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Microsoft May Be Seeking Protection From Linux With Dell Loan 270

Posted by Soulskill
from the nice-protection-racket-if-you-can-get-it dept.
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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Microsoft May Be Seeking Protection From Linux With Dell Loan

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  • Its over. (Score:5, Funny)

    by toygeek (473120) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @08:05PM (#42803383) Homepage Journal

    Everybody knows that Linux wins.

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

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

    • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @08:35PM (#42803635) Journal

      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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by julesh (229690)

        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.

        • by nzac (1822298)

          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.

          • by mug funky (910186) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @10:57PM (#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.

            • i get ~2 hourly BSODs.

              Then there is either something wrong with your computer, or your install of win7. I installed win7 on this computer just a couple of weeks after it came out, and it is still running perfectly on that same, years old install.

          • by chrish (4714)

            I'm running Win 7 on a P4 machine; that's quite a bit weaker than my phone (QualCom QC8960 I think), although they do both have 2GB of RAM. Granted the P4 is nearly 12 years old... but Win 7 works fairly well on it.

            • by nzac (1822298)

              Unless you have the first P4 process (Willamette (180 nm)) and the low end version.
              Your single core performance is most likely double that of your phone. Those memory and pipeline speeds look slow but they still will be very competitive with your phone.

        • by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @09:23PM (#42804025) Journal

          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.

        • 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.

        • Already done. Ubuntu has been run on several mobile phones, including the Nexus, several HTC handsets, and some Galaxy models. Xda Developers has whole forums dedicated to Linux on phones and Boot2Gecko.
        • The desktop doesn't matter any more. It's not "dead", it's not going away entirely, and they aren't going to come around to your house to pry it from your cold, dead fingers; but it just doesn't matter. It's not where interesting developments are happening. It's not where the puck *is*, let alone where it's going to be.
        • That whole comment of power is subjective in that the best ARM processors are still chasing Core 2 Duos. Really the problem right now is Windows 7/8 isn't a mobile OS and google & apple aren't interested in a MS partnership for office/productivity software.

          This loan sounds more like extortion mixed with honest R&D. If Dell can develop a line of tablets or phones that could be sold to businesses MS would be in a prime location to retake market share.

          The mobile OSes shine at doing light weight activ

      • by Dan667 (564390) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @08:59PM (#42803873)
        balmer is a good example of why you don't let a marketing guy run a technology company.
        • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @09:20PM (#42804003) Journal

          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.

      • by Dracos (107777)

        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

        • by dimeglio (456244)

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

      • by jafac (1449) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @09:32PM (#42804087) Homepage

        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.

        • by 0123456 (636235)

          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'.

        • 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
        • by Taco Cowboy (5327)

          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 s

          • Call me old fashioned, but I don't want to wear my computer, I prefer a big comfy chair infront of a large PC screen.
        • by kimvette (919543)

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

          It was actually the NT family's interoperability with Novell Netware and the ability to offer Netware-compatible services, bypassing Netware licensing costs that helped Microsoft gain inroads into the server market - and it was a very inexpensive (if resource-intensive) server solution until they got that pesky Netware competition out of the way.

      • 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.

        • by exomondo (1725132)
          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 i
          • by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @05:20AM (#42806375)
            Dont ignore the fact that most CEOs are manic depressives with a one month event horizon.

            Mark My Words (official introduction to doom laden prophesy)

            In 18 months, every family will have a tablet per member, plus a surface that has crashed, and will go back to using the laptop/desktop for school/work/email and will only use the tablet for videos (porn).

            Apple's model is to target fanbois and the follow-fashion monkeys. There is no shortage of them, so they are good for a few more years to come.

            I also predict BB will survive if they go back to having keyboards. Round here, all the schoolgirls use them for texting. (Business men need a bigger screen for porn) However, BBs problem is that three year old BBs work fine, so, at the end of a two year contract, they get a Samsung as well. When that contract runs out, they will probably replace their now five year old BB if the new model has a keyboard else it will be a new <random Android manufacturer's product>.

            Moral: Short MS, Hold BB and buy APPL

        • by andydread (758754)
          I'm sure you remember the time when people came to you because they wanted a computer to "get on the internet" I do. That also helped to drive the PC bubble in the consumer space. Now-a-days you don't need a PC to "get on the internet", "get my email", and "browse the World Wide Web" anymore. People now buy laptops because its needed for three main reasons 1) school or 2) work. 3) creativity/productivity. If they don't need it for those reasons then they stick with their smartphone or maybe get a tabl
          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            Actually I've found that even those with iPads and other high end laptops simply don't use them for basic web surfing, they just don't like the visual keyboards. Instead what the iPad/iPhone/Android units are getting used for is 1.-A portable IMDB lookup on the couch so they can find out "What has that guy been in that I've seen before?" and 2.- A fancy portable video player.

            That's it, that is ALL they are being used for. I've had to LMAO walking through a store when i watched some hipster girl in her early

      • by symbolset (646467) * on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:47AM (#42805621) Homepage Journal

        There is institutional inertia in Microsoft that demands product executives still "act as if" Microsoft were still the 800lb gorilla of technology, master of all they survey: an emperor so dominant that they demand their visitors be trained as supplicants wary of offending the Beast [rcpmag.com] before they dare even approach.

        Once upon a time this is what they were. 2x above the nearest technology competitor and master of all that is invented and all that is prevented, deciding quarter by quarter which of their partners live and die based on which is most helpful to them. The bodies of their foes are immense and numerous: Sun, Novell, Borland are but a few. The bodies of their allies fallen from favor are even far more numerous. Technology companies, particularly startups, did kneel before the king. Microsoft leveraged their various properties to defeat every foe by being deliberately incompatible with the challengers and innovators of the day a few at a time.

        Today though Microsoft do not stand above the biggest company in tech by 2x. The biggest tech company is Apple which stands above them by 2x now. The second biggest is Google - a company Microsoft's CEO swore to kill when it was but a gnat, but somehow he failed and Google now is well ahead of them. Yesterday they were not even third biggest tech company. The IBM they thought they killed in the early '90s has in its quiet conservative way been creeping up on them and finished ahead in market cap again yesterday - soon a position to be made durable. Samsung is working on it too and may someday claim a solid fourth, relegating Microsoft to the fifth position in tech until Cisco spoils even that. Even Microsoft's mighty partners - the ecosystem that drove out innovation they did not control by proxy - is weakened beyond repair. It is just not profitable to make Windows client PCs. It hasn't been for a long time and they know it but are dependent on the revenue flow to maintain their size, clinging to that as they lose profitability permanently. Innovators are coming now not a few at a time to be vanquished and fed to the beast one by one, but in a flood that may drown the beast. They come bigger also now, so big the beast cannot wrap its jaws around them. The loss of the power to drive innovation isn't the most important thing for Microsoft. The loss of the power to prevent innovation they don't control is. That is what is killing them: Chromebooks that last all day, Nexus 10 tablets with insane resolution, iPads and iPhones and Android phones more powerful than a recent laptop that delight and amaze. And this is nothing compared to the fact that they're going into battle wielding their sword holding the wrong end.

        For Microsoft to survive the transition to mobile they have to reorient to being a scrappy startup striving for a place in a hostile world, not approach it as if they were entitled to appear and claim it as an entitlement of their dominion, swaying all with their massive billions. They don't have it in them to do that. They literally can't do it. The very concept is so alien that they cannot grasp the need for it. Anyone there who proposed such a thing would be walked to the door by security immediately. That is the problem they face: their inability to assess the situation and respond appropriately. From here the end is clear.

        All empires fall in the end. Usually for this very reason: the inability to see their own mortality.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by laxr5rs (2658895)
      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
    • by unixisc (2429386)
      If Linux is running away w/ the mobile market, how is MS buying a stake in a PC company going to 'protect it' from Linux (or BSD, in case of iOS)?
  • by war4peace (1628283) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @08:13PM (#42803455)

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

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      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

  • by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @08:25PM (#42803553)

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

  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @08:29PM (#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

    • by rgbrenner (317308)

      "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% operatin

      • 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.

        • by rgbrenner (317308)

          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.

          • by rgbrenner (317308)

            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.

          • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      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?
      • 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.

        • by 0123456 (636235)

          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.

          • I think I've gotten one BSOD in the last 2 years, and that was a graphics driver failure while running 2 games at once. I find Windows to be a lot more reliable than all versions of Linux I've tried out (and a lot easier to get running, too).

            Ditto for bugs: I'm not sure I've seen any recently, and, again I have seen plenty on Linux. Apps do have bugs, sometimes drivers (Wifi out of hibernation is still iffy on one of my 4 machines, and often requires disable/enable)

            As for forced upgrades, I have no clue wha

          • What good would marketing do?

            Well, if you actually mean "marketing" and not "advertising", then good marketing will figure out what the market wants, how to build that product, how to deliver it to the market, and only then tell the market about it. If "no-one buys cheap, crappy brands", then good marketing will tell them that and they won't try and be a cheap, crappy brand. Bad marketing throws shit at a wall and tries to make it stick with bullet points and advertising.

    • "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.

  • 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.

  • It's not Linux (Score:4, Informative)

    by recharged95 (782975) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @08:40PM (#42803677) Journal

    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).

    • by Dan667 (564390)
      I think microsoft is mortally wounded and they are making their position worse with most of their moves like Nokia.
    • by dimeglio (456244)

      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.

    • 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.

      This. A thousand times this. I was going to post much the same thing: Microsoft is trying to Apple-ize itself.

    • Yeah, but the entry was written by a Linux fanboy, so they had to claim that was the competition.
    • It's Apple. Linux is just a side show as Apple is eating MS's lunch.

      I don't think Apple is eating MS's lunch. They might be grabbing a cookie or two out of it but it's still a good sized lunch. The main issue is that for dinner, everybody is heading to this new Mobile Restaurant and MS is having to sit at the bar because Apple and Linux have already gotten all the tables.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @08:43PM (#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.

  • 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.
    • by whoever57 (658626)

      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.

    • by Microlith (54737)

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

  • 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 ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tgd (2822) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @09:16PM (#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.

  • 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

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

      Not always... [cnet.com]

    • by OhPlz (168413)

      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 (espe

    • 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.

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

      Like Apple?

    • 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.

    • by adolf (21054)

      tl;dr version for the attention-impaired:

      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.

      herp derp derp... herp, herp. derp, herp herp derp...

      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 owne

  • 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 "uncert

    • by plopez (54068)

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

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @11:39PM (#42804943) Journal
    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".

  • You would think that Microsoft could comprehend that repeating their same monopolistic practices might land them in the same hot water. But I guess not. So can we please get the FTC and the DoJ involved in this matter? In the last two years, Microsoft has stooped to some extreme measures in an effort to surpress Linux. At least this time, we can rest easy knowing that they only have Steve, not Bill, and have been headed toward oblivion for a long time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mike Frett (2811077)

      I have already tried to get the DoJ involved and got a generic response that took all of five minutes. Considering the size of my letter and how busy their email must be, I whole heartedly doubt they even read it, except the word 'Microsoft'. I think the DoJ themselves needs to be investigated for taking bribes.:

      "Dear Mr. Frett:

      Thank you for contacting the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department
      of Justice. The Citizen Complaint Center has carefully reviewed your
      complaint and understands your concerns. How

  • There are multiple 10 billion dollar plus companies putting money into open source hardware.
    Restricted boot mobo's will go the way of the dodo.

  • So has XPS 13 / Project Sputnik merely been a way for Mike to "convince" MS to part with significant amounts of money?

There is hardly a thing in the world that some man can not make a little worse and sell a little cheaper.

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