Dec 12, 2009

Dell's Canadian Ubuntu Laptops


In the US, Dell is listing 4 different Ubuntu systems for sale. In Canada they are listing only one. Like most retailers if you move lots of product the mark-up can be small, but if the returns are high then the mark-up has to include the product to offset the cost of processing those returns unless you are using it as a lost leader. The problem Dell has in Canada is not the return rate, but the fact that Microsoft pays for the sys admins to manage dell.ca for the price of an add on every page. Yes, the ad says something to the effect of buy M$ latest software. So to encourage Dell to make Ubuntu more prominent on their website I propose the following:
1. Offer Dell a less than M$ return rate or
2. Have Ubuntu Laptop sales go to another product dispenser. However, Dell has been doing a reasonable job. Like my friend Norm says "Dell is trying hard within the constrictions of the North American legal system"
3. Have Canonical host the selling system Dell is using. Forcing M$ to pay fair market value for advertising.
Every time you sell a new product there are lots of risks. It's sad M$ would sue Dell if they pre-installed Ubuntu-restricted-extras and Dell has to pre-install the fluendo codecs. So, let's keep on buying from Dell and hopefully pre-installed Ubuntu laptops will be a money maker for them.