Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pre-packaged Penguins

According to this article in the most excellent The Age Newspaper Dell is considering installing Linux on their Desktops.

It is a widely held belief in the Open Source circles that the reason that Windows is so popular is that it is installed by default on new PCs and that if the same were true with Linux it would gain market share.

Maybe and maybe not. But we haven't been able to see this because Linux has never been installed by default on desktops coming from companies like Dell. Conspiracy theories say that Microsoft's secret agreements with vendors contain a no-Linux clause.

If this is true then Dell now has an issue - (from the article)

"Created in response to growing concern that Dell was not paying enough attention to its customers, IdeaStorm allows Dell users to tell the company what changes they would like the PC maker to implement. The suggestions that get the most votes from other users are pushed to the top of the page.

The two most popular ideas on the site implore Dell to consider offering Linux and the OpenOffice suite as an alternative to Microsoft Windows and Office. Between them they have received almost 200,000 votes."

Dell now has to install Linux or accept the fact that they can't deliver what their customers want.
Anyhow, it looks like Dell are about to deliver Linux and time will tell what this means for Microsoft who are battling with a new product that doesn't seem to offer much more than a fancy new screen and fighting the growing Apple fanbase. (It is once again cool to like Apple. Welcome back Mr Jobs.)

Of course, since this is a Security blog, I have to mention that so far it seems Vista is more secure than XP. But Microsoft's excuse for why there aren't viruses and such for Linux has always been - no-one really uses Linux as a desktop. Well.. no-one really uses Vista yet either. And having the main selling point as "Well, its more secure than any earlier version of Windows" is not saying very much. Most Operating Systems are.

Still, Microsoft are trying and good luck to them. They are about where Unix was in the 70s.
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