05.09.20

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Free/Libre Software is Greener Pastures for Dell

Posted in Dell, GNU/Linux, Hardware at 10:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A lot of people do not want Windows

What Microsoft tells you GNU/Linux is like; What OEMs tell you GNU/Linux is like when it's their expensive hardware

Summary: Dell’s overpriced computers will have more of GNU/Linux on them (announcement in 10 days); at the moment they’re working behind the scenes to get sites to produce a bunch of promotional puff pieces for them

SOME CULTURAL references aside (e.g. [1, 2, 3]), Free software has historically been aligned with the antiwar movement, green movement and so on. This is well documented and we mentioned it before. Microsoft is the antithesis of it, as we noted earlier today as well as last year. There’s ample evidence of this. So more people are attracted to GNU/Linux for ethical/moral reasons, not just technical or purely pragmatic reasons.

“Dell doesn’t care about Software Freedom, but Dell understands that Software Freedom-oriented folks are worth money to Dell.”After discussing the matter with a few people, and considering the fact I never at all agreed to any embargo, I’ve decided to publish what Dell is going to announce some time soon, based on an E-mail sent to me out of the blue a few days ago.

The message below shows that Dell is moving further away from Windows, which is a positive sign for sure.

Hi Roy – As a special offer to TechRights, I can give a sneak preview of Dell’s new lineup of Linux-based Precision workstations for developers. Dell Technologies already ships 150+ different Ubuntu-based PC models to over 100+ countries. Linux models will be available on Precision 5550/5750/7550/7750 being announced at this launch.

If you agree to an embargo of May 19 @ 9 a.m. CT, I can send you a virtual press kit outlining all the products that will be released. Admittingly, it will be light on the Linux news so if you want to focus just on that I recommend a 1:1 interview with Chris Ramirez, Strategic Alliances Manager and Engineering Industry Strategist at Dell who can elaborate on the developer features.

I never agreed to an embargo (I never would); maybe they don’t know how embargoes work. You give away the secrets before consent? Anyway, as one can see (it’s explicit), they’re manipulating and playing with the media — justifying our longstanding cynicism about how the media works. It’s like coverage for sale, not journalism. PR agencies ‘liaising’ with so-called ‘journalists’ and bloggers to manufacture a bunch of puff pieces using a “virtual press kit”.

Of course we never participate in these PR stunts. We suppose they send this to a lot of publishers right now. Will that be a surprise? Probably not. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is good news. Dell studies the market (it throws major resources at it) and it clearly finds out growing demand for GNU/Linux. It’s all about money; Dell doesn’t care about Software Freedom, but Dell understands that Software Freedom-oriented folks are worth money to Dell.

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