The Linux Community is having an on-again off-again love affair with Dell. It's been a rocky affair since Dell decided it would bump the positive side of their ledger by offering the Linux Operating System on their products.
There have been some embarrassing public displays of affection and there have been equally public spats, with a few pots and pans thrown...
So it goes with passionate couples. A word of advice is always welcome though and I might offer one of the afore-mentioned parties a bit of it now...
"Linux - We don't recommend it."
Those were the words spoken to a fellow I work with. The person uttering those words is a Dell Customer Service Representative, one of those that helps you "build" your computer as you speak to them over the phone.
Gary is typical of the baby boomers who sit down behind a computer. He doesn't use a computer as much as he uses a small handful of applications on it. Kind of like a refrigerator. It sits there day in and day out waiting to do it's job in the event someone wants to eventually come by and grab something cold out of it.
He has no real idea of the raw power at his fingertips...and he doesn't want to. He simply needs something to check his email, read some news on a couple of websites and provide a home for his anti-virus software. Gary, when it's all said and thought about, is afraid of his computer. His few forays into the internet jungle have given him a nasty case of DTD's (digitally transmitted diseases) from time to time and pain is a good teacher.
He just doesn't use it much anymore because of the nasty experiences. That's when I found out Gary isn't as technically-challenged as I thought him to be. He came to me and asked me if I'd look at his less-than-one-year-old Dell computer and take some of the garbage off of it. Seems Gary is victim to the Antivirus 2009 malware and it's variants that so many Windows Users fall prey to.
I asked him if he would consider putting Linux on it. He just shrugged.
"I tried to have it put on there when I ordered the computer...they said they could but they didn't recommend it."
It took me about 5 minutes to start making the phone calls. I started with the proper protocol and called their complaint line. Not much luck there...the people in Malaysa couldn't care less. I decided to target my query a bit closer to home...like in Round Rock. A twelve minute drive from my house.
That didn't work out so well either. I'm still waiting for a call-back.
Note to self...don't tell people why you are really calling. It just tips them off that you're not a happy customer and the chances of getting a call back are as remote as a viral infection on a Linux computer.
Gary is digging around at home for the information on his purchase. We're going to try to find out who the actual order taker was and from there, we're going to try to climb the ladder and find out just why Linux isn't recommended. I have developed a fairly good relationship with just one such representative and we'll try to lay hands on some of their internal memos which may dictate policy on this matter...time will tell how good of a relationship this is.
We've known for a long time that Dell is beholden to Microsoft...and we've known that Microsoft is putting pressure on it's hardware partners to kick Linux to the curb. It's not something that can be disputed. What should be talked about though is Dell's open verbalization that Linux isn't as good as Windows. Gary said so himself...he wishes he had asked the question. When the service rep told him that they didn't recommend Linux he should have asked him.
"Then why do you offer it?"
Of course, with current stories like this, one might understand Dell's hesitancy to "recommend" Linux. They have to believe at times that they are in a no-win situation. people have been given nothing but Windows for over a decade. The woman noted in the linked article is a good example of just how indoctrinated people have become....and how lazy they've become as well. We'll leave it at lazy, although other descriptors jump to mind immediately.
I'm not saying that Dell's position isn't appreciated...but when we've tried to steer people to Dell/Linux machines in the past, they've been so buried on Dell's website that it damn near took a paid detective to find it. And when it WAS found, we ran into things like this
Let me save you a click if you like. Top right hand corner...above the ad for a Linux-based laptop.
"Dell recommends Windows for everyday comuputing".
A Linux-based computer ad recommending Windows...
Yeah, it's old news...we've posted it before but it bears posting again to make the point.
That new love interest might drive a shiny new car and be a good-looking devil...one might even be vain enough to just want to be seen in the same company with them...but that doesn't change the fact.
When you get home and you are alone together, you have to ask yourself...
Is getting slapped around and mistreated worth it?
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
blather and mumbling provided by Ken Starks at 10:39 PM