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Microsoft May Be Seeking Protection From Linux With Dell Loan

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the nice-protection-racket-if-you-can-get-it dept.

Businesses 270

alphadogg writes "Microsoft's $2 billion loan to Dell is a sign that the software maker wants to influence hardware designs in a post-PC world while protecting itself from the growing influence of Linux-based operating systems in mobile devices and servers, according to analysts. As the world's third-largest PC maker, Dell is important to the success of Microsoft's server and PC software. Even though Microsoft's loan does not represent a big part of the total value of the transaction, the software maker does not throw around money lightly and its participation in the deal might be an attempt by the software maker to influence hardware designs in the post-PC world of touch laptops, tablets and smartphones, analysts said. It may also be an attempt to secure the partnership and to stop the PC maker from looking toward alternative operating systems like Linux, analysts said. Dell offers Linux servers and in late November introduced a thin and light XPS 13 laptop with a Linux-based Ubuntu OS, also code-named Project Sputnik. Major PC makers in recent months have also introduced laptops with Chrome OS." HP has released a statement in response to the deal which talks about how Dell "faces an extended period of uncertainty and transition that will not be good for its customers." Perhaps they're right; HP is certainly familiar with such a situation. However, it's likely Dell is simply hoping to avoid the same struggles HP has faced over the past several years.

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270 comments

Its over. (5, Funny)

toygeek (473120) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803383)

Everybody knows that Linux wins.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njos57IJf-0 [youtube.com]

"I'm on Linux, bitch. I thought you Gnu."

It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphones ! (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803635)

Microsoft's battle is not with Linux.

Rather, Microsoft's future battle is with the smartphones and the tablets and all other new wearable formfactors of computing.

Microsoft's OS is simply too large, too encumbering and too useless for devices that people will use in the future.

Their investment in Dell is that they hope Dell can come up with something that can sell

Microsoft tried their luck with Nokia, and Nokia is going nowhere fast

Microsoft tried to forge it by themselves by their "surface" thingy, but it tanked too

So now, it's Dell.

Ballmer is waging a shotgun approach of computing war --- trying anything and everything --- because the guy has no idea what to do now.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (2, Interesting)

julesh (229690) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803749)

Microsoft's OS is simply too large, too encumbering and too useless for devices that people will use in the future.

Meh. Once upon a time I would have agreed with you, but now I actually run Windows 7 on a PC that is less powerful than my phone, and it doesn't seem too bad, so I think the idea of resource constraints stopping you from running a desktop OS on a mobile device is something that will soon be consigned to history.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (2)

nzac (1822298) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803839)

Windows 7 on a PC that is less powerful than my phone

Explain this... I don't believe it.
Unless you have an atom netbook ARM is just not there yet. Sure the processor might be close but everything else is still has much lower specs.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (3, Insightful)

mug funky (910186) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804687)

there's a whole lot of netbooks out there using some kind of celeron thing. i have a toshiba that runs win7 very well. by "well", i mean the experience is good but the stability is not so and i get ~2 hourly BSODs. that's as well as you're likely to get out of a mac to be honest (i just bought one, and i've gotta say, linux is easier and faster to get to a point where it's useful).

there's a lot of assumption out there about OS's that's actually quite wrong.
- windows is unstable
- linux requires a comp-sci degree to use
- osx is stable and easy to use

since buying my mac, i've realized that OSX is less stable than winXP and more difficult to set up than ubuntu (by a lot!). maybe it's because it was a fresh install of snow leopard, which is quite old now... but then winXP is very VERY old now, so apple have no excuse to offer less support to 10.6 than MS does for something they EOL'd long ago.

rofl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803939)

and my win 7 pc is far far more powerful then any phone LOL
try hooking up that giant monitor to your damn phone you loon

Re:rofl (2)

ultrasawblade (2105922) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804257)

um .... many phones have an hdmi port, or an mhl port ... completely possible.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804025)

Meh. Once upon a time I would have agreed with you, but now I actually run Windows 7 on a PC that is less powerful than my phone, and it doesn't seem too bad, so I think the idea of resource constraints stopping you from running a desktop OS on a mobile device is something that will soon be consigned to history.

Now try it with Windows 8 [informationweek.com] . When the OS and bundled software on your tablet is so big that it wouldn't even fit on the largest iPhone 4, and would fill nearly 3/4ths of the capacity of the largest iPhone 5, you have a very serious problem.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (4, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804089)

I think the idea of resource constraints stopping you from running a desktop OS on a mobile device is something that will soon be consigned to history.

It already has been.

But that's still not good news for MS. They've been charing monopoly rents for their desktop OS for so long, they'll have a hard time adapting to selling it on devices that cost less than they're retailing their OS for.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (3, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803873)

balmer is a good example of why you don't let a marketing guy run a technology company.

Marketing guy is not the problem ... (4, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804003)

Actually it is not wrong to let a marketing guy to run a tech company, that is, if that marketing guy has REAL BRAIN

What had transpired in Microsoft is this, Bill Gates chose Steve Ballmer not because Mr. Ballmer has brain.

Bill Gates chose Ballmer because Ballmer is one helluva "YES MAN".

Anything and everything Bill Gates wanted to get done, Ballmer delivered.

That's not the way to lead a tech company.

A tech company needs a leader with a vision --- someone like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs --- someone with a vision that can see into the future.

Not Ballmer.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (1)

Dracos (107777) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804039)

Microsoft's gambit with Nokia was a 3 to 5 year game, it hasn't played out yet. Once Nokia has imploded, MS will swoop in and snatch up at least a good chunk of the patent portfolio. Maybe the manufacturing part too, depending on how badly they still want to implement a facsimile of Apple's end-to-end pipeline model.

They've now wormed their way into Dell, albeit with completely a different tactic. I'm not sure how much influence they bought for $2B (out of a $24B valuation), but it's certainly more than none. I wouldn't be surprised if Dell's Linux offerings disappear within 2 years.

MS never really intended to make Surface a hot item, the whole strategy of them making their own branded devices is puzzling, especially since it's never worked before (Zune, Kin). All three seem more like process tests rather than full bore, confident product releases.

I still think tablets are a fad that doesn't have enough momentum to last until the next version of Windows.

Redmond may be running scared, but they don't seem to be sure what to be scared of. Linux is a threat, yes.. one that they will have enabled with the combination of Surface (angering the OEMs) and the stubborn imposition of Win8 and its stupid Metro UI on everything. Plus, they haven't embraced ARM as fully as they could have, much less any other architecture.

I expect at least a few OEMs (not Dell, obviously) to begin discreetly seeking distro partners very soon, so they can release proper desktops/laptops with Linux factory installed in 2015: the long awaited year of the Lunix desktop.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (1)

dimeglio (456244) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804407)

Unless Apple buys Dell in its entirety and starts concentrating on making Linux boxes.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (3, Insightful)

jafac (1449) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804087)

I think you're right.

Windows started out life as an "Operating Environment". (DOS was the "Operating System").

When you change the form-factor, and set of use-cases, significantly, from the Desktop/Workstation model, that strains the Windows "Operating Environment".

Sure - in the "Server" case - having the Windows 3.1 GUI duct-taped on top of Windows NT 3.51 was acceptable. Barely. Windows never made any serious inroads into the server market until IIS matured, and Active Directory made Servers a little more bearable.

And then Apache came along and ate their lunch.

Surprisingly - Microsoft adapted this model VERY WELL to the game-console form factor and set of use cases. Nobody can argue that XBox was not a huge success. But then again - you can hide a crappy system behind the REAL content when the users are 99% into GAMES. But I dont' really want to go there - because Microsoft actually DID do a great job with XBox, and developers flocked to the platform in droves because of that.

But they absolutely failed at media players.
They have failed at netbooks.
They have failed at tablets.
And they have failed at smartphones.

So it's not surpising at all to me that they're running scared.
(and I'm one who believes that most of these other form-factors are really just fads, and that the classic "Desktop/Workstation" is NOT going to go away. The problem is: Desktop/Workstation BECAME a fad, and that fad faded away and was replaced largely by these other gadgets, because people were looking for solutions to the portability problem. We pros STILL need our Desktop/Workstations. We ALWAYS will.)

In any case: Linux can adapt. Because Linux is not an "Operating Environment". It's an Operating System. It's forked and adapted to phones and tablets (android) and little devices (busybox, etc), and it's the mainstay of servers, and it does everything we really NEED on the desktop. It doesn't NEED to have the same front-end on all of them. As long as the back-end is still POSIX. (Microsoft doesn't *get* this. And Windows is freaking POSIX-compliant!) I think Microsoft is still so steeped in MBA-culture, that they're terrified to lose mindshare, so they feel they must use a "seat" sold on a smartphone, to "advertise" for a Server OS, and a Media Player, and a Tablet, and a Desktop. Fucking spreadsheet-jockeys.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (2)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804217)

Nobody can argue that XBox was not a huge success.

Last I looked, the Xbox was still down a billion dollars or two over the course of its life. And that's 'a huge success'? No wonder Microsoft is in the crap.

Taking the money they blew on Xbox and spending it buying Apple shares at that time... now that would have been 'a huge success'.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804825)

Wrong.

You don't even have numbers to back that up.

Xbox is a failure in your own mind, MS has actually made billions

http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_blog/archive/2012/05/29/xbox-beyond-the-box.aspx

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804231)

Windows never made any serious inroads into the server market until IIS matured, and Active Directory made Servers a little more bearable

Wat. So you are telling me that Windows had no server success before Windows 2000? Your green is showing

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804389)

Yeah - I stopped reading at that point too

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (1)

dimeglio (456244) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804433)

I can't disagree with this. Novell was THE server OS for file/print and applications ran on Unix.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804589)

Novell version 3 had dominant position, but many customers never upgraded to Novell 4 and NDS. By the late 1990s, Windows NT 4.0 was kicking their butts.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (1)

LinuxIsGarbage (1658307) | about a year and a half ago | (#42805269)

I can't disagree with this. Novell was THE server OS for file/print and applications ran on Unix.

Was? Novell still IS the file/print server at work.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804337)

First of all, many thanks are in order for the very thoughtful reply from you !!!

About the desktop/workstation.

As far as I can see, yes, I agree with you, we Pros need the power that only our desktop / workstation can provide us.

Until, of course, they can come up with something that has much more processing power than our desktops / workstations and yet, still in tiny wearable formfactors, like the things they use in startrek.

About XBox.

I agree.

MS has done one helluva great job for their Xboxen.

And as you said, Xboxes are for one purpose, and one purpose only, gaming.

This translate to, Microsoft can be very very good in making one-trade-ponies.

And do you realize that the xbox was introduced when Bill Gates was still in charge?

In other words, Steve Ballmer has absolutely nothing to show, for the years he has been on the top post of Microsoft.

And lastly, about the rent-seeking mentality of Microsoft ...

I'm afraid this rent-seeking mentality isn't confined only to Microsoft.

You and I are from the old time, you probably had spent time in the Silicon Valley (or the equivalent in other places), like I did.

And in those places, we can see established companies - not only Microsoft - that are still in the rent-seeking mode.

From Adobe to Symantec to Intel ... they are all, in fact, rent-seekers.

To ask them to move away from that rent-seeking mode of thought is like trying to get drug addicts to stop using drugs.

It's not impossible. It's just very very hard.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804845)

Bullshit, that is the same bullshit the press has been spewing and its as much bullshit as saying "Well now that the real estate bubble has burst houses are worthless now"

Look its actually REALLY simple, okay? the period between 1993-2005 was a BUBBLE, no different than the housing bubble or financial bubble or any other bubble, it was an UN-NATURAL CONDITION brought about by what we now call the "MHz War". you look at PC sales before the MHz war, how often did people replace PCs? Every 5-7 years. Now that the bubble is over how often will people be replacing PCs? Every 5-7 years. As a guy down here in the trenches I can tell you that not only is the PC NOT "going away" but frankly most folks? Up to their asses in PCs. Before the bubble most had only ONE PC, now most have a PC for every member of their family PLUS one or more laptops.

But the simple fact is once we moved away from simply raising the MHz of a single core into multiple cores PCs went right past "good enough" and straight into "insanely overpowered" for most users. I mean look at what I was selling on my LOW END builds FIVE years ago: A phenom X3 with 3GB-4GB of RAM and a 300GB-500GB HDD. Now how many of your average users are gonna max out that system? Damned few. On the laptop side i was selling Turion X2s with 2GB of RAM and 250Gb HDDs. Now how many people are gonna have needs when they are mobile that that system won't handle? Again damned few.

You want a perfect example of the "typical PC user" just look at my dad, he runs Skype, checks his webmail, does FB, runs his QuickBooks and burns DVDs, about as bog standard as you can get. When the Phenom X6s got cheap i thought "Well it has been a few years since i built that Phenom I X4 for dad, maybe I should see if its time to replace it" so I ran a 3 week monitoring of his system load and then checked the results, what did I find? 43%, that was the MAX he had gotten with the system and that turned out to be a hung browser tab, when I removed that anomaly he averaged less than 35% load. I checked his Core Duo desktop at the shop, similar results.

So the problem with MSFT is NOT Linux, and its NOT mobile anything, although from the way Ballmer is burning the damned company down trying to be Apple you'd think otherwise, but the real problem is they, like many on wall Street during the housing bubble, expected the bubble to last forever. Frankly MSFT could be making money hand over fist if they'd quit trying to ape Apple and ape IBM instead, sell services to that huge install base, but like most short sighted CEOs Ballmer only cares about being "hip and trendy" but no matter how many times he clicks his heels together and says "There's no place like Cupertino,There's no place like Cupertino," you simply can't turn MSFT into Apple and trying to force an iOS style OS onto the desktop is just running off new purchasers.

But at the end of the day the PC is going nowhere, the amount of crap you'd have to plug into a tablet to make it equal the power of even a 4 year old PC would make it a bloated mess so people will continue to buy PCs, they'll continue to buy laptops, they just won't be replacing them every 3 years like they had to do from 93-05 is all. But at the end of the day the amount of power X86 gives you at frankly an absurdly low cost still makes having a PC VERY attractive but that same absurd amount of power means you just don't need to replace as often, that's all. Hell I personally LOVE to play FPS games and used to have to build a new machines every year, now I'm playing on a 3 year old X6 and feel no need to upgrade, the chips are just too damned powerful for even the games to slam anymore. so unless some "killer app" comes along that can blow through anything less than an octo-core i just don't see people needing to replace that often, doesn't mean there isn't still plenty of money to be made in PCs though.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#42805275)

The difference between the housing bubble and the desktop bubble is that at the bursting of the housing bubble people didn't go and live in caravans instead. The desktop bubble burst and people are moving to doing a great many of the things they previously used a computer for on devices like smartphones and tablets, even Apple has outwardly stated the iPad has cannibalized Mac sales, and they have the most profitable PC business in the industry. The MHz war was a big factor in the decline of the PC market in recent years, no argument about that but that decline is being spurred on by the fact that people can do most of their basic personal computing on smartphones and tablets. It's a combination of both elements.

Re:It's not Linux, it's the tablets and smartphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804971)

Rather, Microsoft's future battle is with the smartphones and the tablets and all other new wearable formfactors of computing.

Which all seem to be running Linux.

Re:Its over. (2, Insightful)

laxr5rs (2658895) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804667)

No, they don't. I was there in 1998 when Netscape released their code and not much later, the Cathedral and the Bazaar was written by Mr. Raymond, and everyone rejoiced. What happened then? Linux on servers, and hardly any dent on the desktop. Now we proclaim the death of the desktop, and perhaps this is a spot where Linux might, or might not eventually gain the upper hand. I was waiting through the 90's and the 00's for Linux to make more than a slightly measurable dent in personal computers, as opposed to embedded devices (a so so market penetration), and servers where it has done fantastic, but Windows is there too, in the server space. Having spent most of my time working in Unix/Linux shops and cobbling things together with roughly hewn programs, lacking, many times, basic documentation, I now happen to work in a Windows shop. The integration is astounding, and the Cathedral and the Bazaar was wrong in this way, it assumed that developers would develop to the nth degree for the sake of the cause. This doesn't happen. To get developers to achingly continue to get a project (interfaces, games, business programs like Office) *properly* prepared for the masses, you have to pay them mightily to do it. You have to dump the cash, or you get crap. No one likes busy work, which is all of taking a program from a rough stone, to a highly polished gem. Don't tell me about how, Linux rules. Personally, I can totally live without it. After all of the unintended and tacitly broken promises made by the Open Source community over the years, and all of the searching on Saturdays and Sundays trying desperately get something working before the Monday traffic hit, it's ironic to now see, crop after crop of people saying, "Linux won!" In your dreams.

Re:Its over. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42805309)

... work in a Windows shop. The integration is astounding, ...

Yes, Windows integrates very well with Windows.

So, what you're basically saying is that Windows has become the Mainframe and we're witnessing the march of the mini's and open systems?

Some comments to yesterdays story seem so apt. This has all happened before and it will happen again.

this is true.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803423)

A lot of people I know see low-end dell laptops as a good choice to buy, and with all the talk of 'It's up to the OEMs to decide if to allow the bootloader to be unlocked' you can see where this might be going. The Dells already use custom bios setups so it wouldn't be a great push to see them becoming Microsoft-only machines.

Just because a short term linux bootloader signing exists right now I wouldn't suggest people count on it in the future once such machines have a foothold.

Re:this is true.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803595)

You guys need to stop blaming Microsoft for the fact that Desktop Linux is completely useless for the average person and nobody's interested. It's one conspiracy after another about how M$ is constantly scheming to crush Linux's 0.1% marketshare.

Dell makes a lot of money on Linux servers and will continue to support Linux as a development platform.

Re:this is true.. (2, Insightful)

tibit (1762298) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803675)

This is stupid. For there to be 1% or even 10% marketshare, there must be 0.1%, and it must not be stifled by artificial means like trusted bootloaders. I don't know who that "average" person is, but I've been using desktop linux, and now also OS X, for quite a while. I run pretty much the same open source software on OS X as I've been running on Linux.

Re:this is true.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803831)

Nobody cares except for you and your pals. Desktop Linux is a dead-end pursuit in a declining market sector.

Re:this is true.. (0)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803883)

Ballmer, why don't you go home and throw some chairs? It will make you feel better.

Re:this is true.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803971)

I remember that joke, back from ten years ago when Desktop Linux had a slight chance at adoption.

Re:this is true.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804019)

don't like linux? you're a microsoft shill!
linux marketshare low? that's microsoft's fault, linux is perfect but microsoft owns the world and stops people from using it! people don't have free will because of microsoft.
live cds tried and not adopted? also somehow microsoft's fault, or possibly just blame the user for not liking it, it's the user, not linux.

Re:this is true.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803965)

You guys need to stop blaming Microsoft for the fact that Desktop Linux is completely useless for the average person and nobody's interested.

Exactly! Linux beat Windows on the smartphone and tablet because Linux was better, it was disruptive, it didn't beat Windows on the desktop because it isn't better (it may be almost as good, hell it might even be marginally better, but that is not good enough to disrupt the market). Desktop Linux apologists need to stop blaming Microsoft and actually make better software rather than lament the fact that, by and large, people do not want desktop Linux.

Re:this is true.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804273)

Desktop Linux apologists need to stop blaming Microsoft and actually make better software rather than lament the fact that, by and large, people do not want desktop Linux.

I suggest you go and find (it's not hard) and read some of the documents that have come out of the various trials the Microsoft has gone through over the years. They did actively sabotage attempts to get other Operating Systems factory installed by strong arming OEMs and threatening to raise the price of Windows if the vendor did not supply only Windows on their hardware.

The old argument was that people that tried Linux didn't like it because it was too hard to install. Well, that problem goes away if it is pre-loaded, but see paragraph one for why that was not happening. Heck for many years, it's been so much easier to install a Linux distribution on most hardware than Windows. For a long time, non-server Windows installer CDs didn't even boot, so you'd have to fuss with a DOS boot floppy and CD drivers. Then, when SATA came along and Windows didn't know anything about it, you'd need to find a floppy (again!) to have the installer load drivers. Don't bother arguing about slip-streaming drivers into the install CD, if someone can do that they can install a Linux distribution.

Simple fact is, the Linux desktop IS good enough for people to use at home. There will always be some people that have files in some proprietary format for which there is no available software to open it, or some crappy $10 scanner that does not have driver available, but for those that want to do the usual kind of work at home, email, web, IM, type a document, it's fine.

Re:this is true.. (3, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804493)

I suggest you go and find (it's not hard) and read some of the documents that have come out of the various trials the Microsoft has gone through over the years. They did actively sabotage attempts to get other Operating Systems factory installed by strong arming OEMs and threatening to raise the price of Windows if the vendor did not supply only Windows on their hardware.

yet there were still vendors that produced linux desktops, and still no one wanted them. best buy tried it too, no one wanted them. hp and dell tried it, no one wanted them. microsoft certainly had a go at linux, just as apple has a go at windows, but in the end there has always been consumer choice, and consumers did not choose desktop linux, these days fewer are even choosing windows, instead opting for android, ios or osx for their basic computing.

The old argument was that people that tried Linux didn't like it because it was too hard to install. Well, that problem goes away if it is pre-loaded, but see paragraph one for why that was not happening.

we've had live cds for a decade, stop making excuses.

Simple fact is, the Linux desktop IS good enough for people to use at home.

that isn't a fact at all, even if it were, "good enough" is not enough! windows phone is "good enough", webOS was "good enough" but they won't disrupt the market.

but for those that want to do the usual kind of work at home, email, web, IM, type a document, it's fine.

and "fine" is not enough, it's an alternative for alternative's sake. Android and iOS rose to significance over windows mobile and blackberry because they weren't just "me too" operating systems, they were different and innovative in ways consumers actually cared about, desktop linux is none of those things, that's why it languishes.

Re:this is true.. (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804673)

worth adding that i predominantly use osx which has gotten significant market penetration thanks to it being a consistent, user-friendly and well-supported unix environment.

Re:this is true.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42805277)

thanks to it being a consistent, user-friendly and well-supported unix environment

You forgot, "that is being promulgated by a Company whose customer base is so blindingly ignorant, slavishly enamoured, and technologically retarded that they will buy everything and anything the Cult of Jobs tells them to, regardless of their need for it, ability to use it, or even knowledge of what the device does."

More than anything, THAT is what annoys me most about Apple AND it's customers: a slavish devotion to ideology bordering on religious fervour that has no foundation in technological need or knowledge that is fostered and abused by the corp itself... It's nauseating...

-AC

Re:this is true.. (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year and a half ago | (#42805357)

It doesn't surprise me that your comment is just butt-hurt rhetoric. 'Oh I don't like that their product is successful but I know there's nothing objectively wrong with it so I'll call their customers stupid, that'll zing 'em!' and a quick hippy-esque 'They're slaves to the corporation maaan!'

Re:this is true.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804651)

Simple fact is, the Linux desktop IS good enough for people to use at home. ... for those that want to do the usual kind of work at home, email, web, IM, type a document, it's fine.

Yeah, Desktop Linux people have been saying this for years, but they never built a product optimized around these use-cases. Apple and Google did. Which is exactly why iOS/Android took off and Desktop Linux didn't.

Why didn't Desktop Linux developers build a "home user" system? The simple answer they simply don't care, they just want to run Emacs and Perl scripts in their XTerms. The more complex answer has to do with their hatred and envy of Microsoft which left them unable to think outside the box.

Re:this is true.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804655)

They did actively sabotage attempts to get other Operating Systems factory installed by strong arming OEMs and threatening to raise the price of Windows if the vendor did not supply only Windows on their hardware.

Of course they did, but plenty of OEMs still put out Linux PCs, to a less than mediocre response.

Well, that problem goes away if it is pre-loaded, but see paragraph one for why that was not happening.

But even when it was they couldn't sell them.

Heck for many years, it's been so much easier to install a Linux distribution on most hardware than Windows.

And in the face of that and missteps like Windows ME and Windows Vista and the brilliance of the "Live CD" concept it still didn't get traction.

Re:this is true.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42805351)

And in the face of that and missteps like Windows ME and Windows Vista and the brilliance of the "Live CD" concept it still didn't get traction.

It didn't? We'll likely never know accurate figures of the installed base of Linux distributions.

It's no good listening to Dell and HP, they really only sell to corporates, who for various reasons, that there is no need to go into here, only buy Windows. Even those that have a large Linux base, still probably buy their PCs with Windows and then install Linux over the top.

Normal people don't buy from Dell or HP. They go to local retailers where "all" PCs are counted as sold with Windows. Live CDs are great to get a preview, however installing an OS is still an advanced task for most people, so that store bought PC will remain on Windows until the family IT support person gets sick of it and installs Linux. Then, this computer gets a few more years of useful life which as discussed elsewhere here seems to be the reason the PC industry is in decline.

Linux on the desktop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803427)

Now that Gnome and KDE have imploded everyone just needs to learn Haskell and xmonad and it'll be the year of Linux on the desktop for sure! Grandma will be so excited to learn about monad transformers before she can browse her Facebook!

"According to analysts" (4, Funny)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803455)

I love this generic "serious source" mention. Et tu, Slashdot!

Re:"According to analysts" (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804193)

There's a link to the article, which names several sources. One in particular backs the premise of the summary.

The investment could help Microsoft ensure that Dell doesn't drift toward Linux-based operating systems such as Chromebook or Android, said Al Hilwa, program director at IDC. "For them it's a little investment, but it allows them to put strategic influence" behind the device designs and software implementations, Hilwa said.

I wonder what it is like to go through life as a closed-minded buffoon who discards information before validating assumptions. A summary need not include all pertinent information, if you want details you read the fine article.

Re:"According to analysts" (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804565)

I read TFA. My post was supposed to be A JOKE. Why so serious? Lighten up, please :)

Who writes this stuff? (3, Informative)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803553)

Like Dell (or even Microsoft) would throw away more than half of their server customers who use Linux.

Re:Who writes this stuff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804637)

we have seen in the past that Micrsoft will pay companies to push their product over another product instead of getting paid themselves for sales. So, could Microsoft not get tentacles into Dell's Linux sales force and get them pushing Windows host servers with Linux in virtual machines? It's things like this which I think Mike Dell will fall for and lose customers from and not things like being told to drop Linux all together.

Re:Who writes this stuff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804993)

with all the tin-foil-hat conspiracy theories about microsoft payoffs to corporations to use their software, payments to OEMs to include their software, bribes to governments to use their software and investments in money sinkholes how exactly do they make billions of dollars?

Like Nokia wouldn't gut their successful handset? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804983)

Just look at Nokia, gutted its phone development division (which was outselling Android and iOS at the time). It sacked it's developers. It handed it's only major app, Nokia Maps/Navigation to Microsoft.

Elop made Nokia into such a basket case that it had one and only one chance, deliver a successful Windows phone.

So I wouldn't put it past Microsoft to stick its own guys in, and destroy Dell's non Microsoft related businesses.

Maybe a good deal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803569)

Microsoft may be investing a small amount to "test the waters." From a business perspective, this could be a good deal for Microsoft than Dell. But then again I also see some uptick for Dell in entering the consumer space where they have failed.

1. Microsoft will have another OEM to deliver more of their designs in the future ala Nexus branding. They will get access to design, manufacturing, and logistics without having to swallow a much bigger company.
2. Microsoft will have more control over products much like Apple without alienating too much other partners like HP.
3. Dell can take advantage of Microsoft (such as with Microsoft rolling out stores and being able to showcase more of their consumer wares.) Dell may enter the market for tablets, mobile phones, and other gadgets which they have failed in the past.
4. Dell may get more technology from Microsoft Research that could benefit them in future breakthrough products (and fighting Google along the way.)

Thinking long term, this might actually be beneficial for both companies. The consumers are very fickle. Who knows who might be the next "big thing." Then again, a product maker is no longer a money maker these days for high tech goods as everyone is focusing on services (with longer revenue streams - think Google.)

Re:Maybe a good deal (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803761)

2. Microsoft will have more control over products much like Apple without alienating too much other partners like HP.

I am scratching my head over the control part.

Their lending 2b out of 17b in loans. So, not a large amount (relatively speaking). And loans give Microsoft little control over Dell – generally speaking they give the bank no direct control over the company as long as they pay their loan on time.

I mean Nokia was much more directed – this is passive.

Right now I am of the opinion that this is more of a “soft” type of control – generating good feelings and the such.

Re:Maybe a good deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42805371)

generally speaking they give the bank no direct control over the company as long as they pay their loan on time

Well, that really depends on what the terms of the loan are now doesn't it?

Unless/until you have seen what conditions Dell (as in Michael) agreed-to in order to secure the $2b, you can't really say what control/influence Microsoft will have in the new private Dell Computers Corp.

Still, ole Mike put his ownership shares up to finance a large part of the purchase, so he's got a lot MORE on the line personally than MS does...

-AC

HP calling pot black (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803605)

HP is a total wreck of a company. Blowing billions on WTF acquisitions and going through CEOs like shit through a goose, not to mention a completely ineffective board of directors.

They used to be great. Their products were a dream of quality. I still have a personal collection of their to-die-for calculators. When the shuttle was first launched the astronauts were issued HP-41s in case they had computer problems or to aid in running experiments.

http://hpinspace.wordpress.com/category/hp-41/ [wordpress.com]

Now they are nothing. They get most of their income from ink cartridges.

It started with Carly who gutted their R&D.

It is not going to stop in the foreseeable future.

RIP HP

Re:HP calling pot black (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803777)

"they get most of their income from ink cartridges"

Exaggerate much? You really don't know wtf you are talking about do you?

here's a chart with HPs revenue by segment:
http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-hp-revenue-by-segment-2011-8 [businessinsider.com]

here's their 2012 q2 results:
http://h30261.www3.hp.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=71087&p=irol-newsarticle&ID=1699267 [hp.com]

printing and imaging division is about 20% of revenue -- that includes ink cartridges, printers, commercial printers, etc. The division has a 13.2% operating margin -- less than their software division (17.7%). For comparison, services has a 11.3% operating margin, enterprise servers - 11.2%, financial services - 9.9%, and personal systems - 5.5%

Re:HP calling pot black (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804509)

Ah interesting. 5 years ago HP DID make 2/3's of its profit from ink cartridges.

It appears that they managed to screw even that up and now their ink cartridge business is in trouble.

So no it isn't ignorance. It's due to overestimating this turd of a company.

Re:HP calling pot black (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804605)

Ah interesting. 5 years ago HP DID make 2/3's of its profit from ink cartridges.

Uh... did you see the chart? It goes back to 2006.

Re:HP calling pot black (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804647)

I want to be fair.. so here's the 2005 q1 results.. where 0.9b out of 1.2b in operating profits was from the imaging and printing group. That includes ink carts, printers, commercial printing, etc.

so you're right if you drop the hyperbolic "ink cartridges" part of your comment.

Re:HP calling pot black (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804719)

There is a difference between revenues and profits.

When I was in retail, a $40 ink cartridge had a profit of $10 and a $2,000 computer had a profit of $20. High revenue does not necessary equate to high profit.

Re:HP calling pot black (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804981)

revenue != profit.. well duh

Re:HP calling pot black (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803797)

HP is a total wreck of a company. Blowing billions on WTF acquisitions and going through CEOs like shit through a goose, not to mention a completely ineffective board of directors.

Exactly right. HP is one of the most screwed up companies around and they really need to STFU when it comes to commenting on other companies.

Re:HP calling pot black (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804705)

It started with Carly who gutted their R&D.

Naw. It ended when they split off what became Agilent. That's when HP became a shit company. And the way the Corvallis Division [hpmuseum.net] was basically allowed to just wither and die was a big disappointment, too.

The Apple way ? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803607)

Should Windows on the consumer or mobile side go integrated the way Apple is ? MS has the means to buy Nokia and either Dell or HP. Should they do so before Winphone and RT fail completely, investing with the sort of long-term commitment that made the xbox successful in the end ? All of MS's OEMs are looking for a way to get a bigger share of the profits, and to meet customer expectations. Free (as in beer) Android and Chrome OS seem to be good ways to achieve that, instead of handing out the bigger part of each sales' profit to MS as Windows licensing costs.

Re:The Apple way ? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803633)

I doubt there's room in the mobile/computing ecosystem for another Apple. Anyone who likes Apple's stuff is already buying from Apple. What type of people would buy Microsoft's integrated products that aren't hooked into Apple right now? Could there really be that many to make it worthwhile?

Re:The Apple way ? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804031)

I was not talking about targeting the same market segment as Apple, but of using the same vertically-integrated approach to target another segment. Right now, MS OEMs aren't ready to invest a dime in a 2% business with lower margins and worse perpectives than Android; heance they just put out handsets that are cut-down variants of their Android ones, with little marketing support. MS can't do a worse job if they do it by themselves.

Re:The Apple way ? (2)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804185)

Right now, MS OEMs aren't ready to invest a dime in a 2% business with lower margins and worse perpectives than Android; heance they just put out handsets that are cut-down variants of their Android ones, with little marketing support.

What good would marketing do?

Most people have been using Windows for years. They're used to bugs, forced upgrades and blue screens. If they wanted Windows on a phone, they'd buy it. But they don't.

Windows is a cheap, crappy brand. No-one buys cheap, crappy brands if they can afford something better.

Re:The Apple way ? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804715)

Most people who use Windows haven't experienced a blue screen in years. Many years. I first started using Windows with Windows 2.1. I haven't experienced more than one or two 'blue screen' type crashes since Windows 2000 came out. Have you used any Windows OS at all in the last decade?

The Last Place Xbox 360? (2)

UnixGL (2833803) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804191)

"investing with the sort of long-term commitment that made the xbox successful in the end"

After a decade in the console market Microsoft's Xbox 360 is the last place console this gen.

That isn't 'success', it's exactly the opposite. Failure.

No way, na uh! (1)

NotBorg (829820) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803653)

Why would they need protection from Linux when they're "Looking At Office For Linux In 2014 [phoronix.com] "?

Hey man, I don't go looking for this this shit. It just keeps popping up in my feeds and I go with it because it's fun.

end of the pc? (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803665)

End of the PC?

If I have to start programming on a smart phone, tablet, or laptop, I'm gonna quit programming and start a slushie business.

Cause hell will have frozen over. And the ice will be free as in not beer.

Re:end of the pc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803957)

The PC isn't going to totally die, but it's sure as hell going to decline to a small fraction of what it is now. It's started already: 5.5% year over year declines in sales volume, and revenue at most PC mfgs declining 10-12% year over year. Consumers are shifting to mobile, and NOT replacing their PCs when they die.

Of course the PC is not going to die completely, because there are still uses that need one. It's going to be much more expensive though since the production volumes won't be there any more. Most people don't need (or want!) a PC.

Re:end of the pc? (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804049)

The pc's are not dying, the decline in sales is due to not having to ride the wave of upgrades to play the latest and greatest.

A pc has gone from being outdated after 2 years to being solid for at least five.Granted, there will be the older people who still use a pentium 450 to get email won't be buying, but the corporate world and the gaming world (which inflated pc sales) is still going to be buying PCs.

My four year old dual core still meets all my gaming and programming challenges, over the next year or so, I'll be building a quad core that will take me for another five or six years. back in the day it was a new pc every two years.

It's not Linux (3, Informative)

recharged95 (782975) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803677)

It's Apple. Linux is just a side show as Apple is eating MS's lunch.

Basically, Dell has brand cache and [used to build] rock solid hardware. If MS can snatch Dell up without paying much (either a buyout, takeover or... loan), then they can compete against Apple and can create the pro-business desire of the elusive closed ecosystem. Nokia is a sinking ship for MS (just keeps everyone at bay). As for servers, pay up on service contracts (MS's ecosystem) or hire expensive sysadmins (Linux)--all ends up costing the same for the commercial user due to the integration problem.

A this point of Linux server adoption, MS likely thinks Linux can go for the guys not willing to pay up or want their own support.... In hopes that it accelerates the environment of Linux apps that are unlicensable (e.g. Mpeg4), slow (the latest DEs), incompatible (mobile, video, flash), or closed (e.g. Android in some respects).

Re:It's not Linux (2)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803861)

I think microsoft is mortally wounded and they are making their position worse with most of their moves like Nokia.

Re:It's not Linux (1)

dimeglio (456244) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804321)

Microsoft already has all big corps without having to make any efforts. Not sure Dell's investment will change any of this, except maybe to get a few more companies who run HP, IBM to start picking Dell. Given the very low profit margins in corporate sales, can't see this paying off.

Re:It's not Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42805079)

Psssst... It's "cachet [merriam-webster.com] ".

Go ahead, make my day (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803727)

Make Dell hostile to Linux. Good luck with that. Let us know how that goes for you.

You can't be in the server business and not support Linux. You can't be in mobile and not support Linux, unless you're Apple. Pee Cee's? I'm not sure they matter to the fate of Linux any longer.

But feel free to squander that bit of your Linux customer base, if you wish.

This is just some tech writer generating page views.

Class Action Lawsuit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803739)

Can't Linux users get the DOJ to investigate? If they won't can't businesses who rely on Linux to sue the FUCK out of Microsoft if this ever happens?

there is a fear of winRT expanding to win8 (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803843)

No one wants a windows computer you can only install software from the microsoft store. Dell would be stupid to not seriously consider Linux offerings especially since they no longer have to pander to shareholders and things like Steam on Linux is gaining momentum.

Re:there is a fear of winRT expanding to win8 (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803947)

Dell would be stupid to not seriously consider Linux offerings especially since they no longer have to pander to shareholders

Of course they still have to pander to shareholders. Just different shareholders.

Re:there is a fear of winRT expanding to win8 (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803967)

WinRT is already present in Windows 8. Windows RT is the confusingly named ARM build of Windows 8.

Problem is not Linux (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803923)

Dell's problem is not Linux. Their problem is that they no longer desire to sell computers to anyone. I tried three times last year to buy a laptop and their absolutely useless sales people completely ignored the features I requested. It was comical. I'd been a Dell customer for many years but last year I switched to Asus.

Step 1 ... (4, Interesting)

tgd (2822) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803981)

Step 1: Sign up for the Azure free trial
Step 2: Create a Linux VM in Azure... from their VM image archive.
Step 3: Experience your mind being blown as you realize Microsoft, in fact, actively supports Linux.

mod dowN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804063)

I burnt out. I troubles of9 those the system clean found out about the same worthless pallid bodies and join in especially we get there with Track of where

I'm really going to miss Dell (1, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804373)

They were the best. I hate HP. I think their design engineers go through a lot of trouble to use as many different sizes and types of screws as possible into each computer they create. Not impossible to work on but positively the worst to the point that I all but refuse to work on them.

Everyone knows by now... everyone should know by now.... Any time a company takes money from Microsoft, they die very soon thereafter. Microsoft's money (not to be confused with Microsoft Money) is literally poison. Well that may be over simplifying things a bit. The money comes WITH poison would be more accurate to say.

We all know Microsoft is struggling to remain relevant. They are prepared to do anything except change what they are doing to stay alive and relevant. And when they pay, excuse me, 'invest' in some company to ensure they do their bidding, the comnpany languishes in failure shortly thereafter. SCO and Nokia come to mind, but they also managed to screw over quite a few smaller operations as well. To accept money from Microsoft, you have to give something up. And it is invariably what they give up which kills them. Nokia was toying with Linuxes on phones and was probably about to join their brand with Android when Microsoft stepped in. SCO was doing "okay" with their Linuxes but their name was famous enough in the board rooms that no one at a high enough level cared whether or not SCO was actually any good or not. They took Microsoft's money in exchange for their credibility. If anyone thinks SCO didn't know they didn't have the rights to Unix, they weren't paying attention. They knew. They were just hoping that *maybe* the judges and juries wouldn't understand.

Microsoft's and Dell's relationship goes way back. Some might say that it was evidence to the contrary of my assertions. It's not. The leverage Microsoft used over Dell was prices for a product that was all but 100% necessary to sell with a PC compatible. After all, no corporation can legally installed a volume licensed version of Windows onto a PC that didn't already have Windows or Mac OSX pre-installed. It's in the new license agreements now. Surely everyone knows about this by now -- that all desktop/client Windows volume licenses are "upgrades"?

Dell got discounts... pretty much like everyone else. But unlike everyone else, Dell has been a bit more hesitant than the rest to join in with the Android and Linux crowds. Sure, there was the Dell Streak which was immensely popular but somehow lost momentum from Dell. Too hard to support? Not main-line enough? Can't me when Samsung and ASUS are doing so damned well with their Android devices. Nope. Dell "gave up something" and it's already costing them. But that's the way marriage works right? The least fortunate spouse is the one who gave up the most?

Witness it happening.

I'm going to miss Dell. I have only ever really used Dell. They have been the best servers, desktops and laptops I have ever owned, and the best supported. I'm really going to miss Dell.

Re:I'm really going to miss Dell (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804581)

Any time a company takes money from Microsoft, they die very soon thereafter.

Not always... [cnet.com]

Re:I'm really going to miss Dell (1)

OhPlz (168413) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804603)

You're not going to miss anything. Dell doesn't want to be beholden to brain dead market ""analysts" that still think Dell is a company that does nothing other than selling desktops. The reigns are being passed from stock holders back to Michael Dell with some money from Silver Lake and Microsoft. Microsoft's investment is a small portion. That isn't going to give them much control, if any, over Dell. It remains to be seen what their involvement is all about, but Dell couldn't walk away from Linux (especially for servers) even if it had a desire to. This may be an attempt by MS to find a less expensive way to manufacture Win RT devices. Everyone makes Android devices, why would Dell fight for scraps there when it could lead the market for Win RT? Love or hate RT, following everyone else's lead with Android wouldn't be the best strategy, IMO.

It comes down to one thing. Who do you have faith in more? Wall Street or Michael Dell? Which one do you think is best for Dell's customers?

Re:I'm really going to miss Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804745)

If I had done what Michael Dell and Kevin Rollins did six years ago, which was to offer customers rebates of $150 with no intention of fulfilling them, I'd be sent to prison. That was flat out theft of substantial amounts of money.

So no, I don't wish Dell well in his exciting new adventure.

Apple (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804881)

Any time a company takes money from Microsoft, they die very soon thereafter. Microsoft's money (not to be confused with Microsoft Money) is literally poison.

Yes. MS invested 150 million $ in Apple in 1997.

Re:I'm really going to miss Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42805047)

The HP Gen8 hardware is tool-less. Might want to be more specific.

what? (2)

PrimalChrome (186162) | about a year and a half ago | (#42805107)

Everyone knows by now... everyone should know by now.... Any time a company takes money from Microsoft, they die very soon thereafter

Like Apple?

Re:I'm really going to miss Dell (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42805127)

You claim to have been around for the glory days of Dell, yet you managed to miss Apple nearly tanking and being bailed out by Microsoft to the tune of $150 million at almost exactly the same time?

I call bullshit.

Re:I'm really going to miss Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42805297)

and Borland.

What a mess (1)

countach (534280) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804503)

I'm struggling to see how anyone wins out of this. Microsoft gets to loan money to a company which is cratering fast without getting any control or real influence. Michael Dell gets to double down on a company in crisis, that in the last few years (by many accounts), he seems to have lost interest in. Even he didn't lose interest, its hard to see how he can fix it, when he's had a long time to fix it. Shareholders get a small premium on the already cratered share price. HP gets a small leg up on the "uncertainty", but really, they are dead man walking too. The PC industry is a real mess.

Re:What a mess (1)

plopez (54068) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804611)

People scratched their heads when IBM pulled out of the PC market. This is why. They have better things to do with their money.

This theory was also put forth... (1)

aklinux (1318095) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804859)

...when Microsoft gave all that money to Apple a few years back. Apple was all but gone at the time, Microsoft essentially saved 'em.

2 billion vs a nickel. (3, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804943)

It has been recorded that once a great unix guru tossed a nickel at a hapless engineer [tomayko.com] and said, "here, get yourself a real operating system".

After some years, another great CEO tossed a couple of billion dollars (and a chair?) and said, "here, don't get yourself a real operating system".

Mostly about PCs (1)

stargazer1sd (708392) | about a year and a half ago | (#42805315)

$2B is a lot of money, but not that significant, relative to their cash on hand. So, they aren't putting much at risk. As problematic as Dell can be, their organization works better than HP, and MS execs don't need clown suits for management meetings.

Microsoft gets some interesting things in return:

  • Access to world class manufacturing and logistics operation. Could they be headed toward the Apple model of vertical integration?
  • Maybe a good place to make xBoxen and Surface tablets.
  • Microsoft loses out to Apple in user experience, partly because some of the peripheral OEMs write horrible drivers. If Dell can force them to write good drivers, it gives a boost to Microsoft's software that goes beyond just Dell.
  • A say in Dell's fate should they crater. This might be the most important. What would happen if Google decided to buy up their manufacturing operations?

If Microsoft is going to start investing in partners, it signals a real sea-change in the PC market. Up til now, they've been critically dependent on OEMs to make compatible hardware. Instead, they've been hurt by lousy drivers for incompatible hardware. Dell has enough clout to steer the market. But that assumes this deal produces more than just promises.

Linux won't win with Canonical at the helm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42805361)

What we need is for companies like Canonical to start making serious investments in the desktop operating system, support, and hardware. It takes more than a good OS to see adoption hit double digit numbers. Canonical's missing major pieces:

1. A desktop tailored interface (unity was a big mistake- stop copying Apple & Microsoft's mistakes).
2. Own up to the fact they aren't in the same league as Dell, HP, and other major players. Companies like ThinkPenguin are leading the way because Canonical doesn't get whose on there side and moving adoption/ease of use/etc forward. The company needs proper hardware support and for there OS to be readily available. Dell isn't going to do that. They are Microsoft invested.
3. Do a better job at respecting users freedom- not everybody in the Linux world will like it. However if they have any brains they won't care about the non-free software addicts. It's the novice aging population that is best hit. This crowd has money and no critical needs. If you push your vendors to release free drivers you'll have the ideal platform for this crowd.
4. Keep the user interface the same. We need long term support cycles with back ports for critical pieces (HPLIP, kernels, firefox, libreoffice, etc). This will lead to books that can actually be learned from. People hate change too. It'll be in its users interest to stick to a good design that changes little.

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