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View Full Version : Dell Charges for Ubuntu?



neu5eeCh
May 4th, 2010, 01:41 AM
So... I looked up Dell - their Inspiron Mini. Then, out of curiosity, I looked up the same laptop with Windows pre-installed. Low & behold, they were both the same price. So, either they are giving Windows away for free, or they are charging windows prices for Ubuntu (& pocketing the cash). I called them and asked about it. Isn't Ubuntu free? Where's the price point? No explanation was forthcoming.

Merk42
May 4th, 2010, 01:46 AM
Well to be fair, the Ubuntu computers come with the Fluendo codecs that cost money.

Also, just because a retail copy of Windows causes some amount of money, that's NOT what a manufacturer like Dell would pay.

tica vun
May 4th, 2010, 01:47 AM
They're allowed to charge whatever they want for it. The GPL doesn't prohibit selling the software or charging money for its distribution.

phrostbyte
May 4th, 2010, 01:56 AM
The license fee Microsoft charges OEMs for installing Windows specifically on netbooks is hilariously low.

matchett808
May 4th, 2010, 02:00 AM
I say good on dell, I have precisely 0 problem with paying for a well-installed, poished version of ubuntu (just as I would love to buy a system76) As mentioned it is within the license for a third party to charge for ubuntu but more power to them seeing as the add a bit of polish.....

tekkidd
May 4th, 2010, 02:01 AM
Because Dell and MS are in an agreement in which dell must provide a system on every computer (ms is assuming this is windows). So Dell in order to get away with providing a computer with no os on it provides one with ubuntu or freedos. Im not to sure where the price comes in but it must be from that same agreement.

neu5eeCh
May 4th, 2010, 02:01 AM
They're allowed to charge whatever they want for it. The GPL doesn't prohibit selling the software or charging money for its distribution.

Right, but there's no option for opting out of an OS. One can, fortunately, opt out of DELL.

As for the cost for Windows (for DELL), it's more than their cost for Ubuntu or Codecs. But you're right, they can charge whatever they want for it. Heck, why not charge more just for the hassle?

neu5eeCh
May 4th, 2010, 02:05 AM
I say good on dell, I have precisely 0 problem with paying for a well-installed, poished version of ubuntu (just as I would love to buy a system76) As mentioned it is within the license for a third party to charge for ubuntu but more power to them seeing as the add a bit of polish.....

Great, send me a check for $120 dollars and I'll send you a well-installed and polished CD with Ubuntu pre-burned on it. I'll even draw an Ubuntu logo on the envelope.

oldsoundguy
May 4th, 2010, 02:09 AM
One of the defraying items to lower the costs of installing Windows is all of the TRIAL WARE that comes with them .. those people (such as Norton or McAffee among others) PAY the company to install that trial ware .. percentages show that many people wind up paying for that crap rather than trying to remove it!
(Best Buy charges 30 bucks to remove the stuff using a FREE program they got off of the web. .. and takes 3 days to do so .. but they EXEMPT all Microsoft trial ware from that removal .. they remove that and MS will remove their authorization and certifications!)

KiwiNZ
May 4th, 2010, 02:09 AM
They also have to cover the cost of support etc and the development of their version of Ubuntu plus all their other overheads.

themarker0
May 4th, 2010, 02:18 AM
I charge for putting Ubuntu on machines. Its just a way of getting people to think its just like windows.

zipperback
May 4th, 2010, 02:26 AM
So... I looked up Dell - their Inspiron Mini. Then, out of curiosity, I looked up the same laptop with Windows pre-installed. Low & behold, they were both the same price. So, either they are giving Windows away for free, or they are charging windows prices for Ubuntu (& pocketing the cash). I called them and asked about it. Isn't Ubuntu free? Where's the price point? No explanation was forthcoming.

I haven't checked the Dell website, but what you're saying about the pricing of their systems is probably correct.

They install the operating system and make sure that everything is working correctly with the computer out of the box so to speak. They also have to train their employees to provide the support for Ubuntu on the computer system should you need any help with it. I personally just consider to be part of the overall cost of doing business with a large computer company like Dell. When buying one of computers from dell they sell with Ubuntu on it, you can be fairly confident that everything is going to work and work correctly with it.

- zipperback
:popcorn:

matchett808
May 4th, 2010, 02:59 AM
Great, send me a check for $120 dollars and I'll send you a well-installed and polished CD with Ubuntu pre-burned on it. I'll even draw an Ubuntu logo on the envelope.

Well that well formed example of sarcasm completely misses the point...Its not about getting a polished version on a CD....

windows retail copy - still has to be set-up
Ubuntu from CD - still has to be set up
Windows pre-installed - supposed to be ready to go out of the box
Ubuntu pre-installed - ready to go ootb!

neu5eeCh
May 4th, 2010, 09:33 PM
I haven't checked the Dell website, but what you're saying about the pricing of their systems is probably correct.

They install the operating system and make sure that everything is working correctly with the computer out of the box so to speak. They also have to train their employees to provide the support for Ubuntu on the computer system should you need any help with it. I personally just consider to be part of the overall cost of doing business with a large computer company like Dell. When buying one of computers from dell they sell with Ubuntu on it, you can be fairly confident that everything is going to work and work correctly with it.

- zipperback
:popcorn:

So far, everyone has mentioned the expense of DELL "supporting" Ubuntu. But, unless I read their website incorrectly and misunderstood their own salesperson, they do not support Ubuntu. They send you... well... here or (as they say) to Canonical.

So we can eliminate that expense.

As to "setting up" the computer and making sure everything works... yawn. That takes... what? A visit to Wikipedia? Big deal. Lastly, from what I can tell, they do not develop their own brand of Ubuntu - so we can also eliminate that canard.

All they offer is hardware support.

So, no difference between Windows and Ubuntu except that Ubuntu is much less expensive for them.

If they're providing the same service for Ubuntu as for Windows, then OK, but they're not even doing that.

But, as you say, I suppose that's the cost of doing business with a big company like DELL - if you do business with them. Me? I'll take my business elsewhere. :-)

JDShu
May 4th, 2010, 09:44 PM
The license fee Microsoft charges OEMs for installing Windows specifically on netbooks is hilariously low.

I believe this is the reason.

I also have the feeling that the people who buy ubuntu computers have a higher price inelasticity. We're more willing to pay a premium for non-windows computers. Finally, Dell is "competing" with ZaReason and System76, who are unable to drop their prices because they are small. Given the premise that they are selling only to people who already like Linux (reasonable, I think), they have no reason to drop their own price.

alexcckll
May 4th, 2010, 10:13 PM
Probably in the same way that Linux Emporium do, Delll will construct their own certified build, and ensurte that everything is behaving before the machine ships. They also maintain their own repositories and test everything downstream... so an upstream bug doesn't cause problems for their user base...

Running that lot costs...

snowpine
May 4th, 2010, 10:29 PM
It is not a vast, shady conspiracy; it is simple retail economics 101. :)

If your bakery sells 100 cherry pies and 1,000 apple pies, you can afford to sell the apple pies for a lower price. High volume, low margin. :)

Ylon
May 4th, 2010, 10:32 PM
No, Dell don't charges for Ubuntu... it make just pay the same as Windows.


A little company like Dell (*any* company that 3rd partnership with Microsft is little in comparative) don't want to make upset the big one.

Not that Microsoft had to ask for something... Dell just hadn't act too much as if "their" hardware is a strict matter between Dell and their clients: until there's the big one who set the rules.


Obviously, Microsoft don't charge all companies the same for installing Windows... some stock are...strategic (ie: zombie license of XP on netbook when Acer did dare too much put Linux on market).

For Microsoft there are: good companies which sell Windows and bad companies which sell Windows. Dell want just to remain on the MS's "good" list.

cloyd
May 5th, 2010, 01:02 AM
One of the defraying items to lower the costs of installing Windows is all of the TRIAL WARE that comes with them .. those people (such as Norton or McAffee among others) PAY the company to install that trial ware .. percentages show that many people wind up paying for that crap rather than trying to remove it!
(Best Buy charges 30 bucks to remove the stuff using a FREE program they got off of the web. .. and takes 3 days to do so .. but they EXEMPT all Microsoft trial ware from that removal .. they remove that and MS will remove their authorization and certifications!)


Hey, I was foolish enough to pay for Best Buy to remove the trialware. Well, they said they would "optimize" it by removing the trialware on it . . . and they would do a better job than I could on my own. Well, my wife and I got our machines home, and found them full of trialware. We wondered what they really did. After this and a few other experiences at Best Buy, I will buy from them. They have what I want.

But,
I really don't want to believe anything that their sales staff tells me.
I will say however, their return policy has been good. When their sales staff told me an item would work, and it didn't, they took it back. Furthermore, when one return did not show up on my credit card statement, and I couldn't find the receipt, they still fixed it for me and made sure I got credit without too much hassle.

Someday, I hope to buy a computer configured especially for Ubuntu. System 76 would be nice. I'd take a Dell. As for now, a Gateway is working.

PuddingKnife
May 5th, 2010, 01:29 AM
Hey Poet, I just vacationed in VT. I loved it there. Got some grade A medium, too.

I'd rather just have a S76 box that I know the OS will be tailored to.

techunit
May 5th, 2010, 01:32 AM
Dells ubuntu comes with premium support (I believe correct me if I am wrong) and some code and software that does in fact cost money.

Dr. C
May 5th, 2010, 02:35 AM
The issue of the trailware on Microsoft Windows installations cannot be dismissed. The traiware vendors pay the OEM to put this stuff on the computer. I would not be surprised if the payments for the trailware more than cover the cost of the Windows license. The resulting Windows installation is a result considerably devalued since the trailware causes no end of problems in the resulting Windows installation.
With OEM Ubuntu installations this problem has yet to occur, it may in the future, furthermore an OEM like Dell may have to pay Canonical to license the Ubuntu trademark, or to include codecs etc.
The net cost for Ubuntu may actually turn out to be higher than for Windows once all the factors are taken into consideration.
By the way the "Windows Tax" is actually paid by the trailware manufactures and not the end user when an major OEM Windows machine is wiped (trailware included) and replaced by Ubuntu.

thegreenblob
May 5th, 2010, 02:58 AM
When I bought my mini 9 the ubuntu one was cheaper. (by $30 if I remember right).

It also had an option to add 2GB of RAM while the XP version was maxed at 1GB.

Too bad they changed it, the money I saved from it paid for the RAM upgrade. :P

marshmallow1304
May 5th, 2010, 04:45 AM
In addition to what has been said, I imagine that Dell doesn't want its customers to buy the Ubuntu machine just because it's cheaper (as many people undoubtedly would) then complain that it isn't/doesn't look like/ doesn't work with Windows. If the machines are the same price, only people who know what Ubuntu and Linux are would be interested in purchasing the Ubuntu machine.