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Dell's consumer business is quickly being replaced by smartphones and tablets. What's a PC maker to do?
Robert Thompson's profile photoKepa Wong's profile photoAlexandre Possebom's profile photoDiana Armenta's profile photo
Maybe they could stop making crap mobile devices with glaring flaws and little to no support and actually try to compete. Streak 7, I'm looking at you.
They tried selling linux laptops, and they flopped.  
Erich W
its gonna be hard for dell to reinvent themselves
I actually really like this idea
With Linux the support is after the sale, so they are not geared up to really provide the support in prime time. As well with Linux you need to make the money on support with contracts that most Window users forgo.
Valve knows...and they're telling gamers to come to Linux!
Most big gamer publishers (Valve/EA) do not approve of Win 8 and are making pushes into Linux. I'm sure this is rattling Microsoft's hold on the pc market. 
+Dirk Dodson Nonsense. They simply don't want to bother, because they make more on their incest deals with Microsoft, and it's easier to hire "support staff" that understands know, that can read from a step-by-step script when troubleshooting an issue. Linux support requires hiring some people that actually understand how the hardware and the OS work. As it should be.

I recently purchased a refurbished Lenovo laptop for my 85-year-old father-in-law. When it arrived, I backed up the Windows reinstall files to a DVD and slicked the drive. Then I installed Linux Mint and set it up with desktop icons for the browser, office apps and a few other things. I slapped his Chicago Cubs desktop background and let him have at it. He loves it.

And I don't get any of those middle-of-the-day-while-I'm-at-work phone calls about the laptop crashing or how he seems to be infected with some kind of malware.

Please. Anyone with any knowledge of Linux can make any PC run just as well, if not better and faster with a current Linux distribution, and make that system do ANYTHING you can do with any Windows box.

I know the Windows fan-boys will sit there wringing their hand about how you can't run Photoshop or some other commercial app. Guess what? Most home users don't need Photoshop; GIMP will do just as much for free. LibreOffice and OpenOffice (two forks of the same office suite) can read, save as and edit all Microsoft file formats. And sine most people do more and more stuff on the web, well, there you go.
It's a really simple fact. Comparing the latest operating systems, win7 or 8 vs your distro of choice Linux will run faster on the same hardware, be more secure, and easier to fix if anything does happen. 
+Dirk Dodson you'd be surprised. Especially for your business. You don't "need" Windows, and you would save your business a ton of money by switching to to Linux. Look at what Munich has accomplished switching their entire city to linux. 
+Dirk Dodson I respectfully disagree. I work as a contractor for a DOD organization (I'm primarily a developer). Lots of our folks run Linux desktops in VMs...the do the same with Windows desktops because they need to have access to them...but they're very productive. I would challenge any business to show me something these days that they absolutely need Windows to use. And if there is that custom or Windows-only app, you can easily run a VM or even an emulator like Wine and get what you need.

But I'm betting there are a lot of small-to-medium sized businesses that would benefit greatly a Linux setup, just on the economics alone. I know people who are very successful at designing, installing and supporting such businesses.
Been hearing about the Linux desktop takeover since XP.  Meh, not going to happen.
+Joe Dougherty I'm  "Linux Nut" :p And +Spencer Scott that's because Microsoft has more money to throw at PC's to make sure they stay dominant. Not because they have a superior product, just superior bank accounts and a Monopoly. 
As a hardcore enterprise unix engineer, I always smiled when people said unix was dead. Nice to see Linux coming up in ranks, but still has too many support issues for enterprise use still. Sure some adopt it, but the majority will never move to linux.
+Spencer Scott I never believed in the "takeover" meme. I think the big issue with Linux becoming widespread is that it can be viewed as fragmented, based on the large number of distributions available. Most Federal agencies have stuck with Red Hat because of their superior support. Lots of businesses use Ubuntu for the same reason. I tend to be one of those Linux geeks who used to try every new distro that came out, but in recent years I've settled on Mint. Most people want something to just work, which is why they tend to stick with's usually already there and it works...for the most part. I say if people took the time to throw a copy of Mint, Ubuntu or some other distro on that hardware (or as +Orion McClurg stated, try it on a bootable USB drive or even a Live CD) and try it out, I think you'd see more interest in it.
Honestly I only keep a very small partition on my machines for windows gaming, everything else is done on Linux. Even at Work right now I run my Linux Laptop and it works great for everything I need it to do. Even though the rest of the office uses Windows and Office
Unfortunately, Linux is still not ready for primetime. It's come a long, long way from a few years ago, but it's still not as user friendly as it ought to be. Ubuntu's software center is a huge stride in the right direction. In order for it to be widely adopted, all Linux coders working on getting it prettied up for the masses need to eliminate ANY end user instruction that begins with the following: "Open a command prompt."

I love Ubuntu and would love to see it have some measurable marketshare. I think most people would be served fine with an Ubuntu box; better than Windows or OSX, even. But it's still way too programer based and not consumer oriented enough of an OS.
Like it or not, Microsoft is THE business platform.
+Skipper Kagamaster I'm sorry to disagree with you, but you couldn't be more wrong about the current crop of Linux distributions. Even Ubuntu has spawned off other distros based on it that make using Linux simple enough to be infantile. I also fail to understand the "prettied up" comment. The Linux desktop, for the most part, works (and looks, in many ways) exactly like the Windows or Mac desktops. There are icons, a menuing system and categories of applications, all accessible using a mouse...just like Windows. I fail to understand this belief that modern Linux distros are not "user friendly," whatever that's supposed to mean. Windows isn't "user friendly" either, for that matter, especially that clown show called Windows 8.

I cannot imagine any of the people I have set up on Linux systems, including my 85-year-old father-in-law, ever having to do anything that requires opening a command prompt. Even updating the software on the system is stupidly simple, completed with just a couple of mouse clicks and literally zero user intervention.

Look, I did my first Linux install in 1993, when it was all text-based and I had to install it from a fistful of 3.5" diskettes. To this day, I crack open a terminal and use a text-based file manager like midnight commander...because that's how I cut my teeth. But no one needs to do that. Ever.
The UI has come a long way since 1983. The only issue that I still see is the patching. With up2dat & yum it is doing better, but still have the same issue most unix flavors have unless your a hardcore user. The only place for M$ is within VMs for me.
I've used Ubuntu as a daily driver for quite some time. I personally love it and have zero issues with it, but I can find my way around any headaches if I need to. Linux users and distro makers have been fooling themselves for years. I've heard the old mantras for a long time, as have we all. "It's just as user friendly as Windows, OSX steals features from Linux, etc." There's a lot of truth to it, but it really is difficult in a lot of places.

Would the average user be able to install Java on Ubuntu? For you and I, throwing on IcedTea is a snap, but the average user will be frustrated by even this simple task. Also, the UI is still not as polished as something like OSX. It's come a long, long way, but it still has a ways to go. Linux devs can either keep burying their heads in the sand and say it's all MS bias and such, or they can honestly asses the issues that face a normal, average user out there (who will never, ever look up how to fix a problem using a command line interface; nor should they) and get the ball rolling.

Let me be clear: I would love for Linux/Ubuntu to be the dominant desktop platform. I think MS and Apple are resting on the achievements of others (particularly the open source community) and making money on something that ought to be free. They're fragmenting the hardware market unnecessarily and taking control away from the users. That all said, I still don't think Ubuntu is ready for the mainstream. They really need to drop building new features as a main focus and go all-out in making it user friendly (as close to zero learning curve as possible) and pretty; they desperately need some better graphic designers and people working strictly on aesthetics.

It's like Android (great spinoff of Linux). It started as ultra-functional, but a bit clunky. They added more and more features, but the UI was still not as good as it ought to have been. Android faithful would say that it was fine, Apple was stealing ideas from Android, and the UI had come a long way (all true statements). But then Google went all out on aesthetics for ICS, and boom! Android took over the market. Not just because of ICS, I know, but it's now known as a premium product, and it's open source. I'd love to see Linux proper follow suit. Ubuntu is a step in the right direction (a giant leap, actually), but you're kidding yourself if you think it's all the way there. My opinion, but the market backs it up.
I guarantee you they won't go online to some "random" forum and seek advice from the experts for something as simple as that; they'll just throw their hands up in frustration and get a Windows machine. It kind of pisses me off that people are so lazy with their electronics, but it's a fact. Organisations like +Canonical need to realise this; they're so close to making a mainstream product, but not quite there yet. I think they need to maybe have some outside eyes bring some objectivity to the table, like Google did with +Matias Duarte.
+Skipper Kagamaster have you ever actually seen Ask Ubuntu website? There is even a Unity Lens for it now (which should probably come standard in Ubuntu)
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