Commercial Linux

As most of you know, I really love OpenSource software (OpenOffice.org is a great example).  But I am wondering about Dell selling laptops and desktops with Ubuntu pre-installed.  On one hand, I think it is a great idea.  The more people know about linux, the better.  On the other hand, however, as with Windows, so with Ubuntu.  What I mean by that is, if people want a linux solution from Dell, they only have one choice, Ubuntu.  But there are a bunch of other linux distros out there (PCLinuxOS being my favorite).  And most people don't know that.  That is how Microsoft got such a stronghold on the market.  When people go to buy a computer and the only thing they see is Windows, well, that's what they buy.  I'm concerned that the same thing will happen with Ubuntu.  Especially since it looks like HP may be doing the same thing.  So, here again, we see that, for the average person, Linux will only be one distro, Ubuntu.  And is that what we need?  I don't think so.  What about PCLinuxOS?  It's number two at Distrowatch.com.  Shouldn't it or any other distro get a fair chance?  I think so.  But the average person won't know about them.  All they will see is Windows and Ubuntu.

What would be interesting is to see HP sell PCLinuxOS systems.  That would be interesting.  Or even Dell.  That way we can see which system people are gravitating toward and (maybe) focus on that one.  I know that neither company can support fifty different operating systems, but it would be interesting to see HP offer a different one.  Then we could really get a feel of what people are looking for in an OS.

Peace be with you.

+ OD

Comments

Anglican said…
Very interesting. I share your thoughts about the growing availability of Linux on commercial systems, and I wish more distros were being offered. I think the answer comes down to how these manufacturers are going to offer support, if at all, to Linux-based systems. From their perspective, it would be a nightmare to have to support so many flavors of Linux. That's probably why they are playing it safe with Ubuntu.

I'm waiting for the postman to bring me a new 250GB hard drive that I ordered very cheaply from Amazon. When it gets here and I get it up and running, I'm going to dual boot Windoze and PCLOS.

So count at least one more PCLinuxOS user out there. (And I'll probably be calling on you to be my PCLOS man!)
Odysseus said…
Well, I just installed Ubuntu on my laptop just to see if I could work with it. Specifically, I will probably get support calls from people since they will be purchasing Dell or HP systems. I want to be able to know my way around it. Of course, my first obstacle was getting my Broadcom 4318 wifi card working (doesn't play well with a lot of Linux 'flavors'. But, sure enough, the help forum over at Ubuntu had a 'How To:' for my card and it worked flawlessly (except, the lights on the card are backwards. Other than that, it works great.). Now I'm putting it through the paces to see what I think.

But I agree and I guess I didn't put it well in my post. The problem is just as you said, too many different 'flavors' that no hardware company would want to support. However, according to Dell, while they will do some support, Ubuntu will too. This to me, seems the best of both worlds.

BTW, according to one article I read, Michael Dell was using Ubuntu on his laptop before they started selling it.

Peace be with you.

+ OD

PS: I had BETTER be your PCLOS man!
Ha Tikvah said…
Ubuntu was my first trial with Linux and while I quite liked it, after I had a major drive crash and had to reinstall Windows I lost access to it so decided just to install another Linux version instead for a change. I chose FreeSpire and have to say truly - it's MILES ahead of Ubuntu in every way possible - for me at least. Purists perhaps may not agree, but I did want something akin to Windows to work with as it's only my backup OS anyway. FS gives a very Windows like flavour and things are so much easier to find as well as to install. I vividly remember the hours I had to spend relearning DOS style coding to get programs installed and the endless hours wasted trying to get the system to even recognise how many drives I had. Took a LOT of work that did. FS on the other hand found everything straight off and I've not yet seen a hint of any type of programming language required for any purpose yet on it. Perhaps the most recent Ubuntu has changed that tho? Certainly as a backup I have to say any Linux version is probably a mandatory requirement - and I've discovered now what I didn't realise before - I have 2 hard drives one with each OS on it - this time if I reinstall Windows I know how to still get into my Linux - by pressing F11 at startup - gives me a separate boot menu from which I just select the 2nd drive and away I go into my Linux. You live and learn eh? Enjoyed the news of your post though - very interesting. Blessings, TKR :) .
Odysseus said…
HT,

Thanks for the response! I appreciate the input.

I have messed with Freespire a few times. In fact, I own a license for Linspire. And Freespire 2.0 should be out really soon. Also, I installed Freespire on my renters computer. While it does have its advantages, especially for someone coming from a Windows world and is a very good alternative, I found it to be a little on the slow side. Plus, I got spoiled with the access in PCLOS. Anything you need to do with KDE, can be done with PCLOS. Have you considered PCLinuxOS 2007? It is also very Windows user friendly. I recommend it to just about every business client I have.

But I am really enjoying Ubuntu. Their next release is in its Alpha stage and it should be Final soon enough.

Thanks again for the read and response.

Peace be with you.

+ OD
Apoorv Khatreja said…
I agree. PCLinuxOS is my favorite too. I've had bitter experiences with Ubuntu which forced me to search for a better, more stable, more user friendly distro, with tons of pre-installed eye candy. PCLinuxOS fit the category perfectly. What Ubuntu is doing, is according to me Anti-Microsoft but slowly moving towards a Microsoft-like strategy. I've talked about this in detail with some of my companions here -

http://broadbandforum.in/linux/12182-pclinuxos-2007-final-released/

What I do, as a way of saying thanks to the Texstar group, is try to tell everyone I know about PCLinuxOS, it's plus points, and how it wins over other distros like Ubuntu. I've managed to shift quite a number of my friends to PCLinuxOS.

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