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. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  2. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  3. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  4. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  5. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  6. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  7. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  8. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  9. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  10. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  11. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software



  12. The Microsoft Patent Trolls: Android Extortion, Vringo Versus Google, and Intellectual Ventures

    Roundup of news about patent aggression by Microsoft and some of its proxies



  13. Links 16/8/2014: Microsoft Linux, US Government Turns to Free Software

    Links for the day



  14. Links 15/8/2014: Reiser4 in Headlines Again, GNOME and KDE Events Finish

    Links for the day



  15. Links 14/8/2014: Kernel Summit Coming, KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

    Links for the day



  16. Shameless Microsoft Spin is Blaming China for Microsoft's Misconduct and Back Doors While Justifying Massive Losses in Hardware (Made in China)

    A new look at how Microsoft-friendly media takes negative Microsoft news and turns that news into some kind of scandals where Microsoft is the victim



  17. Microsoft Spin in the Media Evokes 'New Microsoft' and New Back Doors

    Some new examples of Microsoft boosters rewriting history, characterising Microsoft as a FOSS champion, and generally weak/shallow reporting on Microsoft's audio/video surveillance software



  18. Links 13/8/2014: GNU/Linux as Winner, New Snowden Interview

    Links for the day



  19. Reader's Article: Skype Spying Reaches New Levels of Blatant

    Forced 'upgrades' of Skype give useds [sic.] of Skype more than they asked for



  20. The Problem is Software Patents (and Scope), Not Patent Trolls Who Abuse Them Just Like Large Corporations

    Reminder of the dangers of losing sight of the real patent problem, which is the patents themselves, not necessarily those who use them



  21. Fraud in the USPTO and CAFC Helped Apple Launch Frivolous Patent Lawsuits Against Linux/Android, Based on New Withdrawals

    Inherent corruption in the US system has aided Apple's assault on east Asian electronics giants that use Linux at the core of their products



  22. Investigation Reveals That USPTO is Corrupt, Time to Abolish It or Annul Nearly a Million Patents

    Corruption is found at the heart of the USPTO and the USPTO works hard to hide it, despite attempt by whistleblowers to bring this corruption to light



  23. Links 13/8/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta, Tizen in Watches

    Links for the day



  24. Links 12/8/2014: Chromebooks Surge, OpenGL in the Headlines

    Links for the day



  25. Bill Gates is Profiting By Diverting Public Money to His Own Pocket and Reducing Wages

    Gates' lobbying for companies he is an investor of and for lower salaries inside companies he is investing in (and managing) comes as no surprise



  26. Microsoft is Still Attacking Open Standards, So Khronos Does Not Need the Microsoft Moles

    Having attacked the industry's document standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) while pretending to have 'embraced' ODF Microsoft is now pretending that it is eager to support OpenGL



  27. Another Depressing Look at the Patent Systems in the US and in Europe

    A roundup of news about patent monopolies and in particular the immense power wielded by giant multi-national corporations that steer the debate and acquire trans-Atlantic monopolies on ideas, always against citizens' interests



  28. Links 11/8/2014: DEFT 8.2, Linux Mint on Debian Stable

    Links for the day



  29. Links 9/8/2014: Knoppix 7.4.0, GNU Linux Libre 3.16

    Links for the day



  30. Links 8/8/2014: Qt a Separate Company Again, KDE Frameworks 5.1 Released

    Links for the day


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