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Microsoft Linux Business Novell

Microsoft Sells Linux To Wal-Mart 245

Posted by kdawson
from the devil-you-know dept.
Several readers wrote in to let us know that Wal-Mart is planning to buy SUSE Linux vouchers from Microsoft in the course of building out its infrastructure. These are the support vouchers that Microsoft must distribute to hold up its end of the bargain with Novell. Wal-Mart has been a customer of Red Hat Linux. CBR Online notes that the deal is not entirely unexpected because Microsoft's COO, Kevin Turner, is the former CIO of Wal-Mart.
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Microsoft Sells Linux To Wal-Mart

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  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@NosPam.gmail.com> on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @07:02PM (#17730084) Journal

    And then, so Lucy says to Charlie Brown, "Come on Charlie Brown, I promise not to pull the ball back this time when you kick it!"

    Does anyone imagine in any way or any context this Microsoft -- Wal-Mart relationship for Linux could be a good thing? I can thing of many reasons and many ways Microsoft can undermine and even try to bury Linux with this Novell Suse bargain (with the Devil?), but I only need think of one.

    Suppose as Wal-Mart moves forward doing "stuff" with Linux things go terrible wrong, or get terribly hard. "No problem", says Microsoft... you need only switch to our SQL Server which of course needs to run on a Vista Server, etc. It's win-win for Microsoft.

    Microsoft gets additional customer share from Linux, and has a diamond-crusted public whipping boy to prove once and for all Linux can't cut it in the big boys' world (business). We all know Linux can, but with big publicity coups I fear Microsoft gains more purchase in the PR war.

    Maybe none of this will come to pass, but do you think for one minute a company that sold out its business partners with "Plays for Sure" (sorry, I know I keep using this as an example...), won't think twice about short-shrifting any value Linux brings to the table? Microsoft has shown itself a predator many times before, there's no reason to think this isn't just one more opportunity for them (and a big one at that).

  • by CheeseTroll (696413) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @07:15PM (#17730254)
    The company now uses Linux in the data center of its current Web presence but had some trepidation with the idea of expanding it a much larger operation. "To think about using it pervasively, we were very concerned about it," she said. The larger Web operation would have "significantly higher legal exposure."

    Fear? Check.
    Uncertainty? Check.
    Doubt? Check.
    ...
    Profit for MS? Check.
  • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ronanbear (924575) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @07:16PM (#17730268)
    Maybe this is a way for Microsoft to keep Red Hat away from Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is strong and is likely very willing to play hard ball to get good Windows discounts.

    I'm sure Microsoft execs were able to get Wal-Mart to use Suse by continuing to offer them great Windows discounts. This way they aren't really compromising the integrity (sic) of their volume licensing.
  • Re:Good news! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by andy314159pi (787550) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @07:33PM (#17730488) Journal
    It's like they can't decide whether to sue you for buying it or to sell it to you.
  • Walmart is stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mnmn (145599) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @08:01PM (#17730824) Homepage
    Linux is free.
  • by coldsleep (1037374) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @08:22PM (#17731006)
    Having worked IT for a large retailer for a number of years, I can tell you that Linux is already in the door at Wal-Mart, and it's not going to be nearly that easy to remove. Note that the quoted portion of the article mentions that Wal-Mart was using RedHat previously. Virtually all of the large retailers did proof-of-concepts with Linux (up to 5) years ago. IT managers are thrilled at the lower TCO claimed by Linux (not that I don't believe it, but Linux isn't free if you're paying RH or Novell or whoever for support), and they've been trying to adopt it for a while now. What this more likely means is that Wal-Mart is planning on moving more critical apps to Linux, and they're trying to reduce their support costs by switching to one vendor. Or perhaps you hadn't heard that Wal-Mart likes to cut costs? (IME, switching to one vendor doesn't necessarily cut costs, but managers like the idea a lot.)
  • by coldsleep (1037374) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @08:34PM (#17731114)
    No IT manager wants to take the blame for having a critical server crash.

    Especially when the only guy they can reach internally just switched from supporting Windows and the guru is on vacation.

    And the data center is operating on generator because a tornado knocked out the power.

    You get the drift. Non-free Linux == CYA for managers.
  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @08:34PM (#17731122)
    I know you think MS is evil and all, but being evil doesn't erase technical issues. Porting full Vista functionality to Linux would probably take a decade at least and if it worked at all, it would probably be much worse than the real thing.

    You buy into the myth that MS isn't capable of writing a an OS as secure and stable as Linux. The truth is they can't write an OS as secure and stable as Linux and still be backward compatible with Windows. Neither can anyone else (not that they want to).

    If the day comes when the financial benefits of compatibilty are outweighed by the costs, we'll find out what kind of OS MS is capable of writing when released from the compatiblity chains that currently bind them.

    Until then, it will continue to be an Apples to Oranges comparison of OS design skills between MS and Linux.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @08:39PM (#17731170)
    Apple seemed to do it quite well, with an OS that was in some respects worse than windows.
  • Pulling an Apple (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bazald (886779) <bazald@zeniDEBIANpex.com minus distro> on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @08:43PM (#17731216) Homepage
    It is almost like putting a shiny interface on FreeBSD. Good thing they would have an excellent example to follow on how to sell a free product hidden behind a proprietary GUI.
  • Re:Interesting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @09:12PM (#17731488) Homepage Journal
    I've been to Walmart near my country home in Missouri (we don't let them open stores here in Chicago, thank god). I've seen people buying pickles, underpants, shotguns, fishing line and dog food. Batteries, music CDs, printer paper, toothpaste (but not condoms), napkins (both kinds), and cereal. Glasses (both kinds). Bread. Hunting Knives.

    But do people really buy computers from Wal-Mart? I'm trying to think of a place so remote that it has a Wal-Mart but no other place to buy a PC. Shit, Tiger Direct ships to every goddam place.

    Why? I'm asking you for god's sake. Maybe if Wal-Mart and MIcrosoft bump heads, it'll create a black hole and the world will end.. I hope they do it before the State of the Union speech tonight. I'm tired. Lord. I'm so tired.
  • Re:Interesting (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @10:38PM (#17732322)
    we don't let them open stores here in Chicago, thank god

    Wal-Mart
    5401 W 65th St
    Chicago, IL 60638
    (708) 924-1590

    But do people really buy computers from Wal-Mart?

    A) Yes.
    B) This has nothing to do with the products sold in the store.

  • Re:Interesting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Miseph (979059) on Tuesday January 23, 2007 @11:11PM (#17732698) Journal
    Okay, seriously mods, the first comment posted cannot, by definition, be "redundant".

    I realize that the parent may not have been the most insightful post, but don't be stupid.

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