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.