Thursday, May 03, 2007

Dell and the Penguins

So, Dell will be offering Linux pre-installed on some of their PCs. Again.

I've been waiting to comment on this. Have been reading a lot of interesting posts. There's quite a bit of positive, even triumphant stuff being written. And certainly the developers, packagers, and distributors deserve all of the success it is believed this move will bring them.

The optimist in me cheers. The optimist in me believes, its tiny voice raised to the heavens, like a mouse on LSD. Sorry, but it is a very very small optimist.

The cynic, meanwhile, takes a look at claims this move by Dell shows Microsoft are losing their dominance of the industry, and laughs, a bold, deep, throaty laugh that leaves absolutely no doubt as to who is really in control around here.

This move to bring Linux to the desktop will fail. It is designed to fail. Designed by Microsoft.

Think about it; which scenario is more plausible.

Scenario 1
SB: MickeyD, what's this I hear about you offering Linux.
MickeyD: Yes, we are going to be offering Linux.
SB: Stop it. Now.
MickeyD: Sod off Steve.

Scenario 2
SB: What we need right now is a massive and very public Linux failure in the marketplace.
MickeyD: What do you have in mind, Steve?
SB: How does a few more billions in advertising kickbacks sound?
MickeyD: Tasty.
SB: Rad.

I mean, seriously, do you really think Microsoft would allow this to proceed otherwise? Why the hell do you think the offer will only be available in the US?

I'll tell you, shall I? It's because there's too great a risk it might actually succeed in Europe, or Asia, or, well, anyplace else. For chrissake people, wake up and smell the really clever confidence trick designed to mv Linux /dev/null

At least, that's what the cynic says. Especially the bit about /dev/null. The cynic in me is all l337 and stuff. l338 even. A superhero even.

I prefer the optimist. He's nicer. Not such a prick.


ned said...

Hi Ben,

I'm afraid your cynic is right, and thanks for pointing out this scenario in the first place. Still, it's good to know what's going on, it helps one to deal with it and see what one can do.
Been reading your blog for quite a while now (coming upon it via "debian weekly nudes") and like very much yor humour and also that you seem to be quite down-to-earth. Greetings from Europe!

just wanted to thank you for your

Ben said...

Ah, Debian Weekly Nudes. I remember the Debian Weekly Nudes.

Those were the days. The world was young and innocent and you could you could lock your car up without also deploying some kind of explosive charge like in that Bond movie. You know the one.

But anyway, I am pleased that you are enjoying this here stuff, but please do not mention that thing you are thanking me for. My wife may read it. Also, you might want to go to the clinic for a checkup.

Sorry about that.

Igor said...

I don't get it!

You just says that the right thing to do is that Dell ignores the survey that was in first place on:

I think that the only reason that dell will offer Ubuntu is because the people want it.

Why always have to show a "Windows Hater", you are the type of person that hate Microsoft, Novell(because of the deal), IBM... and all closed source corporations.

Why someone have to lose in order to win?

Why!!! if computer market is only the 1% of the world population?, so there is a lot of market that "Dell Linux" can make.

Anonymous said...

This is nonsense. If Dell does shit like this, it surely will loose all image improvements it built since the ideastorm campaign. I'm pretty sure Dell's image will even decrease a lot compared to what it was before the campaign; for sure every Linux user will *never* want to buy a Dell anymore if Dell abuses the community like this. Moreover, a lot people will spread *negative* grassroots publicity about Dell.

Ned said...

Hi Ben,

notwithstandig your - surely charming - wife, I really can't thank you enough once more for

(.. but even without clinical checkup I noticed - after having submitted the comment - that it would have been better to click on "preview" first ...)

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to what Ned is thank you for.

Ben said...

I think people are sometimes grateful to me just for being me, because I am sooooooooo fucking good. It's a kind of a cross I have to bear.

laughingwolf said...

yeah, that ye be, laddie ;) lol

btw, your book choices are bang on!

all three i enjoyed, immensely

lorraine sent me here, but not to say that :P

she caught me with my pants down on that fence thingy hahahahaha

Ben said...

Thanks LW.
I'm shortening your name to LW to show how cool I am.

White Forest said...

mhh...lets see!

Ben said...

Tell me. Tell me what you saw.