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More on Dell Dropping Linux Support 392

Posted by timothy
from the company-politics dept.
coolgeek writes: "In this previous Slashdot story, we discussed Dell's claims of slow sales as their reason for dropping Linux support. (article on c|net News.com). Today, this article on Reuters news reports: 'Citing internal Microsoft memos, the nine states also said that in 2000 and 2001 Microsoft pressured Dell Computer Corp. into dropping plans to offer the open-source Linux operating system on some machines it sells.'" Update by HNQ: eWeek got more details about the memos. Update: 03/19 12:26 GMT by M : I think Hetz accidentally changed this story's setting when he added the update above. Fixed.
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More on Dell Dropping Linux Support

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  • Linux on Laptops ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by gerddie (173963) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @05:24AM (#3185900)
    By the end of last year I wanted to buy a notebook. I asked Dell if I can get one with Linux pre-loaded, or at least without any OS. They answered, if I would by 100+ of them, then I could get Linux pre-loaded, and they were silent about the "no OS" option.
    So it seems they were not too eager, to support linux, at least here in Germany.
  • Re:support staff (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @05:43AM (#3185934)
    Believe it or not, they're making the HSB (home and small business) que entirely seasonal due to the massive amounts of calls in the fall/winter and almost none in the spring/summer seasons. When you call needing support on your Optiplex workstation, know that you're talking to someone hired off the street for $8 an hour.
  • Re:Oh hurt me (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @06:10AM (#3185979)
    B. Gates threatened to get out of the software business after he found people were sharing the BASIC interpreter he bought and branded M$ in the late 1970's. He swore everyone were thieves and pirates. XP and the wretched development tools are the end result of Paranoid Billy's Revenge On The Nerds.
  • by oever (233119) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @06:28AM (#3186019) Homepage
    'Citing internal Microsoft memos, the nine states also said that in 2000 and 2001 Microsoft pressured Dell Computer Corp. into dropping plans to offer the open-source Linux operating system on some machines it sells.'

    On a related, dual-boot note: many laptop vendors install Windows XP with the NTFS filesystem taking all of the hard-drive. These laptops only have a restore-CD to put XP back and usually have only 1 restore option: XP for the entire drive. I'm sure Microsoft 'encourages' vendors to not distribute real XP install CD's with computers. This is a very nasty way of discouraging people from trying an alternative.

    A friend of mine recently bougth a Compaq Presario 1714AE and wanted to be able to dual boot and get to know linux. I did the install for her, starting with erasing the entire disk figuring I could restore XP on a smaller partition. I turned out the restore CD had only 1.5 MB of data on it. All the real restore data was on the second partition of the same hard-disk! (which I'd erased)

    So there was only on thing to do: intall only linux. Compaq does send a real restore-CD if you call their expensive support-line. The CD took four weeks to arrive and when it did, using it erased the entire harddisk again. There was no way to install XP from these CD's alongside linux. Absolutely no way. I spent an entire day trying many tricks. Even Partition Magic 7 could not shrinkt the NTFS partition on this machine.

    The good thing is that my friend is very happy with SuSE, which she preferred over XP. And she is no computer expert at all. She only has a problem with running CD-ROMs. DVD's work very well (after tweaking).

    She has now called Compaq again and demanded the real XP install CD's which she paid for. Compaq is clearly trying to delay things, unfortunately.

  • Dell in the UK (Score:2, Informative)

    by SoundGuy666 (467270) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @06:30AM (#3186026)
    Dell are still offering RH linux on workstations to UK buyers - maybe desktops too, I don't look that low down the £££ end ;)

    However, we do always of course rebuild it ourselves with a sensible partitioning scheme and our deparment's specced build.

    I think we have a discount with them if we buy our machines with linux instead of windows - £25 or something. Oh, and another £5 for going for a logitech 3-button mouse instead of the microsoft wheely one.

    One of the main benefits of having linux offered is that you can be pretty certain that all the hardware works under the latest RH release kernel. Which is reassuring, especially with some of Dell's wierd hardware.

  • by Znork (31774) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @06:30AM (#3186028)
    They dont have to gamble much. Take, for example, mail. 'Use Exchange. If you dont, we'll raise the price for your desktop support contracts'. Want to use Samba to reduce fileserver costs? Ooops, every time a new version of Windows is released things start inexplicably breaking. Authentication is another prime target for incompatibility... kerberos being a good example.

    Protocols can be corrupted, embraced and extended, or simply blackmailed around. Not to mention if the SSSCA gets passed and we get some form of DRM integrated, in which case they can have the clients simply refuse to talk to non-DRM capable servers, and have law on their side.
  • by q-soe (466472) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @06:48AM (#3186054) Homepage
    www.lycoris.com

    lycoris offer desktop LX preinstalled on machines for $449.95 and laptops for $799.99.

    The pcs are HP and laptops IBM and they come with full tech support and OS support and warranty from manuf. the PC's are new and the laptops refurbished. The prices include shipping.

    PC

    Hewlett Packard PC
    Intel Celeron 700 Mhz Processor
    128MB RAM
    10GB Hard Drive
    8MB Integrated AGP Video
    48x CD-ROM Drive
    56k Modem or
    10/100 Ethernet Card (NIC)
    Keyboard
    Mouse
    Speakers
    Desktop/LX Amethyst
    1 Year Warranty from HP
    Monitor Sold Separately

    Laptop
    IBM ThinkPad 600E
    366Mhz Pentium II Processor
    AGP Graphics
    3.5 inch Disk Drive
    10 GB Hard Drive
    DVD ROM Drive
    128/256 Std/Max RAM
    Dual boot Desktop/LX Amethyst & Windows® 98
    13.3 inch TFT Active Matrix Screen
    56k voice/fax modem
    5 lbs. w/ battery
    Refurbished with 3 Months Limited Warranty from IBM

    And im sure there are more out there.

    PS on the Dell side i buy nothing but dell and i have never ever seen the linux links except on server products, the fact is that MS may have stopped them from doing or they may have not but from what i have seen Dell didnt exactly try hard in the first place and i suspect it was only ever an option to make them seem like they cared about choice. Dell have always been microsofts number one fan.

    Oh and this may be offtopic but on lindows im sorry but i personally believe its vapour ware and will believe it when i see it - a company charging $99 for Beta testers to get it is not a good sign and i have yet to come across anyone who has ever used it. Until i see it i wont believe it -for now its a pretty web site and 2 screenshots that could easily be forged. Micheal Robinson marketed MP3's before and now hes marketing linux and so far all i have seen is a lawsuit he knew would be the result of the naming and one i personally believe he went looking for.

    But more power to companies who ship linux preinstalled, i run lycoris and for a desktop OS its very very good.
  • by jcn (55250) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @07:55AM (#3186161) Homepage Journal
    The Linux boxes that Dell Europe sells cost about $70 more than the
    same box with Microsoft Windows 2000. As that's about the price of
    the Red Hat Linux Dell installs, this suggests that you're paying for
    the Windows license anyway, and then extra for Red Hat.

    When I asked Dell Europe about this, they said my observation was
    incorrect, they claimed the difficult production process of installing
    Linux warrants this extra cost. Installing Linux in the US is much
    easier than it is in Europe, and the market in the US is bigger, hence
    the extra cost here. Also, while it's possible to buy a system with
    Linux as it's advertised on the website, they can't give any guarantee
    or indication how long the delivery process will take, or how easy it
    will be because of drivers etc. That's no big surprise, in Europe all
    systems Dell sells (advertises?) have nVidea graphics cards...

    Anyway, I got the advise to buy a Windows 2000 system, because that's
    cheaper and quicker.
  • Re:dogma detected! (Score:2, Informative)

    by ScottKin (34718) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @08:32AM (#3186241) Homepage Journal
    Excuse me?

    Care to show us which protocols are "MS" or "Windows" protocols?

    Here - let me help you start:

    NetBEUI (NetBIOS Extended User Interface) - Developed by IBM for OS/2, but used by MS and adopted for use in MS LanMan; implementation of OSI LLC2 protocols

    NetBIOS - IBM

    IPX/SPX/ODI - Novell

    TCP/IP - OSI Standard, no one owns it, originally developed by DARPA for ARPANet and not widely used until 1983 when 4.2 BSD came to life and introduced "sockets".

    SMB? Nope. SMB is part of the Open Group (nee X/Open) Interoperability Standards since 1992.

    Secondly, the topic was DESKTOPS, not servers!

    Nice try, but no prize!

    ScottKin - he who cut his teeth on 3.2 BSD, csh and Vax/VMS at UC Berkeley/LBL in 1979!
  • Re:Preloads... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @08:49AM (#3186285)
    Walmart has 9 machines for sale on their web site with no os installed.
  • by Prior Restraint (179698) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @12:06PM (#3187641)

    It's not like he isn't still employed by Microsoft. He's their Chief Software Architect (or whatever it's called now); he's also the Chairman of Board of Directors; and he literally has the largest stake in Microsoft's success. Do you really think he doesn't play any part at all in crafting Microsoft's strategy?

  • by SonCorn (301537) on Tuesday March 19, 2002 @02:56PM (#3189038)
    You say that RedHat puts a lot of junk in their kernels, that is just plain false. The RedHat Kernels are compiled with everything chosen as modules. So all that ever get's loaded are the modules that your system needs. Of course you would know that if you had taken the time to actually look at their different kernels. Also I refer you to this article [slashdot.org] you will see that the stock 2.4.9 RedHat kernel is extremely fast.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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