back to article Dell unveils exclusive Microsoft-branded Ubuntu OS

Dell is currently flogging a cheap-as-chips netbook that apparently comes loaded with that well-known Microsoft operating system, Ubuntu 8.04. Anyone dropping in on the computer maker's UK product website will be able to buy an Intel-based Inspiron Mini 10 laptop for £199 a pop. And, according to the blurb on the site, one …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    I'm more interested in the "Free Color Upgrade"

    Does this mean that MS Ubuntu only supports grayscale displays? How... quaint.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    And there I was thinking that *buntu was the Microsoft of the Linux World.

    If you run Linux and don't use Ubuntu you are considered a freak or weirdo.

    As far a many people are concerned Ubuntu === Linux.

    Ok, I'm outa here. Mines the one with "Stallman for PM" on the back

  3. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    Attractive Penguin

    And Dell do go out of their way to make Linux an attractive option, and don't at all try to scare potential buyers away. Hell - I've been working in IT for 15 years and am about as tech-savvy as they come, and it almost scared me off.

    Choose WINDOWS if:

    You are already using WINDOWS programmes (e.g. Microsoft Office, ITunes etc) and want to continue using them

    You are familiar with WINDOWS and do not want to learn new programmes for email, word processing etc

    You are new to using computers

    Choose UBUNTU if:

    You do not plan to use Microsoft WINDOWS

    You want to learn new programmes for email, word processing etc

    You are interested in open source programming

    Yeouwch - that'd be practically nobody then.

    Oh and while I'm on a FUD rant, this statement...

    "UBUNTU is not a Microsoft Windows operating system - and is not compatible with Microsoft Office programmes - so it's important you make the right choice" designed to leave the uninitiated (and also a fair proportion of the initiated) with the impression that you can't create Word, Excel or PP docs on Linux. Technically correct, you can't run MS Office under it, but you can run OO, Symphony or similar which do the same job for nowt.


  4. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Don't knock it

    If it leads to Dell happily selling it, and customers feeling more confident in trying it - or even perceiving a much better user experience simply because they saw the word 'Microsoft' on the web page they bought it from six months ago - let them carry on doing it!

  5. Marvin the Martian
    Thumb Up

    @ free colour upgrade

    Clearly greyscale is 3x more energy efficient, a crucial advantage for SSCs, the pricepoint giving small batteries. Think about it, instead of RGB it's just the one.

  6. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Agreed, but...

    @Lord Elpuss.. Agreed, it's some FUD. But it's not FUD for the sake of harming Ubuntu sales, it's FUD in the interest of avoiding people just buying whatever's cheapest, then calling and bitching out Dell because they can't run Quickbooks (this is the main example I see here... it's Windows only, and unlike gamers, Quickbooks users don't seem computer savvy enough in general to realize Ubuntu's not Windows until I tell them, or to realize that means Quickbooks won't run without a WIndows install until I tell them THAT too. It'll be great when and if Wine runs Quickbooks.)

    I do think they should put a statement in that OpenOffice can handle most Office files, but this warning is warranted too -- some people DO try to stick the Office CD in first thing (even when all they use it for is stuff they could almost do in Notepad) so the warning's warranted I think. It costs Dell considerably for someone to buy a system then return or exchange it.

    Don't underestimate people's cluelessness though, when we used to sell computers blank, I could tell the REAL stoops (who would not take my advice to not buy a blank machine, or lie and claim they were a computer expert...) because they'd try to put the Office CD into a completely blank machine and come and bitch when it wouldn't install..

    Me: "Yes, Office is not Windows, you have to install an OS first"

    Them: *blank stare*.

    (We don't sell blank machines any more, except in bulk quantity to resellers, now when someone doesn't really know what they're doing, at least they have some software to use... plus the install's fully automated and acts as a limited burn-in test.)


    Anyway, seems the template needs to have "Microsoft" taken out of the OS field's name. Pretty ironic though 8-). Probably if you find they right page they'll claim to have FreeDOS as a "Microsoft Operating System" too.

  7. Stuart 22

    Is it just me?

    Or is the the number 8.04 I find more troubling and backward than Microsoft?

    Where's the Kuddly Kaola icon?

  8. g00se


    >>Technically correct, you can't run MS Office under it<<

    Not even that is

  9. Midnight

    There is a very good reason for that

    It has nothing to do with "FUDFUDFUD" and a lot to do with the hassle involved in processing returns when people who don't know what they're doing wind up with something completely unexpected.

    Dell, strangely enough, is in the business of making money and as such is highly inclined to follow the first rule of acquisition.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you can use MS Office on Ubuntu

    Dell are lying!

    Just install MS Office with wine. Or use CodeWeavers if you want total point and click installation.

    It works perfectly well.

  11. captain veg Silver badge

    Not genuine?

    Note that only Windows is described as genuine. Microsoft Ubuntu must, ergo, be fake. QED.


  12. Paul RND*1000

    At last!

    A Microsoft OS that doesn't suck!

    Sorry, someone had to.

  13. Gene Cash Silver badge

    @Lord Elpuss

    Oh please. Give it a rest. Everyone already knows Dell is in MSFT's back pocket.

    It's like yelling "OMFG! GM makes crap cars!" and wondering why everyone looks at you like a retard for not already knowing that.

  14. KenBW2

    Dell makes typo

    El Reg makes sensationalist headline-grabbing article

    world moves on

  15. Anonymous Coward

    "Genuine Windows XP Home"

    Strange that.

    Is "Fake Windows XP Home" an option for some models?

  16. nsld

    My daugher has one

    and its great.

    That is all.

  17. wsm

    Monopoly power

    Doesn't Microsoft make all operating systems? Isn't that what a monopoly is?

    Why doesn't Dell tell me these things?

    Next time I buy a computer, I am using the new Seven and forgetting about all of these other things.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Microsoft Office will run on Linux

    Yes you can do it.

    Use CodeWeavers Crossover Linux to install and run Microsoft Office on Ubuntu.

  19. elderlybloke


    They are not a freak, they are free to choose.

    More people choose Ubuntu, than other Linux brands.

    Choice, that is what it is about, and anyone who uses Linux is considered a freak by those who use MS.

    Not that it worries me , I say forgive them they no not what they do.

  20. serviceWithASmile

    re:"Genuine Windows XP Home"

    Only if you get it shipped from china

  21. Havin_it

    RE: Is it just me?

    8.04 is Ubuntu's most recent LTS (Long-Term Service) release, iow the one that Canonical actually pledge to keep supporting and maintaining for a good number of years. As such it's the sensible choice for an OEM to offer. Any more recent software the user really needs can be backported.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What it should say....

    "Ubuntu is an Operating System and Operating Environment. Microsoft products can only dream"

  23. Geoff Mackenzie

    MS Linux? Why not?

    I've been thinking for a while that MS could do worse than buy Canonical and release a Microsoft branded Linux. I'd give it a try. The company has some real programming talent and resources to throw at a Linux distribution, and Ubuntu is already great.

    It wouldn't have to replace Windows entirely, just complement it (great for small machines, servers, netbooks etc. - all sectors MS are likely to struggle in with their shitty old codebase).

    You never know, maybe one day.

  24. Col

    @MS Linux? Why not?

    Do the words "embrace extend extinguish" mean anything to you?

  25. Greg J Preece

    @ Lord Elpuss

    "You can't use MS Office on [Ubuntu]"

    Yes you can! Works just fine for me. The wonders of WINE.

  26. Zack Mollusc
    Gates Halo


    Presumably there is the game-playing support of windows DXwhatever with the linuxy free software from repositories and lack of DRM.

    Awesome! Well done Microbesoft for finally producing something people will want.

  27. dracotrapnet

    barbra streisand effect

    Is dell now using the barbra streisand effect to flog it'scomputers through attempting to marry competing operation systems in text to see the droves of nerds driving by to see their webpage?

    Mine will be the one with a tardis full of fireworks in the pocket.

  28. Jason Yau


    "UBUNTU is not a Microsoft Windows operating system - and is not compatible with Microsoft Office programmes - so it's important you make the right choice:"

    OpenOffice anyone?

  29. Volker Hett

    there's another mixup :)

    Choose WINDOWS if:

    * You are already using WINDOWS programmes (e.g. Microsoft Office, ITunes etc) and want to continue using them

    iTunes is one of the most typical Windows Programs one finds preinstalled, isn't it?

  30. Tom Maddox Silver badge

    Support costs

    I'm guessing that Dell's qualifications come from being burned by consumers buying Linux PCs and then freaking out because they aren't running Windows.

    @Lord Elpuss, Open Office is not MS Office, and the UI and functionality are sufficiently different to make the disclaimer worthwhile. You can do the "same job," but you can't run the *same software* which is a non-trivial distinction. I just love how the Linux crowd cry "FUD" as a knee-jerk reaction to anyone who doesn't have their lips firmly wrapped around Linus' pole. Don't forget to cup the balls, guys.

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