Michael Dell embraces his inner penguin

  • From: "F.M. Taylor" <root@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: technocracy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2000 09:13:17 -0500 (EST)

** Michael Dell Embraces His Inner Penguin

It was a weird scene at Tuesday's opening of LinuxWorld in San 
Jose, Calif. There, amid techno music, flashing blue lights, and 
flocks of paper penguins, stood Michael Dell. Weirder still was 
Dell's mission. The CEO of Dell Computer--one of the icons of the 
computer Establishment--boasted of his company's support for and 
investment in the insurgent Linux operating system. Some in the 
audience thought this was not a good omen.

"I see Dell and Linux as a powerful team as more organizations big 
and small build Internet infrastructures," Dell said in the 
opening keynote. Declaring it a "significant growth opportunity 
for Dell," he extolled the virtues of Linux for his corporate 
customers. In fact, Dell said Linux is the focus of his server and 
storage strategy. He said Linux servers accounted for 10% of 
Dell's server sales in the first quarter of 2000, up from 4% a 
year ago, and on its way to 27% by 2003.

But some in the audience grumbled: The grassroots culture of 
Linux--represented by its penguin mascot and free availability for 
use and improvement--might be lost with endorsements like Dell's. 

"Dell doesn't have the complete understanding of the open-source 
model," says D. Clyde Williamson, an advanced technical engineer 
at The Limited Ltd. "I am trying to convert some of my operations 
to Dell hardware running Linux, as compared to VA [Linux Systems] 
hardware, but I'd go with VA and their Linux developers, because I 
don't think anyone actually contributes to the operating system 
model at Dell."  - Elisabeth Goodridge

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