First, let me thank hard working individuals such as yourself for causing Free and Open Source Software to be seen in the limelight. It is due to individuals such as yourself that has others realizing that they do have a choice when it comes to Operating Systems and Applications. Ultimately, I would not be doing what I am doing were it not for individuals such as yourself.
I need to tell one thing however: stop worrying. Dell is not the end all, be all for computer vendors. In fact, there are already OEM’s who use Ubuntu by default. There’s System76 for starters, and they carry high quality hardware. The same goes for All Around Geeks who also uses Ubuntu by default, and they don’t use the cheapest hardware, unlike Dell, who found out the hard way about those exploding Sony batteries. Despite the higher quality of hardware that both vendors use, the machines themselves are quite affordable.
I know what you’re thinking. There was a failure with Dell selling Red Hat machines back in 2001, but whose fault is that? Probably Dell’s. You see, if people don’t know about it, and they can’t find such configurations easily enough, they won’t bother. If the deal with Ubuntu flops, more than likely, nobody but Dell would be to blame. If Dell wants to succeed with offering these type of machines, all they would have to do is the following:
- Donate enough to the TUX500 Project to guarantee that Bob Moore and Ken Starks would have the funding to be a primary sponsor. Team Linux in the Indy500 would be a reality.
- Have television and radio commercials running in Indy during the event advertising the availability of Dell Ubuntu Machines.
- After the event airing television and radio commercials advertising the availability of Dell Ubuntu Machines (and mentioning Team Linux in the Indy500). 😀
- Make these Ubuntu boxes easy to find on the Dell website.
The above four steps would be performed if Dell was really interested in succeeding with their new strategy. Otherwise, Dell would only have themselves to blame if the whole thing flopped. You have nothing to worry about, because in a sense, the entire community has already succeeded, and there are multiple reasons for this, which I will not go into at the moment in order to save time.
While it is not the time to become complacent concerning companies such as Microsoft, the Free and Open Source Software movements are in a better position than they can possibly realize right now, but in a few years, they will look back and understand how much progress they truly have made.
So please, don’t worry about the deal between Dell and Ubuntu. It is not the end all, be all. There are other vendors out there as well as other distributions.