Dell drops Ubuntu option from Web site

Despite previously claiming that Linux systems are safer than those running Windows, PC maker Dell has stopped selling computers pre-installed with the Ubuntu operating system via its Web site – the principle source of orders for the company.

Dell will continue to sell laptops and desktop machines pre-loaded with Ubuntu Linux – but only over the phone.

“Dell has offered select consumer systems with Ubuntu pre-installed for more than two years, and is continuing to do so,” said the company in a statement published by PC Pro. According to the statement, Dell has decided to remove the Ubuntu machines from its online sales channel because the platform was better suited to advanced users and computing enthusiasts – or rather, not popular with ordinary folk.

“We’ve recently made an effort to simplify our offerings online, by focusing on our most popular bundles and configuration options, based on customer feedback for reduced complexity and a simple, easy purchase experience.

“We’re also making some changes to our Ubuntu pages, and as a result, they are currently available through our phone-based sales only.”

Only last month Dell got into a twist after suggesting that Ubuntu was safer than Windows.

“Ubuntu is safer than Windows,” said Dell in an advice document at the time. “The vast majority of viruses and spyware written by hackers are not designed to target and attack Linux. Linux has been around for nearly 20 years. The software itself is not only stable and reliable, but also pervasive. Linux is used on computers of all sizes ranging from the biggest to the smallest.”

But the company subsequently lost its nerve, and now tells users to stick with Windows unless: “You are interested in open source programming.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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