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Saturday, 3 March 2007

Dell's Customers Want Preinstalled Open Source

Dell Computers recently launched a feedback website, Dell IdeaStorm which allowed its customers to submit ideas for new products. An interesting turn of events showed that many Dell customers wanted Dell to ship computers with Linux pre-installed.

More than 45,000 users over a three-day period agreed with a suggestion that Dell should "preinstall Linux" to cut the price of new PCs. A related suggestion that Dell offer new-computer buyers an option to have the open source suite OpenOffice preinstalled on new systems garnered some 25,000 votes in two days.

Source: Tech News World

Part of the reason vendors themselves prefer bundling computers with Windows (in America, at least!) is the aggressive pricing strategies that Microsoft has adopted. Under such pricing arrangements,

Manufacturers end up paying just as much in total for a smaller number of copies of Windows than it would if it shipped every machine with Windows.

--Bernard Golden, CEO of open source strategy consulting firm Navica. [source]

In a comment posted on, a certain "David Skilling" offered the following advice:

... the second most onerous thing in Dell is the preinstalled junk or trial software. If Dell included full versions of software (60 day trial period/completely uninstallable) as a CD to be installed at the new owners option it would be an improvement.
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