Why the Dell/Ubuntu Deal Won't Improve Linux's Market Share: Page 2

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That’s fine for people who know what they are doing with Linux, but a situation that will suck for any newbies. But let’s be honest here. There systems aren’t aimed at newbies because they aren’t listed on the main Dell sales website. You have to go to here to find them. Oh, and they’re only available for purchase in the US. Oh, and for legal reasons Dell won’t be including support for file formats such as WMA, WMV, MP3, DVD, etc. It’s no wonder that Dell isn’t expecting to sell many of these rigs.

My guess is that from Dell’s perspective, this is partly an experiment and partly a way to please the masses over on IdeaStorm. Dell’s decision not to allow Linux to openly compete with Windows is an indication that the company doesn’t want to sour any relationships with Microsoft (and let’s face it, if Microsoft were to add an extra $5 or $10 to the price of a Vista Home Premium license, it would have a severe impact on Dell’s profitability). If, over the next five years Dell discovers that there is in fact a market for Linux, they can take it from there, if not, they can shelve the idea and say that they tried.

This is also a safe route for Ubuntu and Canonical. By selling Dell rigs to existing people already in the Linux loop, Canonical doesn’t risk having to face angry users and explain why Ubuntu won’t run their favorite Windows applications.

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