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Saturday April 19th 2014

Canonical and Dell Push Ubuntu PCs Into China





Ubuntu has found some new horizons in China. In a post on Canonical’s blog, it was announced that Canonical and Dell will bring PCs loaded with Ubuntu to the Chinese market. According to the post: "The stores will feature Ubuntu on a range of Dell computers, and will carry branded marketing collateral in-store, trained staff positioning the benefits and advantages of Ubuntu to consumers and will be supported by a retail team of Ubuntu merchandisers, set up to support the stores. The work was carried out by the Canonical teams based in Beijing and Shanghai, working with Dell China."

Specifically, the PCs will show up in 220 retail stores in China, a region of the world that has typically been more friendly to open source technology than others have. The post from Canonical also touts the more than 20 million active users of Ubuntu.

According to The Register, the move into China doesn’t include pushing Ubuntu Server onto Dell’s servers:

"Canonical says that Dell is not yet (that’s the hái méi part, if I trust Google Translate) preconfiguring Ubuntu Server on any PowerEdge machines in the country. But with many greenfield companies buying computers for the first time and not having a bias for or against Windows, you would think that Dell and Canonical would be hooking up to sell PC and server bundles aimed to companies. They may yet get around to it. Partner with some business software and it would probably be a hit."

Indeed, the first 220 stores with Ubuntu-loaded PCs may be just a beginning. Canonical may be able to strike lucrative deals on the business front and in government deployments in China, where expensive software licenses from corporate technology titans are eschewed. Dell’s and Canonical’s retail effort could be just step one in expanding in a huge technology market.

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