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posted by cmn32480 on Saturday January 14 2017, @12:26AM   Printer-friendly
from the removing-the-microsoft-tax dept.

OMG! Ubuntu! reports

[January 11,] the company announced the immediate availability of the Dell Precision 3520 mobile workstation (that's "professional laptop" to you and [me]).

Better yet, buyers can save over $100 by choosing Ubuntu 16.04 LTS pre-loaded instead of Windows 10--now that's what you call a deal!

[...] Dell's Barton George says more Ubuntu-powered Precision workstations will go on sale in the coming months, worldwide, including an Ubuntu version of the company's stylish new Precision 5720 All-in-One desktop PC.

Unlike other vendors, Dell [doesn't] ship their Linux option on no-frills reduced-power hardware. All models in the Dell Precision lineup pack powerful 7th generation Intel Core and Intel Xeon processors, support Thunderbolt 3 (ahem, USB-C), and can be kitted out with up to 32GB RAM!

The Dell Precision 3520 is available to buy & configure right now priced from $899 (base specs, with Ubuntu 1604 LTS). It ships worldwide.


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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Saturday January 14 2017, @12:31AM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 14 2017, @12:31AM (#453626) Homepage Journal

    why Ubuntu, and not Debian? Ubuntu is built on Debian, after all. Without Debian there likely never would have been a Ubuntu. Ehhh - whatever. It's still nice that we don't have to pay the Microsoft tax.

    --
    “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.” ― George S. Patton on Ukraine
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Zz9zZ on Saturday January 14 2017, @12:52AM

      by Zz9zZ (1348) on Saturday January 14 2017, @12:52AM (#453643)

      Because Ubuntu has packaged everything to "just work" and has better support for end users. Pure Debian will leave a lot of users scratching their heads as they try and learn some rudimentary linux admin stuff. Also modding you up because how on earth is your comment off topic??

      --
      ~Tilting at windmills~
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Saturday January 14 2017, @01:39AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 14 2017, @01:39AM (#453660) Journal

        This!

        For every level of derivative distro that stands between you and the base distro you gain levels of polish, bug protection, and ease of use.

        True there are some distros that simply repackage the crapload kicked out the door by the distro they are based on, but those don't last long.

        Ubuntu isn't my cup of tea, but they have withstood the test of time. I'd rather get a machine with freedos installed, or bare naked drives. But for 100 dollars off I'd take the time to nuke the ubuntu.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @01:42AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @01:42AM (#453663)

          Nitpick: you'd be nuking anything else anyway so no extra effort required :P

          • (Score: 2) by fubari on Saturday January 14 2017, @11:13PM

            by fubari (4551) on Saturday January 14 2017, @11:13PM (#453948)
            r.e. same effort: True, same effort to nuke Win10 vs. Ubuntu.
            r.e. same cost: False, different cost... As much as I dislike Win10, I would not pay $100 more for the pleasure of nuking Win10 vs. Ubuntu. (TFA is about how the laptop Ubuntu costs $100 less).

            As an aside, if you do choose Ubuntu be you may want to de-select the Microsfot Office purchase option. :-)
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by romlok on Saturday January 14 2017, @01:08PM

          by romlok (1241) on Saturday January 14 2017, @01:08PM (#453776)

          I'd rather get a machine with freedos installed, or bare naked drives.

          The advantage of getting one with Ubuntu pre-installed is that Dell have a legal obligation that the machines they sell are "fit for purpose". That means that the supplied hardware needs to be tested to work with Linux.
          If it's shipped bare, then they could legitimately make the argument that it was expected that you were going to be installing Windows (being the monopoly OS), so the hardware only need be supported under that OS.

          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday January 18 2017, @05:38PM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 18 2017, @05:38PM (#455544) Journal

            Go look at the first link.

            It links to dell's /us/business/ site. Not the UK site.
            Fit for purpose is an extremely difficult thing to prove in the UK, and not even a concept in the US.

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by AthanasiusKircher on Saturday January 14 2017, @03:42AM

        by AthanasiusKircher (5291) on Saturday January 14 2017, @03:42AM (#453699) Journal

        Just my personal opinion, but unless you really want to push Unity, I think Ubuntu is unfortunately not a great choice. For users who know what they're doing, Debian is probably superior. For Linux beginners, it seems most find Linux Mint to be a lot more intuitive and polished than Ubuntu.

        Ubuntu went out on a limb with Unity, and it does have some cool ideas, but most people fleeing Windows are probably trying to get away from Microsoft's continuous shifts in desktop interface, and Unity is likely to be equally confusing. Mint, on the other hand, seems dedicated to serving the new Linux user community and keeping a relatively stable interface over time (while keeping a true "just works" philosophy).

        • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Saturday January 14 2017, @09:30AM

          by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 14 2017, @09:30AM (#453749) Homepage Journal

          Agreed: I don't understand why Ubuntu wanted to develop and push Unity. There are already plenty of great desktops out there - we didn't need yet another one.

          That said, one shouldn't forget that Ubuntu is available with other desktops. My preferred solution is Xubuntu (Ubuntu with the XFCE desktop). That provides a "classic" desktop that just stays out of the way and lets you get work done.

          --
          Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by dlb on Saturday January 14 2017, @12:56AM

      by dlb (4790) on Saturday January 14 2017, @12:56AM (#453646)
      The nice thing here, regardless of the distro, is that they are selling a computer preinstalled with Linux, which means that the hardware is probably going to work well with Linux. Reinstalling the distro of one's choice should only take a pendrive and an hour or so.
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @02:00AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @02:00AM (#453671)

        One note though: before actually nuking the preinstalled Linux, check what packages and drivers are used. It is also helps to check out the config files and kernel configuration. With all that information in hand, it can make setting stuff up and slimming down excess installed by default in the distribution you do choose.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday January 14 2017, @03:11AM

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday January 14 2017, @03:11AM (#453687) Homepage

          Traditionally, dating back to 2003, Dell boxen have served me well with better-than-Windows Linux installs. As one example, with Linux, my audio card worked out of the box without having to download drivers as one would have to do in a Windows installation.

          Dell use standard well-understood hardware* which lends itself well to Linux. Another of my fondest memories of Linux was that it operated all functions of my Wal-Mart bought HP all in one USB-connected printer without having to install any drivers, a task unsuitable for Windows.

          And as the booze is kicking in, I'm laughing pretty hard at all this Windows-like discussion: Does Linux work with this hardware? Sheeeeit, what is this, 1997? Linux is running teavees and supercomputers.

          Linux has worked better than Windows with hardware for quite awhile now, although there is a major caveat in my argument: Linux has been invaded by fifth-columnists shitting it up and making things worse, and Windows is using their H1-B armies to try and "ape," so to speak, the convenience of Linux.

          * Maybe not now. Can somebody warn me if that's the case??

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @04:38AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @04:38AM (#453705)

            I understand that, but I remember the days of having to fiddle with the conf files for X and whatnot. Additionally, installers for generic distributions tend to install everything under the sun to make sure they work. You are probably right about it being unnecessary, but I've been bit before (in the Fedora Core days) so I'm probably overly cautious when it comes to overwriting OEM Linux installs.

          • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Saturday January 14 2017, @05:57PM

            by Gaaark (41) on Saturday January 14 2017, @05:57PM (#453852) Journal

            I had to laugh: one day i bought a new printer. It was a linux compatible, as well as winxp compat (of course, lol). Plugged it into my wifes winxp computer and spent an hour downloading an update to Internet explorer (wtf??? do i need to update the browser for???), then a half hour installing driver after driver and rebooting each time.
            1.5 hours wasted.

            Plugged it into my ubuntu box and 20 seconds later it was up and running.

            Also, i miss corel linux: so nice, and sweet to look at (for an early linux) and use. :(

            --
            --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 2) by Pino P on Saturday January 14 2017, @12:57AM

      by Pino P (4721) on Saturday January 14 2017, @12:57AM (#453647) Journal

      I can think of a couple reasons, both related to a little more pragmatism toward proprietary software on Canonical's part: "open source" philosophy rather than the "software freedom" associated with distributions such as Debian and the more purist Trisquel.

      Ubuntu makes it easier to find and install proprietary hardware drivers from the restricted section of its repository, particularly graphics and WLAN drivers. This allows a PC maker to bundle, say, NVIDIA graphics rather than sticking to Intel integrated graphics, which have historically had less throughput.

      Ubuntu offers both a fork of Debian unstable and its own repository of applications in self-contained Snap packages. Though snapd can install Snap packages on other X11/Linux distributions, they're best supported on Ubuntu. Because snapd isolates each application from the rest of the system, it can apply updates transactionally, and it can limit the attack surface associated with running proprietary applications. Some types of software cannot be distributed as free software from day one [pineight.com] because of market realities, particularly games, players for rented movies, and income tax return preparation wizards.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @01:37AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @01:37AM (#453659)

        Some types of software cannot be distributed as free software from day one because of market realities, particularly games, players for rented movies, and income tax return preparation wizards.

        Then those types of software should not be used until they are free software. If they can't deal with that, then they should disappear from existence. I have absolutely zero sympathy for people who engage in deeply unethical activities just to make money, especially when the 'pragmatic' arguments don't even make sense. I despise this notion that we should ignore ethics in favor of technological, amoral pragmatism.

        For tax software, the government should simply develop free software for that purpose; it would benefit everyone more in the long run than freedom-denying proprietary software.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @04:15AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 24 2017, @04:15AM (#457943)

          There is nothing unethical about creating things in exchange for putting food on the table. It is the foundation of every economy and has been since before the invention of money.

        • (Score: 2) by Pino P on Tuesday January 24 2017, @04:19AM

          by Pino P (4721) on Tuesday January 24 2017, @04:19AM (#457944) Journal

          For tax software, the government should simply develop free software for that purpose

          In a jurisdiction where nearly every legislator of the majority party has signed a "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" to oppose any and all measures that increase the tax rate, where should the government find the money to develop said software?

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by frojack on Saturday January 14 2017, @01:49AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 14 2017, @01:49AM (#453667) Journal

        Snap has some serious issues, its not as clear of an advantage as you might think.

        In the long run it will prove unsupportable as packaged drift toward obsolescence and others emerge and you find you can't get rid of any of them because the Snap dependency model is weak and function retarded.

        Also, any throughput advantage by Nvidia over Intel is soaked up by the install and upgrade nightmare Nvidia imposed over the life of the machine. EACH such upgrade puts your machine at risk of booting to black screen. How would you like the tech support job of talking to some little old lady in Kentucky through a Nvidia recovery. I've done that and it sucks.

        For anything other than gaming, give me a drop dead simple intel graphics card every time.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Saturday January 14 2017, @04:40AM

          by Snotnose (1623) on Saturday January 14 2017, @04:40AM (#453707)

          How would you like the tech support job of talking to some little old lady in Kentucky through a Nvidia recovery. I've done that and it sucks.

          Hell, I've done that with my dad looking over my shoulder telling me everything I was doing wrong, when I was the Linux wiz and he was the analog electronics wiz. It sucked.

          --
          I think I'm half Spider man and half Batman. Because I have no powers and no money.
        • (Score: 1) by dr_barnowl on Sunday January 15 2017, @08:08AM

          by dr_barnowl (1568) on Sunday January 15 2017, @08:08AM (#454040)

          +1, thankfully I set my mother up with SSH plus dynamic DNS for remote support purposes, so when her legacy nvidia driver shims stopped compiling for the new kernels, I could switch her to nouveau remotely. And nouveau had improved enough to be usable.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @03:37AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @03:37AM (#453697)

      Ubuntu has better support for Norton Antivirus and the Ask toolbar.

    • (Score: 2) by linkdude64 on Saturday January 14 2017, @07:28PM

      by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 14 2017, @07:28PM (#453876)

      I suppose the beauty is that you can feel free to install a different OS on the laptop at any time?

    • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Saturday January 14 2017, @10:36PM

      by darkfeline (1030) on Saturday January 14 2017, @10:36PM (#453937) Homepage

      Ubuntu is by far the most used Linux distro for personal computers. Does it not make sense for Dell to pick the most used Linux distro to install by default?

      --
      Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @01:43AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @01:43AM (#453664)

    4GB RAM, 500GB spinning Drive, 1366x768 resolution, and integrated Intel graphics all on an i5 that wikichip calls mid-range performance? And on sale for $1,000 with Windows 10? Is Dell competing with Apple now?

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by stormwyrm on Saturday January 14 2017, @02:09AM

    by stormwyrm (717) on Saturday January 14 2017, @02:09AM (#453676) Journal

    Dell machines with Ubuntu preinstalled actually used to be more expensive [zdnet.com] than those with Windows installed. Back in the day Microsoft even used to make offers (that they couldn’t refuse) with OEMs that stated that if they ever sold other machines preinstalled with some other OS, the price that they’d be quoted for Windows OEM licenses would increase. This is a welcome change from those dark days, and yet another a sign of Microsoft’s wane. Even if you don’t like Ubuntu the fact that the Precision 3520 comes with it preinstalled means that there are no anti-Linux measures [soylentnews.org], and most likely all the hardware features will be fully functional under GNU/Linux. The same cannot be said for many other laptops which, while they will install and run any Linux distribution just fine, may have some hardware that is not fully functional or operates sub-optimally compared to an equivalent Windows install.

    I’d buy such a thing if I had the money. As it is I’m already too deep in debt to manage it right now, and my current six-year old laptop is still good enough to do almost all of what I need it to do.

    --
    Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate.
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday January 14 2017, @02:13AM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday January 14 2017, @02:13AM (#453677) Journal

      It's relatively nice that they are knocking $100 off the price. Good for you, Dell. But this is still the price for SUCKERS. If you live in the U.S., you use Slickdeals to look for a laptop [slickdeals.net]. End of story.

      https://slickdeals.net/f/9570240-dell-inspiron-15-sig-ed-laptop-i7-6700hq-4k-8gb-ddr3-1tb-sshd-749-free-shipping [slickdeals.net]

      If Linux somehow doesn't work on a component in 2017, well, that's when you want to think about the return policy.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by aristarchus on Saturday January 14 2017, @05:23AM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Saturday January 14 2017, @05:23AM (#453715) Journal

        It's relatively nice that they are knocking $100 off the price. Good for you, Dell.

        Seriously, the only reason to pay attention to this differential is to know what the actual value of a MicroSerf operating system is, so you do not pay too much on the open market. Previously, it would cost you +$100 for a Linux machine, which meant the values of Windows as negative one hundred US dollars! Then it was only, say, -$25! Now, it is +100 for Windows? (Or, -$100 for Linux) The Windows 10 that they were giving away and stuffing down your throat if you were the average totally technically inept Windows user? Something is seriously wrong here. Economically, this makes no sense. I am not buying from Dell. Mostly I am not buying from Dell for the reason that I did, once. But also for the reasons takyon lays out so clearly here. There should be a tracker, like for money markets and exchange rates: Today's Microsoft tax is . . . . Just in the interest of an informed consumerate.

        --
        #Freearistarchus, again!!!!!1!!
    • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Saturday January 14 2017, @09:27AM

      by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 14 2017, @09:27AM (#453748) Homepage Journal

      I bought one of these 3-4 years ago for my son to use in school. It's a sweet little machine, and is still going strong. He's just started university, and this is the machine he carries around, takes to lectures, programs on, etc...

      Sample of one, but based on that: recommended.

      --
      Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @02:14AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @02:14AM (#453678)

    This laptop has Intel AMT. And even laptops without Intel AMT, which have an Intel CPU and are current, have the Intel Management Engine running. Maybe a better option would be something from https://minifree.org/ [minifree.org]?

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday January 14 2017, @02:17AM

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday January 14 2017, @02:17AM (#453679) Journal

      Forgetting the fact that you likely aren't a rebel or freedom fighter and the govt. doesn't really care about your gay midget porn, it looks like you have more options W.R.T. the IME:

      Intel Management Engine Partially Defeated [soylentnews.org]

      http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Intel-ME-Cleaning [phoronix.com]

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @11:25AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @11:25AM (#453756)

        The govt isn't against men + gay midgets.

        It is against men + girls.

        An empire of women.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @04:54AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @04:54AM (#453708)

      As scary as it is. All exploits are theoretical. Only proof of concepts have been made. That and disabling it seems to have adverse effects. breaking other devices on the system to causing weird behavior like the screen on a laptop just suddenly shutting off.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @03:48PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @03:48PM (#453794)

        i would guess that the people that have already cracked it and using the defeat methods are unlikely to post it to the verge and crow about their successes.

        They probably are very well financially rewarded and are doing their work in silence.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @10:30PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @10:30PM (#453935)

          Now that is going into tin foil hat territory. With no real exploits and all theoretical ones requiring local root access(at which point your system is hosed anyway), I will just use the bios screen to disable the remote parts and be done with it.
          Yes it shouldn't be on consumer hardware, only on stuff for businesses and such. But eh, not like you can force intel and amd to do that.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @11:53PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 14 2017, @11:53PM (#453957)

            "Now that is going into tin foil hat territory. "

            No it isn't you SJW anti-marry girl children faggot retard who should be executed under the law of Dtrnmy.
            " Filter error: You having fun yet? "

            Anyone who has the private key can infiltrate vPro machines. That is Intel and the US govt + anyone who stole it.

            You fucking piece of FUCKING shit.

            If I were ruler I would have all you techie fucks executed for opposing men marrying female children.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by jmorris on Saturday January 14 2017, @02:44AM

    by jmorris (4844) on Saturday January 14 2017, @02:44AM (#453683)

    As so many others already said, nobody sensible pays MSRP for Dell products so the initial pricetag doesn't mean a lot. They have even done this sort of thing before, but there is always a 'deal' on the Windows version while the Linux version is straight retail. Buy the Windows version and they have a promo to double the ram, free upgrade to an upgraded screen or you can buy it through a third party 'deal' site cheaper, etc. That way they can assure you that you aren't paying the evil Microsoft Tax, Microsoft is smart enough to know they are in fact still being paid for every box that heads to the loading dock that could potentially run Windows, just like they always have and always will and everybody is happy.

    Until Microsoft is actually barred from continuing the Microsoft Tax, and the DoJ under multiple administrations has tried and failed, nothing is going to change. Soon you won't even have the option to load Linux on a machine destined for Windows though and hopefully a few vendors will continue to offer Linux preloads... but I suspect that hammer will fall at the exact same moment they impose mandatory secure boot on desktop / laptop form factors.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hendrikboom on Saturday January 14 2017, @04:57PM

    by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 14 2017, @04:57PM (#453830) Homepage Journal

    Does its hardware require any proprietary drivers to function properly?

    Saying Ubuntu runs does not answer this.

    It's the question everyone seems not to mention in product announements, and it;s essential for long-term upgradability,