Archive for March 1, 2007

Dell: "Not so fast, Linux folks"

March 1, 2007 1 comment

Computerworld reported today (March 1) that Dell has decided to put the brakes on their pre-installed GNU/Linux announcement of a couple of days ago. Typical. This, of course, raises a plethora of questions like:

Did they leave out ” . . . just kidding” from their news release? So let me see if I understand this: Being a newbie-with-portfolio to GNU/Linux, I can install — and have installed — and maintain GNU/Linux distros with roughly two-months of hands-on experience with GNU/Linux. So, Dell can’t install any variant of GNU/Linux on their desktops and laptops? Want some help, guys?

Does Dell really believe they have to test GNU/Linux all over again? File this one in the “let’s reinvent the wheel” drawer which — and I know I promised to play nice with Dell, but I can’t — remains consistent with Dell’s legacy of being an industry follower. Dell spokesman Jeremy Bolen says in the Computerworld article that “[W]hen you talk about an operating system, if Dell is going to install it and test it, it takes a lot of work” before getting it ready for the marketplace. Jeremy, pass this on to your buddy, Mike: It’s not like GNU/Linux is fresh out of the box — we’re reaching the two-decade point of the operating system’s existence fairly soon. Those years are involved with a lot of development, incidentally, which makes GNU/Linux the operating system that, gee, Dell seems to think highly of at the moment. Of course, this “ready for the marketplace” nonsense begs another question.

Does Dell really think there aren’t enough GNU/Linux wonks out there to hire/steal/cajole for tech support? One of the reasons given for what is turning out to be a world-class balk by Dell is that they don’t have training and support in place. That’s fair. So what’s the problem there? Go to any list like or or my Internet hangout,, and the experts are there.

This is beginning to look like Dell biting off more than they can chew and starting the world-class backpedaling for which they pay their PR people those high fees. Either this, or the call came down from Redmond . . . .

[FSF Associate Member]

Categories: Dell, linux, Novell SUSE