Dell to sell Ubuntu-installed computers in India
Dell, the second-largest computer seller in India, will sell personal computers loaded with the free operating system Ubuntu.
Starting this month, the Ubuntu installed laptops and netbooks will be available in 850 Dell stores in India. Dell in India currently sells PCs loaded with Windows, the proprietary operating system, of Microsoft. It will start selling Ubuntu PCs with the two models from its budget laptop series Inspiron.
UK-based Canonical, the company that sponsors Ubuntu, also enters India with the launch of these computers. The company is owned by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth, who earlier founded Thawte, the digital certificate issuer, now owned by Symantec.
Canonical generates revenue by selling technical support and services related to Ubuntu, if needed by customers. Canonical will train counter sale staff in Dell stores in India, who will service customers looking to buy Ubuntu computers. Globally, Dell has 28 models variants of computers that come pre-instaled with Ubuntu.
Ubuntu had come out with its first release seven years ago and has seen 16 versions since then, with no virus attacks on it so far. It is preferred by the technically inclined. However, with the improved user interface in its latest release, general users find it easy.
It loads faster than Windows and unlike it, does not slow down with use. It can also be installed as a software on computers running Windows for people who want to try out the features. To use the full features, it needs to be installed as on OS in a seperate partition on the hard disk and the user can continue to use both Windows and Ubuntu, one at a time. It also installs as a PC operating system on multi-core Android phones.
Canonical and Dell had jointly launched Ubuntu loaded computers in China last year in October. Starting with 220 outlets, the number of stores retailing Ubunbu has reached 350, and is increasing, Canonical stated on its blog. Dell stores in South Delhi have started displaying Ubuntu installed computers.
Canonical’s CEO Jane Silber spoke at the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network’ event in New Delhi where she launched these computers. “A founding principle of Ubuntu is to make computing more accessible,” she said. “By working with Dell to bring these machines to market, we’re providing millions of people with the opportunity of an affordable, high-quality computing experience – in some cases, for the first time.”
In India, Canonical is also targetting the small and medium business sector, with a focus on building private cloud computing systems. Companies can build their own clouds on the Ubuntu Cloud Infrastructure, is a ready to deploy Infrastructure-as-a-Service. It also promises to deliver a working cloud in five days for USD 9000.