Dell’s move to make Ubuntu available over a large segment of their consumer Desktop and Mobile PCs has become common place and provided a huge platform on which *nix systems grew more socially acceptable personal operating systems.
However, Dell has recently removed this option from almost all their online offerings.
Currently, only select laptop and netbook models are available with Ubuntu on Dell’s website. Apparently, Dell still offers Ubuntu on the same range of products, but chose to remove the option from their website ordering system to simplify the ordering process. This move seems counter intuitive, as the level of user that would prefer and specifically seek to order a computer with Ubuntu OS pre-installed (as identified by Dell themselves) would not be apt to call the Dell sales team to place an order.
Dell still posts numerous positive reasons why a computer user might choose Ubuntu over Windows, further fueling the speculation of why Dell would make this move. It does not appear Dell no longer sees Ubuntu as an acceptable choice for operating systems. One reason given for this move was that Ubuntu was not receiving sufficient volume of purchases, and thus removing it from a section where it was seldom used seemed a logical choice in simplifying the ordering process. In other words, Dell is saying that if they offer apples and bananas, and almost everyone is choosing apples, they stop putting bananas on the menu. This continues to seem counter-intuitive, as failing to more publicly offer a product would only continue to limit its purchasing volume.
Hopefully this move is temporary. Perhaps Dell will relaunch in the near future with a more prominent position for Ubuntu in their line of PCs and Laptops. With this recent move, however, this seems unlikely, and thus catapults the progress of *nix systems as socially acceptable personal operating systems back many years.