Dell Opens Up About Desktop Linux

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Print this article Print


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

Michael Dell, chairman of Dell, says he believes in offering Linux on the desktop, server and workstation. What he doesn't believe in, for now, is giving Linux full support on the desktop.

In an exclusive interview, Dell explained his company's Linux desktop strategy to DesktopLinux.com's 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 don't you support Mandriva?'

"The challenge we have with picking one is that we think we'd disenchant the other distributions' supporters."

Click here to read more about Dell's ambiguous relationship with the Linux desktop.

"It's not that there are too many Linux desktop distributions," Dell said, "it's that they're all different, they all have supporters and none of them can claim a majority of the market.

"If you look at DistroWatch, you'll 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."

Novell's 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 DesktopLinux.com: Mr. Dell and Desktop Linux

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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor of eWEEK.com's Linux & Open Source Center and Ziff Davis Channel Zone. 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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