10.29.08

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More Interesting Prebundling Moves

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Servers, SLES/SLED, Windows at 8:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft Corp is using scare tactics to exert pressure on PC vendors not to explore the potential of desktop Linux”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell

Back in July we saw how Microsoft had subjugated ASUS. This had an effect and it seems to have developed into somewhat of a trend, which is reminiscent of Microsoft’s pressure & retaliation tactics against OEMs.

VIA made a lot of headlines in Linux news sites recently. For starters, they hired a GPL superstar, but they also freed up some valuable code and made promises to GNU/Linux. It seems as though Microsoft is looking to stifle or reverse this newly-found affinity.

VIA, Microsoft launch ‘Bazaar’ program for white-box netbooks.

[...]

There are two things to note here. 1) XP looks like it will live on and in this program, you can bet that its being given away for next to nothing. 2) This looks like an X86-only initiative that will be used in positioning against ARM-based netbooks.

As quite a few people are aware, ARM is preparing to make its entry into the sub-notebooks market. This has been planned and also widely known for almost a year. ARM will be using GNU/Linux and it liaised with a few other popular companies.

ARM processors can’t run a standard version of Windows, so Microsoft can’t be too thrilled about it. Microsoft was also unhappy about BIOS accommodating Linux, and you can bet it intervened… until antitrust action came.

“We should whack them [Dell over GNU/Linux dealings], we should make sure they understand our value.”

Paul Flessner, Microsoft

Admittedly, some of the bits about VIA are a tad speculative and they should be treated as such. Carrying on with this ‘speculative mode’, watch the news about Lenovo servers. Mentioned here was this scoop about Lenovo elevating SUSE. It was discussed further in this older post.

All servers can be pre-loaded with Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 10, Lenovo’s “preferred Linux operating system provider”.

Where is Red Hat? Does one have to pay Microsoft no matter if the server runs Windows or GNU/LinuxBallnux?

“I’m thinking of hitting the OEMs harder than in the past with anti-Linux. … they should do a delicate dance”

Joachim Kempin, Microsoft OEM Chief

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3 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    October 29, 2008 at 9:39 am

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    I was particularly interested in the cheap Linux netbooks Maplin’s selling now. I avoid buying most things from Craplin (many are utterly dreadful and just don’t work – fortunately they’re very fast and efficient on returns of dodgy kit, so full points to them for that), but I played with these in the shop and actually found the keyboard usable.

    The key factors are: 1. £169. 2. MIPS, not x86. 3. GNU/Linux with Firefox 2. And guess what, it works just like Linux x86. You couldn’t tell just browsing.

    Minus points: 1. 128MB memory. 2. No Flash, which is a serious minus for the casual user who doesn’t know or care about software freedom.

    But the point remains: an ARM or MIPS processor at a given price point will run cooler and faster than x86, and GNU/Linux is GNU/Linux just the same.

    The future looks bright.

  2. pcole said,

    October 29, 2008 at 12:28 pm

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    Is the Lenovo “preloaded” servers a new trend? All the servers we purchase and bring on-line, we decide what OS is installed.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 29, 2008 at 12:42 pm

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    The surprise is that they bundle with a market follower while shunning the market leader (Red Hat). Lenovo has been suspicious in that regard for about 2 years.

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