Ive been thinking a lot, lately, about PC manufacturers and desktop Linux. Ive long believed that for desktop Linux to really get going, it needs big-time vendor support, with OEMs like Dell, HP and Gateway putting Linux PCs on the shelves of Best Buy, Circuit City and CompUSA.
Over at LinuxToday, my buddy Brian Proffitt has suggested that Dell should stop pussy-footing around and simply pick a desktop distribution and get on with it.
In my recent interview with Michael Dell, I actually asked him that question… several times.
We went around and around it, but now, after our conversation, and having read Brians story, I think I finally get why Dell wont do it.
I realize, in fact, that Dell is very unlikely to ever support a desktop Linux until theres either a clear winner, or theres enough in common among the major popular distributions that Dell can support all of them without undue effort.
Why? Because Dell is not a leader.
Dell, in particular, but all the major OEMs are inherently conservative businesses. Michael Dell doesnt want to be a Linux leader.