Breakthrough at Dell?

The VarGuy reports:

“First, some details about the advertisement. Many many U.S. newspapers on Sunday, October 12, included a multi-page Dell flier. Among the many products advertised was the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, a low-cost sub-notebook designed for email and Web browsing.

You may recall that the Mini 9 is available with either Ubuntu Linux 8.04 or Microsoft Windows Vista. But this particular advertisement made no mention of the Windows option. Instead, Ubuntu was prominently mentioned and had the spotlight to itself.”

That is a first, Dell pushing GNU/Linux. It’s on a netbook, but it is GNU/Linux. I have been pushing Dell to do that for years but they did not. Who knows why? Perhaps they did not want to offend M$. Perhaps they are motivated to do anything to boost flagging sales. Perhaps they do not want to miss the wave of adoption. HP, now Dell, … Who’s next to start flogging GNU/Linux as a smart system for the desktop?

There’s more news. The website of Dell, which was waist-deep mud if you were in a hurry to find GNU/Linux, now has a link to the Mini-9 on their start page that comes straight to Ubuntu and almost-head-to-head price competition (the featured XP-versions include 4gB more SSDĀ  but you can customize the Ubuntu GNU/Linux version). It’s the same for dell.com as dell.ca. Isn’t that cool? The reviews of the product on dell.com are mostly about XP and its problems. People feel the need to add gigabytes. The Ubuntu review that I found discusses the features, not the performance. There is no “Dell recommends that other OS”, no separate page in a back room off the alley. It’s right there where you can find it. They do not have bright yellow… So what? I can have something very small and highly portable without the tax. Freedom.

I am preparing to give a presentation at a conference in 2009. This would be a neat device to show off. I should be able to use it as an X-terminal as well. $349 is a little higher than some others but at least the tax is gone.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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