Dell announced recently that they are exploring installing Linux on their PC line of computers, and that means both laptops and desktops. Great news, right?!?
Here’s the quick notice at Engadget: dell: were going linux and its all because of you
Some Linux enthusiasts aren’t that excited. Some are whining that the cost of Dell PCs will go up because training of the staff will be more expensive. Some want the PCs with Linux to be cheaper than Windows PCs. Others (and I can’t believe they’re this dense) are surprised that Dell is abandoning Windows and going all Linux. Huh?!? Forget that last point.
So what’s my take on it? I’m really excited!!! Why?
Not because I expect the Linux machines to be cheaper than the Windows machines. Dell pays what? $30 per XP seat? Who knows about the Vista license. $30 on a $1,000 PC is nothing!
Not because I like that Dell is “sticking it to M$!” Linux PC sales will be a small portion of all PCs that Dell sells, to be sure. You heard it here first folks! I predict something like 5% of their overall PC sales.
Not because I think that Dell will see huge financial growth through the sales of Linux PCs. (See the previous point.)
Not because I love Dell and I can’t wait to purchase one of their computers. Truth be known, I used to be a big Dell fan and then they sent their TS overseas and the quality went down. Let me repeat. It’s not because their TS went overseas. It’s that their quality of product and service went down. It seems to be turning around a bit. I’ll keep my eye on it for future PC purchases.
Here’s why I’m excited: I believe that Dell will pick Linux friendly hardware, and in turn, will influence more hardware component manufacturers to make Linux friendly hardware. Note that this doesn’t mean that the hardware has to come with open sourced drivers! It’s just that the drivers are available and work with Linux. That will be a huge step forward.
Right now, hardware manufacturers are under the thumb of M$. It’d be nice if they would also be incentivized to work with FOSS and Linux. Imagine Bluetooth working out of the box! Soundcard problems being a thing of the past! Video cards being plug and play with Linux. This brings Linux closer to working well for my parents.
Yes, I can get most of all things working with Linux with just the smallest of tweaks, … but why tweak it if the hardware and the OS would just talk to each other? This Dell announcement is a promise for the future. I can’t wait.
And, yes, I will definitely look at purchasing a Dell in the future. Especially if I know that the hardware in the laptop has a good chance of working with my MEPIS Linux distribution, even if the laptop comes pre-installed with SUSE or whatever Linux.
Okay Hewlett Packard, you’re on notice! You’ve been Linux friendly in the past. How about taking the next step and release a couple PCs with Linux pre-installed? (See. We’re never satisfied!)