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Re: Dell Linux blog -- Bull! This is just unexplainable!
On Sun, 2004-02-08 at 09:12, Bryan J. Smith wrote:
> On Sun, 2004-02-08 at 08:29, Robert G. (Doc) Savage wrote:
> > There's an announcement on /. this morning about a new Linux blog put up
> > by Dell's Linux engineers. http://linux.dell.com/blog
> > Dell has been a strong supporter of Linux (primarily Red Hat) on its
> > servers for quite a while. For about a year they tried to sell PCs with
> > Linux instead of Windows, but that flopped (no Microsoft conspiracy
> > there).
> Bull! I was in the middle of it!
> Even Spencer F. Katt reported on it in PCWeek (now eWeek)!
> When Dell repeatedly told my engineers that they could buy the Linux
> desktop systems with _only_ 128MB of RAM (when the _exact_same_ Windows
> install was available with 768-1,536MB) and the _slowest_ CPUs, that was
> "someone pushing buttons."
> Now Doc, if someone at Dell has a "Good Explaintion" for this, then I'm
> open. But from what I heard from Intel engineers at the time (I was
> working in the semiconductor industry), it was Microsoft's foul play.
I enjoy reading SFK as much as anyone, but I wouldn't buy or sell stock
based solely on his gossip column. Nor would I put much faith on what
one third party (Intel) claims about another (Microsoft).
A "Good Explaintion"? If you really want the unvarnished truth, read
Dell's annual reports and SEC filings. They dropped Linux PCs because
not enough people were buying them.
As my company's leading Linux advocate, I was close to this decision
too. At the time Getronics had strategic partnerships with both
Microsoft and Dell. We got good hardware from Dell, but all we got from
Microsoft was the right to spend our marketing $$ to promote their
products. Those facts hit home in the offices of our corporate CTO and
CFO. Unfortunately, the number of Linux PCs we could buy was far below
Dell's radar. Just for the sake of discussion, how many Dell Linux PCs
did you want to buy?
Today Dell *will* sell you desktop PCs with the Linux of your choice,
but only if you're willing to purchase them in sufficient quantities and
over a long enough period of time to make it worth the cost of
establishing and operating that support chain. In practical terms, you'd
have to be a Fortune 100 corporation. In fact, one of those recently did
announce plans to convert all corporate desktops from Microsoft to
Linux. Too bad for Dell it was IBM :-).
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