Sat, 23 Feb 2008

Dear Dell

I am customer of yours. I own a Dell Latitude X1 laptop, my wife has an Inspiron 6400 and on my recommendation, my father bought a Dell Dimension 5150 desktop system.

Dell, I think its important for you to know that none of these machines run windows. All of them run Linux exclusively and have from the day they came into our possession. However for all of these systems we had to pay money to Microsoft for operating systems we have never used.

The reason I am writing this now is that the warranty on my Latitude X1 runs out in November of this year. That means that some time between now and November I will be purchasing a new laptop. One candidate for my new machine is the very, very attractive Dell XPS M1330:

Dell XPS M1330

When I buy my new laptop, I would like to buy it either with Linux pre-installed or without any OS at all. Since I know Linux very, very well indeed, I do not need Dell to support Linux, just the hardware.

For me as long time, devoted Linux user and developer (professionally as well as FOSS), having to pay money for a Microsoft operating system I don't use is rather offensive. Microsoft has run a long term campaign to thwart the progress of Linux and my money is being used to fund that campaign. For me, this situation in unconscionable.

Apart from the not being able to buy machines without a Microsoft operating system, my experience with Dell has been very good. If I was able to buy a machine from Dell without a Microsoft operating system, buying from Dell would be a no-brainer.

So Dell, here is my challenge for you. Offer me a good looking, high end laptop with lots of juicy options like the XPS with either Linux pre-installed or with no operating system and make sure that these options are reflected in the pricing (ie the Linux or no-OS options should be cheaper than the windows option). If you can do that you are almost guaranteed of keeping me as a customer. If not, I will be looking elsewhere for a company that can meet my requirements. If Dell loses this sale, it will likely lose other sales from my immediate family, friends and employers.

Dell, the ball is in your court. Thanks for listening.

Update : 16:47

Someone posted this to and it seems that if you are in the US at least, you can indeed get a Dell XPS with Ubuntu pre-installed. One good thing about the machine offered is that its got an Intel video chipset which I prefer to the Nvidia one. On the downside, its missing some of the options that I can get in the windows version like the solid state disk.

I've just looked again at the Dell Austalia website and I simply cannot find a page where I can get a similar machine. So Dell Australia or Asia/Pacific, what about making Ubuntu an option for the Dell XPS available here in Australia?

Posted at: 10:09 | Category: Tech | Permalink