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Dell Opens Up About Desktop Linux

Michael Dell, chairman of Dell, says he believes in offering Linux on the desktop, server and workstation. What he doesn’t believe in, for now, is giving Linux full support on the desktop.

In an exclusive interview, Dell explained his company’s Linux desktop strategy to’s Steven J. Vaughan Nichols.

“People are always asking us to support Linux on the desktop, but the question is, ‘Which Linux are you talking about?’” Dell asked.

“If we say we like Ubuntu, then people will say we picked the wrong one. If we say we like and support Ubuntu, Novell, Red Hat and Xandros, then someone would ask us, ‘Why don’t you support Mandriva?’

“The challenge we have with picking one is that we think we’d disenchant the other distributions’ supporters.”

“It’s not that there are too many Linux desktop distributions,” Dell said, “it’s that they’re all different, they all have supporters and none of them can claim a majority of the market.

“If you look at DistroWatch, you’ll see zillions of these distributions. Which one should we do? And, everyone keeps telling us that they want different distributions. So, our conclusion is to do them all and let the customer decide.”

So it is, Dell continued, that “on the desktop we have the nSeries, so that the user can pick the Linux he wants.”

This story was first published on Desktop Linux.

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