03.08.07

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Dell Continues to Waffle on Preinstalled Linux

Posted in Antitrust, Deals, Dell, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft at 10:30 am by Shane Coyle

Dell Continues to Feel Preinstalled Linux Pressure… "Stay Tuned".

Apparently, Dell is already wavering after being panned for their half-step towards customer demand for preinstalled Linux.

March 6 2007: 7:19 PM EST

BOSTON (Reuters) — Dell is considering offering the Linux operating system as an alternative to Microsoft’s Windows on its personal computers, a Dell spokesman said on Tuesday.
The PC maker said it received more than 100,000 customer requests for Linux in a “suggestion box” posted on Dell’s Web site less than three weeks ago.

“We are listening to what customers are saying about Linux and taking it into consideration,” said Dell spokesman David Lord. “We are going forward. Let’s say, ‘Certainly stay tuned.’”

It should be noted, Dell has been hearing from more than just everyday consumers about Microsoft alternatives. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has stated that it has approached Dell regarding the possibility of them supplying Linux-based PCs capable of accessing the Google Apps Premier Edition as an alternative to Microsoft Vista/Office platform.

Bowen said he’s in talks with the aviation safety agency’s main hardware supplier, Dell Computer, to determine if it could deliver Linux-based computers capable of accessing Google Apps through a non-Microsoft browser once the FAA’s XP-based computers pass their shelf life. “We have discussions going on with Dell,” Bowen said. “We’re trying to figure out what our roadmap will be after we’re no longer able to acquire Windows XP.”

So, now Dell is in a pickle – do they listen to their customer demand and be the first to break away from Microsoft and their oppressive OEM agreements, which have been known to disallow "visible" dual-boot installations, and Microsoft’s heavy-handed tactics in dealings are legendary, and even occasionally documented.

Microsoft has apparently taken the stance in the past that OEMs should meet demand but not create demand for desktop Linux. So, go ahead Dell, meet your customer’s demands… Microsoft won’t mind.

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A Single Comment

  1. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 8, 2007 at 10:52 am

    Gravatar

    Add H-P to this:

    HP considering factory-loaded Linux desktops and notebooks

    Management at HP has commented on the situation, saying they are considering offering standard systems with a preloaded distro of Linux, which would be an industry first for desktops and notebooks

    Perhaps nothing but a PR game, so let us wait and watch.

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