earlier in the thread. It all depends on people's situations and whether they need/can afford a new computer. I needed a new computer over the summer, so after some shopping around, I did end up buying one from Dell. Now, it's true that Dell hardware is not the greatest, but I haven't had too much trouble with mine so far.

I bought a laptop, and while it's certainly not as solid as some other models I've seen (in terms of keyboard quality, screen (both the display and the way it's attached to the computer), it definitely allows me to do my work, and relatively well for the price I paid for it. Dell has various coupon incentives running at all times, you really just need to google "dell coupons" to find them. I bought a very nicely specced laptop that was priced at 1400+ for around 1,000 dollars. This is with a T7500 processor (the fastest they offered), 2GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, an all in one card reader, bluetooth, and many other goodies. I'm certainly more than pleased with the deal I got and don't regret it at all.

Other people simply don't need a laptop or perhaps need a desktop but would prefer to build it (as I do). And Dell did exceed their own predictions for how many computers they would sell, so I don't understand the complaints. Everything is going fairly well.

Dell definitely does need to advertise it's Ubuntu computers, and redo the Open Source page as Aysiu suggested; that will definitely bring in more customers. If they do that, it's inevitable that they will get some people who wanted Windows computers but instead got Ubuntu computers because they can't read or folllow directions very well. For these people, I feel it would be prudent to offer a process through which they can order a Windows disc/Dell restore disc for a cheap OEM price, or send their computer back in to get it re-imaged.

As long as they take the right steps, Dell can really, really benefit from its open source sales.

boast
December 1st, 2007, 10:13 PM
maybe linux should do like apple, and become famous in the mobile market first?

Vadi
December 1st, 2007, 10:41 PM
As far as I know, they already are. A bunch of phones (including Razr) are powered by it, and it powers googles new android platform too.

Mateo
December 1st, 2007, 10:42 PM
maybe linux should do like apple, and become famous in the mobile market first?

I think that's the only way linux will become a major player in the desktop market. It has to do something really innovative elsewhere that gets people interested in linux applications as a whole. Eee PC is one of those innovative first steps.

Vadi
December 1st, 2007, 10:45 PM
What do you define by innovative?

Compiz? Security? Repositories? Price?

I think it just needs a good dose of advertising & credit for what it's already done...

n3tfury
December 1st, 2007, 10:52 PM
No one said you should/shouldn't upgrade your computer. What I was saying is that because you use Linux, it's not absolutely necessary to do it every 2 years like on Windows machines. It's up to you.

Since your upgrading just your harddrive, i'm guessing you are a tech enthusiast.

you have to upgrade your hardware every 2 years on a windows machine? i'll let my 4 year old box know that.

Mateo
December 1st, 2007, 11:03 PM
What do you define by innovative?

Compiz? Security? Repositories? Price?

I think it just needs a good dose of advertising & credit for what it's already done...

Not OSes. I think the OS is now looked at as a "tool", not a sexy application on its own. I think the growth industry in technology is in web applications and mobile devices. So if linux took a lead in the mobile department, it could eventually leak into the OS market as well.

Vadi
December 2nd, 2007, 12:30 AM
But that what an OS is. It's a tool to run programs - so a good OS, by definition, is one that allows you to run your programs easily (nevermind that it shouldn't ever fail you and all. It's like a car. It's supposed to get you from A to B).

I'm confused, but okay.

lyceum
December 2nd, 2007, 01:06 AM
I just have to say that if Dell would sell me the PC I WANT rather than giving me 2 options, I WOULD buy an Ubuntu PC. I want:

Laptop
17" glossy monitor (built in)
2.4 gig or better Dual core processor
The biggest hard drive they can put in it (I want 250 gigs, but will settle)
2 gigs of memory, expandable to 4 gigs or better
CD/DVD burner
NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 256MB SDRAM (or similar)
Ubuntu default

I have called Dell a few times, and get the same answer, I can buy what they offer. Now, it seems if I want a PC like this I will have to buy one with Windows or Mac Leopard pre-installed. If these are my choices, I am going to have to go with the Mac. Sorry Dell. I wanted to give you money. You told me no.

#-o

bash
December 2nd, 2007, 01:11 AM
Since people apparently on read every second post I quote myself from page 1:


Dell said they expected to sell 20.000 Ubuntu PCs in one year. Now they already sold 40.000 ...

As in they just double as much as they predicted within less than a year. And still people are doubting that Dell will stick to Linux. They said the figure of 20.000. Not 130.000 and 2 billion. And now they sold twice as much already. So however is saying that Dell is now doubting their Ubuntu commitment can't be serious.

kopinux
December 2nd, 2007, 01:31 AM
maybe linux should do like apple, and become famous in the mobile market first?

that category is covered, in fact linux is the fast growing OS in the mobile phone industry.

TeaSwigger
December 2nd, 2007, 09:19 AM
I have been a loyal Dell customer and so has my family.

Myself and my family would buy the ubuntu product, if one were being offered as a competitive product. Regretfully, neither I nor my family are going to buy an inferior hardware offer. We'd buy the best deal, and the best deals Dell is offering are the products preloaded with Windows. I'd be obliged to buy a blasted Windows "bundle" for the hardware to promptly rip it out and install ubuntu myself.

Which coincidentally is what MicroSoft wants.

This presents a Dell customer such as myself with a bit of a quandry. If I've already had to learn enough to install my own software right down to the OS, and I've therefore learnt a good deal towards what I'd need to know in order to build my own PC, why wouldn't I be better off building my own computer next time? I'd enjoy a better value and be equipt to readily provide my own hardware and software support. It is true that Dell can still offer me convenience and valuable time saving. I would rather buy a prebuilt computer from Dell. But their advantages are being partially negated by the fact I'd have to do all the software installation myself. The MicroSoft "partnership" is a liability to Dell in this case; I don't want MicroSoft to get one single cent more from me. Oh they surely will anyway, since they have so many hands in so many pockets now, but that hardly helps Dell's interests.

That isn't what Dell wants.

So perhaps this ubuntu venture is a genuinely motivated attempt to "diversify product, partnership, investment and market portfolios" as it were. Alas, either their hands are tied by a certain frighteningly powerful megacorporation or their formerly formidable marketing abilities left with the Dell Dude.


Well, if they really wanted their Ubuntu computers to sell well, they could have strategized a bit better: Don't immediately hit visitors with an 'Is open source not for you?' when you go to the open source page. Instead, have an explanation of the benefits of not using Windows. Likewise, ditch the whole recommending Windows Vista on the Ubuntu page Do not use comparable specs for the Vista and Ubuntu computers. If people see a Windows computer that's cheaper than or comparable price-wise to the Ubuntu computer for the same specs, they'll buy the Windows computer, even if they're just going to install a dual-boot with Ubuntu. Learn from Apple. Don't invite comparison. Have a completely different model with different hardware and different specs. Have something special about the Ubuntu model. Have it be cheap. Seriously. That's why people come to Dell, not to get an $800 laptop, but to get a $600 laptop. Have it be high-end. This is the other thing that appeals to Linux users. Linux users either have minimalist needs in terms of hardware (email, text editing, web browsing, music) or they have super high-end needs (I can't believe there are people on this forum who use 4 GB or more of RAM!). Have promotions! That's another Dell is about. The Ubuntu computers are almost always the regular price. The Vista ones, however, get special deals or sudden free upgrades of the RAM or hard drive.

Well said.

K.Mandla
December 2nd, 2007, 12:00 PM
Yeah, I read that article and I thought, "Wow! 40,000 computers! That's fantastic!"

I'm not sure what people -- or The Register -- were expecting to happen. I thought it was pretty impressive that one-third put their money where their mouths are. Do we have to hit 100 percent the first time around to call it a success?

SonicSteve
December 3rd, 2007, 08:20 PM
you have to upgrade your hardware every 2 years on a windows machine? i'll let my 4 year old box know that.

Interesting that when I ran windows this is almost exactly what I did. Somewhere around the 2 year mark I started looking at passing my hardware along to someone who wanted a cheap computer and upgrading mine to something a bit more current.

With Ubuntu I've been running the same hardware for 1.5yrs to this point I've only upgraded the Ram from 512 to 1GB. Not because I had to but I wanted to so my Virtual Machines could run better. Windows XP was getting slower and slower on my machine. Ubuntu has remained the same.

BuffaloX
December 4th, 2007, 12:26 PM
They could have sold more than 40,000 if they'd tried. After Dell announced they were going to sell Dellbuntus, the Linux community was really excited. There were a whole bunch of people ready to buy them. And, in fact, if I'm remembering correctly, there were people who said things like, "I'm going to recommend my Windows-using friends and family buy their Windows computers from Dell." Then the prices came out. Then people realized there was no easy way to find the Ubuntu page. Then people saw they were still "recommending" Vista, even on the Ubuntu pages. That's a lot of lost potential customers.


Seems like a clumsy attempt from Dell.
The excitement cooled off pretty fast.



...
All Dell computers be offered with Ubuntu as an option, at a price that is less than the windows version by the amount dell pays for windows.

That the Ubuntuu options be as prominent on the page as the Vista and XP options.

That nothing on the webpage would be geared to dissuade anyone from choosing Ubuntu or persuade people to choose Vista.

If I've done the math right, Dell has only sold about 0.2% systems with Ubuntu.
Considering that they are the only Top vendor promoting a Linux system, that number is lousy.

The Asus EeePC is sold out almost everywhere, with expected sales in the millions next year, the Wallmart Everex gPC sold out 10.000 units in less than a week. I think the second batch is sold out too.
Both systems get very good reviews.

This proves Linux can sell very well, if it is approached in the right way. I believe Dell has done just about everything the wrong way.

Poor positioning of products.
Lousy marketing.
Unattractive pricing.

R_U_Q_R_U
December 4th, 2007, 02:11 PM
Specs on a mac are intentionally a little bit off as an excuse to not touch on the same hardware and performance issues. I don't want tricks to sell Linux cause it doesn't needs any: Unlike OS-X it doesnt close the source and intentionally tries to obscure as much as possible to avoid touching on what should be THE most important decision when it comes to buying hardware: performance and quality of it!

Linux its an alternative OS based on FOSS and it should remain just that, it shouldn't be an excuse to sell hardware or need hardware as an excuse to distribute Linux.

Its separate, it should remain separate, and people have to get that through their thick heads and there is no magical or easy way to make people realize Hardware and Software are separate things.


I agree! I cannot believe folks are advocating methods for tricking consumers into buying Linux based computers by hiding the specs or making value comparisons harder. After all isn't the whole FOSS philosophy about being open and free?

Any marking approach that attempts to conceal comparison or trick consumers seems somewhat immoral. Beyond that, consumers are not stupid. The market is a powerful and wonderful thing. Consumers who feel they are being tricked or cheated will go elsewhere.