Dell has announced Linux laptops. NOW, when a friend says "I want need a new PC", and he doesn't want a game machine, do you:

Dell has announced Linux laptops. NOW, when a friend says "I want need a new PC", and he doesn't want a game machine, do you:

Thu, 2007-05-03 05:57 -- admin
Urge to get a Dell/Ubuntu machine
15% (17 votes)
Recommend the Dell/Ubuntu machine but don't push it
43% (48 votes)
Let them know that the Dell/Ubuntu option exists, and let them decide
33% (37 votes)
Tell them to forget about the Dell/Ubuntu option (or not mention it at all) and get them to buy Windows XP/Vista
0% (0 votes)
Tell them to buy a Mac
9% (10 votes)
Total votes: 112


admin's picture
Submitted by admin on

If a non-tech-savvy friend/relative wants to buy a new machine, what will you do? Do you think this Dell/Ubuntu option is the best way to go or should they go with a Mac or a Windows box. Let us know how you feel by voting and commenting.

tinker's picture
Submitted by tinker on

Whatever you recommend you will be wrong at some point in the future. Dell is mediocre hardware, high price, non existent support and just plain trouble for us tech savvy sorts who end up doing all the customer support when our friends have problems. Apart from that I would never recommend any *buntu distro, just a personal choice but I find buntu weird to use. But by alls means let people know of the option.

Lenore's picture
Submitted by Lenore (not verified) on

Recommend they investigate it. And with this recommendation I'll tell the following story. I started using computers when Macintosh bought out their first Apple Mac, which is probably older than most of your readers. I have gone through more computers, systems and programs than I care to count. Three crashes later, (the latest happening last week despite all the anti-virus programs, updates, sweeps, anti-spyware, defenders and malicious software removal tools etc. that I make use of), I am finally determined to stop this ridiculous buying into the Bill Gates world of subterfuge and self- regenerating profits. Hopefully my cautionary tale will encourage others to take a second look at what they are letting themselves in for if they stick with the omnipotent Gates.

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

anyone who asks me this question will call me every ten minutes asking me dumb windows questions that I don't have a clue or desire to answer. any of my friends that know what ubuntu is wouldn't even bother asking (or buy a dell for that matter). Thus leaves me only one possible response. The mac response
ohh and a trip to their home to program the mac toll free tech support number on their speed dial :)


alejandroz's picture
Submitted by alejandroz on

I'd never actually push it, but I'd recommend the Ubuntu machine. After all, it IS much easier to use than Windows for a non demanding person.

Ryan Cartwright's picture

For me it's always about choice. I would let them know the option exists and let them decide.
That said I have had too many late night call-outs to friends who have purchased Dell PCs and it's not working. Dell support is appalling IMHO and it is for this reason that I would not actually recommend buying Dell at all - let alone a GNU/Linux option.


guydjohnston's picture

I'd definitely recommend it to them because it respects their freedom much more than Windows (even though it still contains a small amount of proprietary software). But I wouldn't push it that much, and if they listened to an explanation of GNU/Linux and software freedom (and maybe tried out gNewSense on my computer) but still wanted to buy a Windows computer, that's fair enough.

GNU - free as in freedom

Thilo Pfennig's picture

Another option is: Go get a bklank machine from a small retailer without any OS on it and I install Foesight in it for him. Anyway the real important thing is the option not to have to pay for an OS. Its ok if people pay for a supported Ubuntu and if Ubuntu also gets some money out of it, but I would not recommend that to a friend

Thilo Pfennig

axels's picture
Submitted by axels on

If an O.S.U (ordinary simple user) asked me personally I would not recommend Gnu/linux.I would let them know that the option exists and try to explain what it is what you can do with it and what it's difficulties are.I'd recommend them to buy an Intel Mac.A person wanting to buy a computer that knows next to nothing about computers and operating systems in general wants to go with the flow - the flow still moves with windows (much to my own dissapointment), no hassle no difficulties all they want is that it just works,play their games their media.Gnu/linux will eventually get there. I think it confuses people to much now.

support engineer Pc Mac Linux
"Après nous le déluge"

Thilo Pfennig's picture

I often hear that people think Macs are nicer for new users. I can not agree with that. I think Apple is VERY successful in making people THINK that they are easier. i think that old Macs like from MacOs till MacOS 7 where really easy but then it got really messy. And then MacOS X is not really an elegant desktop. Also you have to decide what you want to use - Mac with MacOS means fewer free software or more trouble with free software. A Mac is ok for people who only want to use Photoshop. ok, Macs are now also kind of Unix but from my experience doing things that are simple on Linux just do not work on a Mac or you need to find out - or the OS stands in the way.

Apple had some nice in the past like the magnetic power plug and they are very courageous in doing things no other big company would do. But I still do not believe that Macs are simpler. (btw. I was a Mac user 1995-1998).

Thilo Pfennig

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

I have the UNIversal conVICTION of immediate response to the current threat. If this 'friend' is one of mine, she is already one of the hundreds of members of our Linux Users Group, and could tell me a thing or two!

If it is an acquaintance, one of the many thousands who witness my demos in Costco, Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, they have seen my demo of PCLinuxOS, Knoppix 5.1.1, and SimplyMepis.

Each sales person, er, CUSTOMER, gets their choice of one LiveCDrom, and the URL for the all of them,

It's a hoot to see their enthusiasm! They are thrilled to see 20 Desktops, with upto 50X faster processing, immune to the "114,000 Microsoft Virus Definitions", impossible in Microsloth!

When they see the Linux LiveCDlist website with 310 marvelous offerings, they wonder aloud why anyone still tries to make Microshaft run on all these fast computers!

Anyone notice the $950 needed after purchase of a Dell just to turn off the Nag screens?

How many of you really believe Dell would give up their cut of that Microsnot and "trusted Partner' in the protection racket, blood money!?

Glad to see Toshiba has also tossed their hat in the ring, if only in the EU.

Christopher Davis's picture

At least to most of the people I come into contact with. They are people who use their computers for web, email, light office use, and light photo stuff. Now assuming Dell is going to be smart and verify the hardware will work out of the box, then there should be very few things that will prevent this person from making a smooth switch. Easy WiFi and full graphics support would be a must!
The "problem areas" in my opinion will be the Quicken/Quickbooks and MSMoney users that will refuse to switch to something like GNUcash and things like shockwave, which for some stupid reason is not available on Linux, but is on Windows and Mac. There are still some online games that run on shockwave, and asking people to install the Win32 Firefox under Wine and install shockwave that way is not a good workaround
So it is very important you point out these things before they place their order! It is important people understand these "shortcomings" are not the fault of Linux or Dell, but that the hardware and software manufacturers provide drivers and software that are cross-platform.
I hope with a major OEM such as Dell getting on board with a popular Linux distro such as Ubuntu, Linux on the desktop will be ready for Prime Time! We should see it in much more widespread use - then the rest will naturally fall into place. Who knows -- I know we wont see MSmoney for Linux in the foreseeable future, but Intuit might jump on board. Maybe Adobe will get the hint as well.