Friday, 24 July 2009

Dell Ubuntu ... What's Going On?

Dells stance on Ubuntu is supremely confusing. Ubuntu is clearly doing relatively well in the desktop market. There are several smaller vendors building and selling PCs pre-loaded with Ubuntu and doing it well. None of them seem to be going to the wall so they must be doing something right. Something Dell aren’t doing perhaps?

So Ubuntu it’s self simply can’t be the root of the problem.

Which means we need to look at other factors. It was only with the introduction of the Mini 9 Dell started offering Ubuntu as an option side-by-side with Windows. But even then they didn’t really tell people what it was they were offering.

If all you had ever known was chocolate ice cream. Would you try strawberry ice cream if you didn’t know what it was?

Are people overly critical of Dell for hiding their Ubuntu options? I don’t think so. If you were selling ice cream, would you only target people who had already tried it? The fact you’re already selling chocolate ice cream shouldn’t stop you from selling strawberry ice cream.

Almost any other company in the world selling any other product in the world would sell similar products from different vendors side-by-side. They wouldn’t shunt one into the basement.

Now finding Ubuntu based Dells is easy enough if you know where to look and if you know Ubuntu actually exists. But what if you don’t? If all the strawberry ice cream is in the basement and you’ve never even heard of it. How do you try it out? How do you get that first taste?

Lets say you’re out shopping. There’s a nice brightly lit store selling chocolate ice cream galore with all sorts of deals going on. Next to the store are some steps going to a dark dingy basement level with a tiny sign half obscured. It reads “Strawberry Ice Cream here”.

Are you tempted to try the strawberry ice cream?