Let the comparisons begin – Dell Ubuntu and Windows Vista offerings

Yesterday Dell officially started offering Ubuntu on some of their hardware.  So I configured a Dell XPS 410 machine with Ubuntu Desktop Edition v7.04 and the same machine with Windows Vista.  The XPS 410 with Windows Vista is the Home Premium edition of Windows Vista.  The hardware configuration of both machines is as follows:

Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6700 (4MB L2 Cache,2.66GHz,1066 FSB)
4GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz - 4 DIMMs
500GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
Single Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
No Monitor
256MB nVidia Geforce 7300LE TurboCache
Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
No speakers (Speakers are required to hear audio from your system)
Dell USB Keyboard
Dell Optical USB Mouse
1Yr In-Home Service, Parts + Labor - Next Business Day

The Ubuntu based machine is currently priced at $1659.  The Windows Vista Home Premium machine is fifty more bucks at $1709.  I didn't see any way to configure the XPS 410 with any other version of Windows Vista. 

I guess there are lots of ways to look at this.  Obviously the prices are very close.  If I were a Linux fan, I'm sure I would be happy with the notion that I'm not paying any money for Windows .  I believe that has been the historical complaint about buying systems.  Not which version of Linux comes on the system, just as long as it isn't Windows and no money is headed this way. 

So what are you getting for the extra $50 ???

The obvious thing to do is do a side-by-side comparison of the features in each operating system.  But that isn't the whole picture.  Look at the applications that are available, device and driver support, etc., etc., etc. 

We can also debate other aspects of the operating systems choices like security, management, monitoring, customization and many other potential topics.  So what do you think?  I think customer choice is good.  Competition is good.  Ultimately the customer wins.  Thoughts?

Comments (4)

  1. Tin Man says:

    Well, I really hate Vista for the constant error messages and compatibility issues. BUT, what I hate more is a Linux OS. It’s very incompatible (with my software) and hard to navigate for me… If I had to pick between the two, I’d definitely choose Vista.

  2. Jason says:

    Well, for starters, the fact that I have to have 15 freaking GB’s of free space on my hard drive, along with an all around overhaul of an otherwise perfectly fine system just to accommodate an OS that has it’s own compatibility issues? No thanks. Microsoft can shove the bloatware that is Vista up it’s kernel as far as I’m concerned. I’ll just stick with XP either until support is stopped or until developers come out with a truly interoperable and compatible Linux OS, which really isn’t all that far away.

  3. Keith Combs says:

    FYI, my c:windows directory is sitting at 7.8GB right now.  That’s Windows Vista Ultimate.  My SUSE 10 Ent Desktop is consuming 6.8GB.  That isn’t even 10% of my typical 100GB laptop drive and all of my desktop drives now start at 320GB.

    What was the compatibility issue you mentioned?  With no detail it’s hard to help or speculate.

  4. Rob says:

    My Vista Ultimate Windows directory is also 7.8GB.  Disk space is cheap though and I _do_ have a 500 gig raid on this box so it’s not even an issue.  As far as compatibility goes, the only issue I’ve run into (and this is my main computer) is Call of Duty will freak out on me occasionally which is waaaay down on my list of things that are important… 🙂  I can count the number of times Vista has crashed on 2 fingers (and both of those were due to iTunes).  I’ve crashed Ubuntu more than that.

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