A critical view on: The Dell-Ubuntu deal or What has happened (I’m back: Sorry for the time off)

11May07

So what happened to me? I was taking some time-off and getting my head free for new thoughts and this is what I will continue from this day on and I will try to concentrate on the real issues that Linux (and Ubuntu and Co) is/are facing and will try to deliver my solutions and suggestions.

A critical view on: The Dell-Ubuntu DEAL or What has happened?

A very nice Dell-Ubuntu deal came around, though long-time foreseeable it had to take a nearby financial crash of a major computer seller to recognize the power of Linux but, hey, Linux did indeed not recognize it’s power and couldn’t bring up the solution in an easy way. Just for thoughts… Michael Dell/the Dell guys made the deal with Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, and not directly with Linus Torvalds. We don’t know if some money went around in this deal, but the sad thing is that now the world will get to know the Ubuntu-way of Linux but cannot live the full world of Linux and why is that? Because of Linux. All the users will get the pre-installed Ubuntu and will be able to access the pretty much standard package feed and thats it. No, we are not looking into the breaking-through Linux revolution and that is too because Dell will probably offer the Ubuntu PCs on business PCs. Thats when the deal starts to smell funny. I don’t want to say that this deal is bad for Linux but it is mainly good for Ubuntu and not as good for Linux as a complete Operating System because it won’t help sorting out long-time conflicts that will really bring Linux forward as I touched these topics before and will in the future.

Now take it further – and bring my blog in the game – so which components will Dell deliver with Ubuntu. All perfectly open-source-driver-available-hardware???

Dell updated its policy on driver support of new Linux desktop and notebook products to use open source drivers in kernel.org where possible (Source: http://direct2dell.com/one2one/archive/2007/05/01/13147.aspx)

Yes, I heard the people who wrote comments about my bcm43xx-ideas but what I’m saying now is that Dell of course break these rules and wont bring new drivers into the community and therefore at the end: Dell is just seeking a new way for maximum profits! And the community might just give Dell this – for free – this is where I want to ask, shouldn’t the community profit openly with free(ed) knowledge while Dell makes the (closed) deals?

I haven’t yet seen people who raised these questions and when on some points the community does raise questions about GPL issues I think we will know reach moral issues and therefore a new discussions might have to take place, now!

It should be made clear to Dell and the companies Dell-seels and therefore represents, for example NVIDIA and ATI for strong graphic card sales, that they should OPEN UP THEIR DRIVERS or the community won’t help out Dell in their forums to give every user support – for free – so Dell’s profit, rises and rises, and rises…..

That’s it for today, I hope I made you think.

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One Response to “A critical view on: The Dell-Ubuntu deal or What has happened (I’m back: Sorry for the time off)”

  1. 1 Samuel

    Yes, you have some interesting points here. But you make it sound like this is the end of the world. Really, come on. Some form of Linux is being sold by a major computer seller. This is a great step forward.

    Sure, it may not be your favorite distro. But think from Dell’s perspective. They need to deal with a company who are able to provide an easy-to-use version of Linux with good technical support for customers. They need to sell computers that the average person can use, not just a Linux geek (a Linux geek can already build themselves one and install their favorite distro on it).

    What companies are there out there that could do this? Canonical jumps out, then maybe Red Hat, possibly some others. Dell chose Canonical. They had to choose someone. And remember that the most requested distro when they asked was Ubuntu, so they are just delivering what the majority of potential customers appear to want.

    It is easy to criticise any company or individual in the world. Nobody, not even yourself, is perfect. But if you look at the big picture, this is overall a positive move and deserves the support of the Linux community, not its criticism.

    And maybe the next big computer company to get on board will listen to your valid comments. But they will only do so if you can be positive about the situation, not just pick out holes and criticise.


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