Dell has been bucking the market trend by selling a higher than usual percentage of its popular Inspiron Mini 9 netbooks with the Ubuntu OS rather than Windows XP Home with 33 percent of Netbooks equipped with Linux.
The Austin-based manufacturer allows customers to choose which operating system they want to buy and the fact that their return rates is far less than the rest of the industry shows an interesting aspect of Dell's Netbook customers.
They are likely to be quite conversant in technology compared to others; Microstar company reported a few months ago that returns on its its Linux-based Wind Netbooks were four time that of its Windows XP netbooks.
Dell’s Consumer Group Representative, Jay Pinkert, told Laptopmag that "“A third of our Mini 9 mix is Linux, which is well above the standard attach rate for other systems that offer Linux. We have done a very good job explaining to folks what Linux is”
An onsite poll conducted by Laptopmag showed that the majority of its readers were convinced that Dell's success was due to the fact that it used "the best Linux, Ubuntu."
Bu there could yet be another reason explaining why Ubuntu was doing so well. The price delta between the cheapest Inspiron Mini 9 with Ubuntu and the cheapest Windows-based Mini 9 is a whopping £100, plus in the UK, there are three Linux SKUs compared to one for Windows XP.
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Dell Customers might possibly be more techie compared to the the rest of the market. When it comes to return rates, pricing has nothing to do. That said, we are aware of an online e-tailer that is currently sitting on a stock of 51 (yes 51) Inspiron Mini 9 netbooks refurbished by Dell and with Windows XP Home.