Michael Dell speaks out on desktop Linux

— 12:08 AM on March 9, 2006

DesktopLinux.com has secured an interview with Dell chairman Michael Dell about his plans for desktop Linux. Dell says that while he believes in shipping Linux on Dell machines, the issue of distribution diversity is preventing the company from effectively supporting the operating system on the desktop.

"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?'"

"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."

The closest thing Dell offers to a desktop Linux system is the Dimension n Series, which ships with FreeDOS and allows users to install whichever Linux distribution they choose without having to pay for Windows first. Dell says this is unlikely to change unless the various Linux desktop distributions "converge at their core," or a particular distribution becomes "vastly preferred" over its alternatives.
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