EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

10.31.08

Dell, Please Fix Your Ads… and Your Web Site

Posted in Australia, Deception, Dell, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Videos, Vista, Windows at 12:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Decent proposal, gentle advice

WE SHALL try to keep this short and polite. It’s supposed to be constructive criticism, not a complaint, and it’s needed because Dell is doing something which angers some GNU/Linux enthusiasts. It’s seen as a bit of a insult, which should be trivial to correct.

Some Background

It was over a year ago that Dell’s GNU/Linux ads began to appear.

While working on my personal blog site, which happens to have Google Adsense ads running on it, I was surprised to find Google ads for Linux-powered Dell desktops showing up.

Earlier this month, some more adverts were spotted by Joe.

It’s one small step for Dell and consumer Linux — and one giant leap for Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux efforts. Specifically, Dell is spending advertising dollars to promote PCs with Ubuntu Linux preinstalled. The move has significant implications for the business world as well. Here’s why.

First, some details about the advertisement. Many many U.S. newspapers on Sunday, October 12, included a multi-page Dell flier. Among the many products advertised was the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, a low-cost sub-notebook designed for email and Web browsing.

Early in the year Dell produced some viral videos and more professional commercials even made it into television, as shown here last week.

If this an Dell / Enfatico spot– we take back all the slams we had to the advertising agency prior… It’s about Linux! Whoo hoo!!

We’ve produced an Ogg version of this video, as some readers prefer it that way.

Ogg Theora

Direct link

This is good. Dell is showing GNU/Linux in the mainstream.

But Why Make a Mess on the Carpet?

Over at the blog of Ken (of Lobby4Linux fame), it’s shown that Dell’s paper advertisements for GNU/Linux-based sub-notebooks are ‘decorated’ with a prominent reminder that Dell recommends Windows. What’s that about? If you advertise Coke (as in Coca Cola), you don’t attach a label to it saying that Pepsi is the better choice. It makes no sense. Are they trying to actually sell what they advertise? Watch the image in Ken’s blog and pay attention to the cynical remarks.

Dell screwed up. No wait…they didn’t screw anything up. They fully intended to do what they did. Now tell me they are not under the thumb of Microsoft. Why was this statement necessary? Let the customer decide. So tell me Dell is a friend of Linux or that they are not complete quislings for the Redmond Empire. Oh please…I do so want to hear you tell me this. It will be an Academy Award performance. It will have to be to explain away this.

Ken warned about this type of stuff before, but he lacked convincing proof (other than history).

You can’t advertise Linux because Microsoft has threatened you with exorbitant licensing fees and other sanctions if you do. That would be my guess. In fact, If I were to guess further, I would hazard a guess that those top-secret vendor agreements Microsoft demanded you sign actually states that you cannot actively advertise or promote Linux. I could be wrong…but if I am I’m not far off.

For what it’s worth, we remain suspicious — based on actual evidence — that Dell pays Microsoft quite handsomely for sales of GNU/Linux-based computers. We don’t exactly recommend Dell, and that’s putting it gently.

With regards to the advertising strategy, when Windows suffered an Epic Fail at the Olympics, SJVN wrote.

The biggest Blue Screen of Death ever

[...]

Why? Because, according to the Morning Herald, both the Beijing Olympics committee and Lenovo, a major backer of the games, had deliberately chosen to run XP operating system on the games’ PC because they didn’t trust Vista. Turns out they shouldn’t have trusted XP either, but they should have known that. Best of all, Lenovo chairman, Yang Yuanqing, said Lenovo had chosen not to use Vista because, “If it’s not stable, it could have some problems.”

So, next time you go to an online PC sales Web site and you see that line about “We recommend Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium,” just remember: They’re lying.

it’s all part of a silly scheme that was never intended to assist customers. Shouldn’t the likes of the ASA step in?

An Illusions of Choice

A reader of ours from Australia sent a gentle alert about Dell’s Web site in his country. “The Dell website fails,” he writes.

“I went there yesterday just to check things out, did a search for “Ubuntu” to see what search results I’d get. The first system that came up was a Vostro notebook with Ubuntu, so naturally I clicked the link [but] it comes with Vista. And there is no option to choose Ubuntu.”

To summarise, says the reader: “It was rubbish, you get a Vostro notebook put in front of you like “hey we got these with Ubuntu”, then when you click the link its, “you can have Vista or umm Vista”.”

Maybe it’s an innocent mistake. Hopefully it is.

“We should whack them [Dell over GNU/Linux dealings], we should make sure they understand our value.”

Paul Flessner, Microsoft

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. xISO_ZWT said,

    October 31, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Gravatar

    That observance was brought up in one of the past comments in BN a while back (I think he/she also mentioned lenovo). May be incorrect (could be the var guy) but lately been reading a lot.

    If would benefit the site to show the ubuntu logo if it’s shows the windows logo. Else, be OS logo agnostic, but it would be nice to see Tux appear on the sight

  2. Luc Bollen said,

    November 2, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Gravatar

    “it’s shown that Dell’s paper advertisements for GNU/Linux-based sub-notebooks are ‘decorated’ with a prominent reminder that Dell recommends Windows. What’s that about?”

    I think it is simply because Dell is so much used to sell Microsoft OS’es that it is part of their boilerplate layouts. See this description of the Ubuntu Dell Inspiron Mini 9 on the French Dell site:
    http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/laptop-inspiron-9?c=fr&l=fr&s=dhs&cs=frdhs1

    It says:
    “Système d’exploitation Microsoft
    Ubuntu 8.04″

What Else is New


  1. City of Berlin Does Not Abandon Free Software, It's Only Tax Authorities

    A Softpedia report that says the City of Berlin is moving to Microsoft Office is flawed and may be based on a poor translation



  2. Nadella a Liar in Chief at Microsoft, Pretending That His Anti-Competitive Practices Are Unfortunately Imposed on Microsoft

    The nastiness of Microsoft knows no bounds as even its assault on GNU/Linux and dirty tricks against Free software adoption are characterised as the fault of 'pirates'



  3. Reuters Writes About the Demise of Software Patents, But Focuses on 'Trolls' and Quotes Lawyers

    How the corporate media chooses to cover the invalidity of many software patents and the effect of that



  4. Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



  5. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  6. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  7. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  8. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  9. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  10. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  11. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  12. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  13. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  14. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  15. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  16. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  17. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  18. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  19. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  20. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  21. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  22. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  23. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  24. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  25. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  26. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  27. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  28. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  30. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts