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
256MB nVidia Geforce 7300LE TurboCache
Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
No speakers (Speakers are required to hear audio from your system)
KEYBOARD & MOUSE
Dell USB Keyboard
Dell Optical USB Mouse
WARRANTY AND SERVICE
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?