Dell Opens Up About Desktop Linux

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2006-03-07 Print this article Print

The computer vendor's CEO explains his company's Linux strategy, including its stance on offering full desktop support.(

Michael Dell, chairman of Dell, says he believes in offering Linux on the desktop, server and workstation. What he doesnt believe in, for now, is giving Linux full support on the desktop. In an exclusive interview, Dell explained his companys Linux desktop strategy to DesktopLinux.coms Steven J. Vaughan Nichols. "People are always asking us to support Linux on the desktop, but the question is, Which Linux are you talking about?" Dell asked.
"If we say we like Ubuntu, then people will say we picked the wrong one. If we say we like and support Ubuntu, Novell, Red Hat and Xandros, then someone would ask us, Why dont you support Mandriva?
"The challenge we have with picking one is that we think wed disenchant the other distributions supporters." Click here to read more about Dells ambiguous relationship with the Linux desktop. "Its not that there are too many Linux desktop distributions," Dell said, "its that theyre all different, they all have supporters and none of them can claim a majority of the market. "If you look at DistroWatch, youll see zillions of these distributions. Which one should we do? And, everyone keeps telling us that they want different distributions. So, our conclusion is to do them all and let the customer decide." Novells CTO says Linux desktops are ripe for adoption. Read more here. So it is, Dell continued, that "on the desktop we have the nSeries, so that the user can pick the Linux he wants." Read the full story on Mr. Dell and Desktop Linux Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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