Monday, June 4, 2007

Dell + Microsoft + Novell = Linux?

A new twist in the advancement of Linux on the desktop: An oddball pact among Dell, Microsoft, and Novell is going to work to make Linux more viable on the desktop, according to Business week. Microsoft and Novell joined forces, sort of, late last year. And now, customers really seem to be signing up.
The whole affair is rather convoluted: Microsoft will license Windows alongside Novell's Linux platform, and Dell is buying both from Microsoft. The goal doesn't seem to be to move people off of Windows, really, but to get users of other Linux systems to move to the Novell system. Meanwhile, Microsoft has pledged not to sue Novell over patents, something CEO
Steve Ballmer never shuts up about.
Rest assured this doesn't mean Microsoft is selling Linux for Dell to install on desktop PCs. That news, about
Dell installing Ubuntu on select desktop models, is completely separate and unrelated to this pact. Rather, the Microsoft-Novell deal is all about server OSes which Dell will in turn install on servers it sells.
All of this is a long way of saying that Linux is really on the rise in both the server and desktop universe. But so far, Dell seems to be the only company really embracing the movement. Who will be next to jump into the open source pool?

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