Dell Linux Survey
Dell’s IdeaStorm provided a method for Dell customers to provide feedback to the company on what consumers really wanted. Not surprisingly, the biggest request was for Dell to pre-installed Linux on their Desktops and Laptops.
Currently there are vendors who support Linux on their computers, however most of this focus has been on enterprise level linux (Red Hat Enterprise Desktop, Novell SuSE Desktop) and not necessarily free community distributions like Fedora or Ubuntu. While enterprise versions have the longest support cycles, they often lack modern hardware support and many small features that the common desktop would require.
There is an official Dell Linux Survey running from March 13 to March 23 asking consumers to help prioritize Dell’s linux focus.
I urge everyone to vote and tell everyone they know to vote. Please be realistic with your prioritizations. Priority should be on a community distribution, and NOT an enterprise distribution.
Realistically UBUNTU is the best choice for distribution (whatever you do, DO NOT pick Fedora) - or write in KUbuntu.
Marlon on March 14, 2007 - 02:14 PM
Even though I now agree Ubuntu is better for the everyday user than Fedora. I somehow didn’t expect you to advise agaist it. If people want fedora, then they want fedora. Thats kinda against the spirit of open source but I guess since ubuntu is logically the best for home use and the idea is really to introduce people to linux so if later they want fedora, they can get it themself.
Mauriat on March 14, 2007 - 03:15 PM
You are right. However the nature of Dell’s survey has nothing to do with the “spirit of open source”. It is all about money. When the issue of promoting Linux with for-profit corporations you have to take this into consideration.
With respect to Dell’s best interest: Currently Fedora is too difficult to maintain and support. The Legacy project is over. There are too many updates that break software/functionality. And there is no out of the box support for proprietary hardware/software. These are the questions Dell will have to face, and I think Ubuntu simply does a better job.
With respect to the best interest of Linux as a whole: hardware support!!! Dell can test/certify their products against Ubuntu. If it works in one distro, it can be made to work in another.
As a separate argument, I feel that people may get blinded with their own preferences and biases and vote how they want it. I think people just need to show that the market is consistent enough. For the experienced end-users, this all doesn’t matter.
Marlon on March 15, 2007 - 06:06 AM
Yeah, Ubuntu is the better desktop. I just hope this makes a difference, having a manufacturer like dell shipping computers with any distro of linux will do wonderful things in terms of awareness and support.
jef on March 19, 2007 - 03:03 AM
“With respect to Dellâ€™s best interest: Currently Fedora is too difficult to maintain and support. The Legacy project is over. There are too many updates that break software/functionality. And there is no out of the box support for proprietary hardware/software."
You are wrong in many regards. For one, all OEM installed versions are customized and if Fedora is included you can be sure that Dell will customize it for their needs rather than ship just the bits that Fedora provides. Besides a Dell guy who runs the poll is also a Fedora Project Board member.
Mauriat on March 19, 2007 - 07:07 AM
The person who ran the poll is not very relevant.
I find the following issue confusing: “For one, all OEM installed versions are customized and if Fedora is included you can be sure that Dell will customize it for their needs rather than ship just the bits that Fedora provides."
Customization and support are 2 different things. Although significant customization might imply easier support, it also implies further deviation from the source/upstream.
The point entirely boils down to this: If I were a for-profit company who sells computer hardware, between several choices of distributions, why would I select the one that requires more work to get into a supportable mode? And why would I want to incur more cost on support when a community can do so much more?
Might as well face it, while Fedora has its usages, it not as adept as Ubuntu for a general purpose consument desktop.