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No Ubuntu Dells for SA, yet

By   |  May 30, 2007

Want to see Dell Ubuntu PCs in South Africa? Vote in the Dell Ubuntu poll and tell Dell what you think

Dell last week launched one of their desktops and two of their notebooks with Ubuntu preloaded, causing much excitement among the Linux community. Unfortunately, as it turns out, the launch has been limited to the US so far.

Tectonic spoke to Dell’s local mobile brand manager to find out when these machines are likely to reach South African shores.

Gavin Slevin, Dell South Africa’s mobile brand manager brought some clarity to the issue. He confirmed that the Ubuntu machines are currently only available in the US, saying that Dell was taking a phased approach to the roll out.

The biggest factor in bringing out [1]Ubuntu[/1] machines is that of “skilling up” their support staff. “Currently we can’t support our customers in the manner to which they have become accustomed,” explained Slevin.

So, the big question, when will they be available in SA? Cautiously, Slevin explained that he could not give a timeline, as there was not yet one in place. Pressed for at least a rough guesstimate, Slevin said that if he were to guess they would probably be available by the end of next year.

There is the possibility that if sufficient demand is generated in South Africa for the machines, that this could be sped up. It was precisely because of this reason that this happened in the US, where 30 000 people requested Linux on Dell’s Ideastorm site. A follow up survey saw 100 000 people respond positively to the idea.

Slevin said that with sufficient numbers, he might be able to encourage the company that there is strong local support and a waiting market for pre-installed Ubuntu. If you would like to see Dell bringing preloaded Ubuntu machines to South Africa, please leave a comment below.

Slevin revealed that it is however possible to order a non Microsoft machine from Dell in South Africa and that customers must just advise the sales person that they want to run [2]Linux[/2]. Dell will not be able to offer its usual customer support for these machines, but for Linux enthusiasts who are used to sorting out their own problems with the help of the online community, this shouldn’t be a problem.


3 Responses to “No Ubuntu Dells for SA, yet”

  1. Hark3n
    May 30th, 2007 @ 12:00 am

    Hell, sign me up. Dell has some nice machine, especially laptops, that would fit nicely into my life.

    If they brought out Ubuntu loaded machines, I would surely buy one.


  2. Morgan Collett
    May 30th, 2007 @ 12:00 am

    Dear Dell,

    Please offer Ubuntu or a derivative, in South Africa, for retail, as soon as possible.

    Ubuntu has excellent community support – globally. We also have a local Ubuntu South Africa community (LoCo) at

    Morgan Collett

  3. Shane
    August 6th, 2007 @ 12:00 am

    Yes it will be great to see Dell with ubuntu and to attract the Microsoft user put Kubuntu with the Windows Desktop appearance on it. I\’ve been running ubuntu on my laptop for years without any hassle\’s. Will continue to attract customers to the more stable and virus FREE platform. And run other distros as a server & desktop.

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