Well, well, how about that Dell? In a landmark decision, Dell announced that it has penned a deal to use Novell's SUSE Linux in its data centers to power its new OptiPlex FX 160 thin client systems. Wow. Dell is doing this to save money and simplify its IT infrastructure and requirements.
Why is this landmark, you ask?
Just over a year ago, I was on assignment to do a story on commercially available Linux from PC vendors such as Dell. I was passed from client service representative to supervisor to sales to...oh, you get the idea. Well, the bottom line was that they, in fact, did not really have Linux available yet on their PCs. I called several companies over a 3 day period and ended up having the article cancelled completely due to lack of vendor involvement with Linux, which really was a story in itself. Too bad the editor didn't see the story there.
I'm impressed, first of all, with Dell's decision to do this and second, I'm further impressed with this decision on the heels of last month's announcement that they (Dell) acquired Allin's Microsoft Services Expertise. Dell still has a significant Microsoft investment and will continue to support Windows, sell Windows on its systems, and likely deploy more Windows systems in their environment but it does show from which pool they drink when they need economic refreshment.
This news actually shouldn't surprise me since this economic downturn is driving companies to become more innovative and frugal in their choices. Lowering costs has become more than just beer talk--it's now a fact of life.
Congratulations to Dell for this effort. You'll be glad you did it.