When Will Dell Ship Ubuntu 10.04 Systems?
Even as Dell prepares to ship computers with Ubuntu 10.04 pre-loaded, the PC giant is battling rumors that it no longer remains committed to Canonical’s Linux distribution. For Dell, it’s time for a clear, concise statement that specifically describes the company’s history with Ubuntu and next moves with the operating system. Here’s why.
UPDATE, July 27, 2010: Dell’s Web site now lists a Studio XPS desktop system running Ubuntu 10.04.
Still, rumors have clouded Dell’s Ubuntu strategy. The PC giant introduced Ubuntu on several desktops and notebooks in 2007, and Dell Ubuntu netbooks soon followed. But more recently, Dell’s U.S. website (www.dell.com/ubuntu) has offered a very limited Ubuntu lineup. And some media blogs have spread rumors that Dell will stop selling Ubuntu online.
The result: Dell’s reputation within the Ubuntu community is hit and miss. That’s too bad, especially since Dell had the guts to preload and promote Ubuntu systems the very year Windows Vista launched. Dell says it has shipped more Ubuntu systems than any other PC company in the world. Plus, Dell’s cloud strategy includes Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud. And more recently, Dell in April 2010 reaffirmed its commitment to Ubuntu even as Windows 7 won upbeat feedback from many customers and media sites.
So why are some users and some media members so skeptical about Dell’s Ubuntu commitment? Part of the problem involves PR and fragmented communications. Generally speaking, I find Dell very responsive to my PR inquiries. But Dell’s Ubuntu strategy varies from one country to the next. As a result, negative media coverage in one country can spill over into another country.
Despite all the controversy, Dell’s web site indicates that the company plans to ship Ubuntu 10.04 on selected systems sometime during the summer of 2010 (see tip 5 on this web page for the Dell 10.04 pre-load statement). August is nearly here. The new Ubuntu 10.04 systems, plus a clear Ubuntu strategy statement from Dell, would go a long way toward silencing the PC giant’s critics.
UPDATE, July 27, 2010: Dell’s Web site now lists a Studio XPS system running Ubuntu 10.04.