Dell Collaboration with Microsoft and Novell


Today, Microsoft and Novell announced that Dell is the first major systems provider to join a collaboration between the two companies. One purpose of the collaboration is to promote interoperability between Windows Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise. Another is to provide intellectual property assurance to customers.

Under the agreement, Dell will purchase SUSE Linux Enterprise Server certificates from Microsoft and will establish a services and marketing program to help exisiting Linux customers who are not Dell Linux customers to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Update (5/10): This post has sparked a bit of controversy in the Linux community. Some folks like Peacimowen have asked if this agreement has any impact on our plans to offer Ubuntu. Bottom line, no it does not.

Others like TI, Steve, wonderingprint, dbyte and kosmo
have reacted negatively. Here’s the reality: this agreement is a part
of our overall Linux strategy. It’s a piece of our overall Linux
strategy in the server space, where we support Red Hat Enterprise and SUSE Linux Enterprise. Our Ubuntu plans are aimed at client systems. Dell’s interest here is to offer customers choice.

For more perspective on this topic, take a look at recent posts from Christopher Null and Alexander Wolfe. They’re on the right track.

Here’s a vlog from Judy Chavis, a Director in Dell’s Product Group for more about this development.

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  • Anonymous

    By making a deal with Novell, you’ve destroyed the the market that you opened by offering Ubuntu. Many will now view your company as collaborating with MS to shaft Linux with looming and vague threats about IP even though MS probably copies more ideas and innovations developed on Linux than the other way around. By going with Novell, you have made it clear that you are not interested in having a successful desktop Linux as many Linux users who had been considering Ubuntu machines will now feel that they must
    actively work against Dell. To much the community, Novell ==
    Microsoft Puppet that is trying to undermine Linux, and support for them means the community will hate you. More specifically, joining their IP “ring of fire” is what will cost you. On the upside, you are probably helping to insure that GPL 3.0 is stronger and more effective.

  • Anonymous

    “Another is to intellectual property assurance to customers.”

    More like “Another is to provide intellectual property assurance to customers”, but anyhow, that seriously isn’t a valid argument, exactly how is GNU/Linux infringing on Microsoft’s patents? The question has yet to be answered, and it  probably never will be. Unless Microsoft is able to pinpoint the infringing code, it’ll be safe to assume that those accusations are simply new baseless accusations against GNU/Linux simply meant to create fear and lower sales, just like those of SCO.

  • Anonymous

    So here’s my curiosity – last week Ubuntu, this week Novell, is there something amazing coming from Red Hat next week?

    After all, a lot of Dell’s Linux team do actively contribute to Fedora/Red Hat. 

  • Anonymous

    Is this going to have any impact on the plans for ubuntu as last announced on this site on may 1st ?

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    Peaceimowen: No, this does not have any impact on the client plans for Ubuntu we announced last week.

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    Robert: oops… thanks for the catch. Added the word “provide” to the sentence. That’s what I meant to say.

  • Anonymous

    Another is to intellectual property assurance to customers.

    I don’t think this is a sentence.

  • Anonymous

    Reading the comments, and the entry again, there’s one even bigger question than Why you did this? that I want to know:

    Can you detail explicitly what this statement covers:

    “Another is to intellectual property assurance to customers.”

    I’d like to know everything that I would be covered for in the event I bought one of those SuSE machines.  

    If you can not provide a detailed list like this:

    Item 1

    Item 2

    Item 3


     then I request that you drop the deal in order to save face with the community.  Also, saying that it’s secret or under an NDA isn’t going to cut it- it’s all or nothing.  I’m sorry for the slightly harsh tone, but without solid facts, it appears as though you are giving MS a PR coup, and feeding into the fear that “Linux infringes MS IP”.

  • Anonymous

    What’s the point except pissing off the Linux community? (Sorry for the wording.)

  • Anonymous

    What do you think of GPLv3’s effect on this deal?  What will be the status of Dell and Novell then, any predictions?


  • Anonymous

    Exactly, why are you buying linux from microsoft?????????????

    that does not make any sense…. 

  • Anonymous

    What things does this Microsoft-Novell deal provide that Ubuntu on the server does not?  Aside from Microsoft’s fear-mongering about their patent portfolio, I see no benefit.  Is Microsoft providing Novell things that are unavailable to other Linux developers?  If so, that would be news!


    I think it’s particularly galling because of the fact that *all* interop between Windows and Linux has come from the Linux/Unix community, at great cost (e.g. having to reverse-engineer the secret Microsoft protocols and filesystems)

     Microsoft is no friend of interoperability.  They have their users in a vise and they know it.  For example, how friendly are they if they change their secret protocols *just* to shut out Samba?

    In short, Dell, what does this provide aside from Microsoft’s promise not to turn into a patent troll for 5 years?

  • Anonymous

    Congratulation for this corporate blog, really good!

  • Anonymous

    Why is Dell continuing to be anti-consumer?  Consumers should be Dell’s priority, not Microsoft.

    By giving Linux money to Microsoft, Dell is only encouraging another SCOX fiasco.


    This hurts Dell consumers. 

  • Anonymous

    Well, I am very disappointed by this. After hearing about the Ubuntu preloads, I couldn’t wait to start buying Dell machines for my clients. Now I’m not so sure I won’t stick to building them from scratch.

    Of course, Microsoft will now point to the inevitable failure of the Ubuntu preload program as evidence that there is no market support for Linux. Perhaps this was the plan all along, participate in a scheme to kill it before it launches, then celebrate its failure.

    Now I am faced with two evil choices. 1 – Buy a Linux preload from Dell to show that the market wants these, and end up giving tacit acknowledgement of the need for this kind of agreement with MS (which is patently false — pun intended), or 2 – Not buy a Linux preload and help prove that there is no market for Linux preloads, which again is false.

    Thanks a lot Dell.

  • Anonymous

    In one thing I have to highly praise Dell: not to censor (or at least not remarcably) the feedback !

    This is a good decision, as feedback shows you what your customer thinks and because of that allow you to hear them and react. If they wouldn’t, nowdays it would go fast to do that through reddit or digg anyway.

  • Anonymous

       But I have to say this Idea Storm and the whole Dell and Linux thing has been one major joke. It would have actually been funny if they had posted this on April 1st.  Well I’m certainly looking at PenguinLinux and System 76 for my laptop and desktop purchases. As long as this ridiculous deal is in place, I’m not spending a single dollar nor I’m I recommending Dell to any of my friends, neighbors and family more. I’m not  buying a machine from Dell if I have to pay the Microsoft Tax.

    Even the statement below is a direct attack on Red Hat.

    “Under the agreement, Dell will purchase SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
    certificates from Microsoft and will establish a services and marketing
    program to help exisiting Linux customers who are not Dell Linux
    customers to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server”

  • Anonymous

    Drop the deal, stand behind the Linux movement and fire who suggested this negative step in the Microsoft/Novell direction.

    You’re already losing the confidence in the Company the Ubuntu announcement was going to give you from a vast community of potential passionate customers.

    Hurry, act now!


  • Anonymous

    The planned Ubuntu pre-installed-laptops was a great thing !

    Joining the MS-Novell deal is just the worst you could do !
    Who was so dumb doing this ??
    Who has been bribed ?

    The huge positive image gain Dell was getting because of the Ubuntu-deal is just melting. That is a pitty !

    I might still buy a Laptop with Ubuntu pre-installed for supporting Dell in this good choice it made to bring linux to a wider audience, but not with the great smile on my face I thought I will have and please fire Judy Chavis !!

  • Anonymous

    Just to ask a rhetorical question : if it’s a ‘collaboration’, as in both parties working together to a common goal, and the stated goal is improved interoperability between MS and Linux OSes, then what exactly is MS doing to improve this interoperability? Will they change their kerberos implementation so that it actually complies with the standard? Will they release details of their SMB protocol? Will MS Office support the ODF file format?

    In fact, MS has a long history of deliberately hampering interoperability with any other OS, as this is vital to maintaining their near-monopoly (which a court has already ruled to be illegal). So if MS is for it, and it has anything at all to do with Linux, you can safely bet it is bad for Linux and consumers in general. In this case, it’s an attempt at lending credibility to the ‘Linux infringes MS IP’ FUD. We know it, MS know it, and I’m sure Dell know it. I hope that someone at Dell will quickly realise that insulting your customers’ intelligence like this is a BAD MOVE.

  • Anonymous

    Every poster here represents thousands of users who do not post – to throw my 1,000 + votes in – I agree with the suggestion to fire the team who thought that buying Suse (Novhell) from M$ = “Added Value” to potential Linux customers – who by definition “care” where the
    software comes from .
    I can not, at this time, come up with a worse move on Dells part, and I have a very active imagination.
    It would have to be a car metaphor – I am unsure of the hypothsis
    but the conclusion is “and you have to get the car from someone
    you don’t trust (yet) , who got it from someone you hate, so you don’t buy one.”

  • Anonymous


    The good news about all this is that dell will be
    selling computers that we can have high confidence in RE linux drivers
    etc for all the hardware. But that leads to three questions.

    Will the preloaded computers contain any non-GPL code?  especially
    binary-only stuff that I could only get from

     2) If I buy the same hardware
    with Vista installed, what will be the mechanism (if any) to return
    vista for a refund?  There seem to be a few existence proofs
    around but the fact that whenever anyone does successfully get a refund
    on this preinstalled malware it’s trumpeted all over the web, makes me
    think the odds are the same as winning the lottery…

    3) Here’s
    an evil one.  In the same spirit as 2), will there be a mechanism
    for me to get a refund on the _DNM_ certificate, if I blow SUSE off the
    machine in favor of eg slackware? 






  • Anonymous

    Interresting that you use the word “interoperability” and “Microsoft” in one go. Does Dell really think its Linux-customers don’t understand what this is about?

     A sad Day for Dell, I was expecting Dell to make a difference 🙁

  • Anonymous

    I’d be interested to know why Dell wouldn’t buy their licenses from Novelll, and not via M$. I was wondering what the other shoe was going to be, in Dell’s latest ‘staggering into the world of Linux’, and running w/ Novell/M$ licenses surely is an indicator. *sigh*

  • Anonymous

    Take your IP protection and stick it where you think appropriate.  You really want to validate Microsoft false claims of IP?  F you Dell.  You won me over with the ability to buy Ubuntu and I would still like to, but this announcement is crap and turns me to system76 for my Ubuntu PCs.


  • Anonymous

    Has Microsoft specified what “intellectual property” it claims rights to within Linux? No? Why is Dell spending its consumer dollars on Microsoft licenses for Linux — so that the company can help make sure Linux users still pay the Microsoft tax anyway?

    The announcement about preloading Ubuntu was quite good… it was encouraging me to think about returning to Dell as a customer. The current news, however, is quite off-putting…

  • Anonymous

    Very, very, very poor decison on the part of Dell. I was so looking forward to Dell being an active participant to the world of open source and contributing positively to its growth.

    This landmark decision will have incalcuable negative influence. See SCOX for an example.

  • Anonymous

    Until Microsoft is willing to spell out what IP they claim they own that Linux infringes on and makes it possible for the Linux community to come up with a response, I am going to consider this deal to be another extortion scheme on the same order as the SCOsource scheme.  And I don’t want to do any more business with anyone involved in the scheme than I absolutely have to.

    I have been building my own PCs for home use for several years, but I have been seriously considering buying a Dell monitor for at least one of my computers and I was going to buy a laptop with Ubuntu on it if there was a model I liked, even though I don’t really need a laptop.  However, as a result of this deal, I will at least postpone those purchases a little longer and look more seriously at other suppliers before making a final decision. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m flabbergasted…

     It’s absolutely amazing… your left hand does not know what your right hand is doing… I, and no doubt countless other open source advocates, absolutely detest the Novell-Microsoft patent pact… you’ve just killed my plans for purchasing a laptop with Ubuntu pre-installed.

    We do not trust Steve Ballmer at all… note how he just couldn’t restrain himself the moment the deal was signed… the ink wasn’t even dry before he started going on about Linux having an “Intellectual Property” problem with Microsoft technology…

    “Number two, we’ve struck a deal under which we can provide patent
    agreements to Linux customers in which Microsoft’s intellectual
    property is respected, and we are appropriately compensated for the use
    of our intellectual property.[…] And in our case, it means you don’t license – let me be clear about one
    thing, we don’t license our intellectual property to Linux because of
    the way the Linux licensing, GPL framework works, that’s not really a
    possibility. The cleverness was, how do we get protection and respect
    for our intellectual property in a world in which that license
    agreement works?”

    So Steve, exactly which patents are infringed by Linux? We want numbers and specificity… without those, it’s all merely bluster designed to browbeat the gullible into surrendering. Not only that anyone who gets one of these indemnifications from Microsoft cannot redistribute any changes they may make to Linux…

  • Anonymous

    I completely and wholeheartedly agree with Steve (the Steve who left a comment, not the one who trashes furniture). I was planning on shifting to Dell for my new machine when Ubuntu would be pre-loaded, but this trick made me think again.

  • Anonymous

    And I even considered buying a Dell laptop with Ubuntu… No way I will contribute my money to your MS deal. After all this hype, you’re making the worst move anyone could imagine!

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely shocking.

    I was going to order a laptop pre installed with Ubuntu, now I am going to avoid DELL products completely.

    You have shown that you are willing to do deals with the devil.

    Therefore we will be buying Macbooks instead, and putting Ubuntu on them.

  • Anonymous

    And I decided that my next machine should be a Dell with Ubuntu – *sigh*

    My next machine will be with Ubuntu though (just as it is now), just not running on a Dell.

  • Anonymous

    I would like to ask Judy Chavis since when is selling your soul to the devil “…not expensive”?

    After hearing her vblog, and admiring her ability to keep a straight face while repeatedly (“honestly!”) insisting what a great deal this is for Dell, it is apparent that Dell just wants to supply the hardware for whatever OS the customer picks.

    I think a lot of this maneuvering by M$ (the deal with Novell, now the deal with Dell), is testing the response from the Open Source community.  The amoeba (M$) is testing to see whether it can absorb its target without suffering too much heartburn in the process.

  • Anonymous

    a) What is “intellectual property”? There is no such thing[1]. Perhaps you mean patents. If that is the case I wonder why I would need assurance against patent lawsuits. If there were enforcable patents against GNU/Linux, Microsoft would have sued already. I don’t need any “intellectual property assurance”.

    b) Why do you buy SUSE Linux Enterprise Server certificates from Microsoft? It’s not a Microsoft product? I haven’t bought anything from Microsoft since Windows 98 and it will stay that way, this is for sure.

    c) “interoperability”: I have not seen such a thing from Microsoft’s side. Ask the EU and others. What interoperability does this deal guarantee?

    [1] see

  • Anonymous

    Can someone explain to me why Dell is not getting SuSE from Novell direct but from Microsoft? It seems like a roundabout way to get things.


  • Anonymous

    This is bait from MS, simple and clear. Contracts, such as user licensing agreements, are what can be used to sue someone. This is MS leveraging their monopoly to try and lock people in.

     Welcome to the world of Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. This is the first two, so expect the third any moment. Don’t be fooled.

      I thought Dell was getting better. This sure shows me. MS != Trust


  • Anonymous

    I recently bought a high end laptop, not from Dell because they didn’t let me buy it without Linux. You lost a sale. I was planning to buy another laptop when the Dell/Ubuntu laptops were released. I probably won’t if this collaboration goes ahead. Even if there remains the possibility to buy a Dell without the MS license I won’t do it because the collaboration taints Dell as a company. Don’t let Microsoft impose a tax on your products.

  • Anonymous

    Doing this deal with Microsoft and Novell has disqualified Dell from being considered for new purchases within our organization.


    Here I come IBM. Congratulations on driving business to your competitors.

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    All: FYI.. rather than answer a lot of similar comments regarding this agreement, I updated this post in response.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t threaten the Linux community who don’t use Novell with vague claims of ‘intelectual property’ assurance.  It makes us feel that we should not buy Dell, should not recommend Dell, and should actively dissuade our friends and collegues from buying Dell.

    I suggest you start being nice to Linux users or you can kiss goodby to %30 in the coming quarters as we take our business else where.

    (Dell down %30:,1759,2099829,00.asp )


  • Anonymous

    It’s astonishing to me that Dell could be so dumb as to boast to the Linux community of its “Collaboration with Microsoft.”  A textbook example of how NOT to do business. What a shame…

  • Anonymous

    Seriously thing about canceling this MS-Novell deal.

    If you achieve that, you’ll have ALL the linux community behind you, for doing the right decisions and this linux community will not stop talking about you and recommend you to all their friends and family members !

     Think about that. It might not be easy, but this might be an invaluable thing to do for you shot and especially long-term strategy and image.

    You have the chance now to be THE ONE who brings Linux to the masses (with ubuntu), and a LOT of people will be thankful for that ! Don’t forget that. The hole community is waiting for a big supplier like you to be thankful at. But it won’t work if you do such things as Linux deals with Microsoft. It just doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel right in the ideology.

    Don’t let HP stole your thunder ! Act now ! It might get to late.

  • Anonymous

    The Dell/Microsoft deal has muddied the whole Linux on Dell program. When it
    was first announced that Dell was going to install Linux (Ubuntu) on some of
    their computers, I was ready to buy one just to support an OEM installing Linux
    even though I have just recently purchased a new laptop which had XP Media Center installed (-i avoided Vista on purpose- I immediately partioned off 30G and installed Kubuntu 6.10 and now Kubuntu 7.04).
    Dell’s deal with Microsoft makes the whole thing suspect. Right now, I am
    undecided and will warn everyone I know -and I am an influential user who can make a difference in my environment’s purchase decisions- against going for Dell computers until the whole mess with Microsoft has clarified.

    Is this what happened?: Dell announces their going to sell machines with Ubuntu pre-loaded.

    MS sees this as a potential problem, because when linux geeks and zealots begin
    directing their purchases to Dell in order to support the OEM’s linux-friendly
    move, Dell would post numbers, calling their move a success, etc… It would
    further widen the acceptance of Linux/OSS.

    So MS calls Dell, gets itself invited to the “Dell likes Linux” party,
    and gets a portion of the geeks and zealots to refuse to attend a party that MS
    is invited to, which mitigates the success of Dell’s desktop linux offerings.

    MS knows it has a pariah-effect like this on Linux fans, in this case, I think
    they’re turning it to their advantage. They’re cynically playing all the


  • Anonymous

    BAD idea! Buying Linux “coupons” from Microsoft is just plain dumb.

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    disappointed, Nico and Bill: Just want to be sure you saw my update to this original post.

  • Anonymous

    This does not make me happy.  Why does Dell want to buy Suse Licenses from Microsoft?  The only reason to do this is if Dell wants to substantiate Microsoft’s “unspoken” claims that Linux violates Window’s patents.  This “partnership” only furthers the idea that ALL Linux users need to pay Microsoft some sort of “royalty” if they want to use Linux without fear of being sued.

    Dell, great job on getting the Ubuntu deal in place, but doesn’t this Microsoft deal seem like you are taking two steps backward?

  • Anonymous

        I hope the stockholders are reading this blog and note their displeasure at this Dell decision to enter in to this pact. If you cant be talked into reversing this nicely then maybe your stockholders need to do it for you.

        I can’t say enough how disappointed I am of this you have not only surely lost the ground you gained in PR and sales In my view but you also likely have gone into the red overall over this in my opinion.

         Don’t bother telling me all your crap about how good this deal is. Dealing with the devil that YOU KNOW! the people this targeted despise with good reason is ASKING for loss. I do not believe that you are telling the truth to us about this deal. I will ask this plainly and maybe in the years ahead your response will be noted in historical records.

    Were you threatened with legal action in any way, shape, or form by Microsoft or any of its Cooperate Allies, Novell, or The United States Government over the Dell selling Preloaded *nix deal? 

  • Anonymous

    Ubuntu also has a server offering. Are you giving this choice to your customers instead of the very suspicious MS-Novell pact which themselves don’t even seem to agree about its real meaning ?

  • Anonymous

    Dear Lionel:

    Thanks for your update and for being open to public discussion with your customers.

    I keep hearing lame excuses from every company that caves in to microsoft’s menacing and fallacious claims of Linux IP infringement:You know that these pacts are NOT going to promote choice or interoperability, helping your customers or Linux and of course microsoft knows it as well: thats the reason why they are desperately looking for more companies to uphold their IP claims: this only plays on microsoft`s best interests and it is ultimately damaging for your customers and your business.

    Dell did the right thing  by spearheading the adoption of a popular community distro like ubuntu as the first major OEM manufaturer, but now Dell’s decission to collaborate with microsoft attempt at ilegalizing Linux is appalling.

    It would be most helpful if your company publicly and strongly states that it does not by any means substantiate of believe microsoft’s IP claims. And also if you state that microsoft is in fact distributing Linux,and GPLd software since you are buying it from them. I will keep negative towards this pact until then.

    There is not really such false distinction between “Server” and “Desktop” in the Free/Open Source Software world: there are not different “server freedoms” or “desktop freedoms” as well as obscure business practices and secretive pacts are equally unaacceptable in the server market segment than in the desktop market.

    Hope Dell can assert its independence as business and keep looking for its customers best interests, and not microsoft’s.

  • Anonymous

    Re. Lionel Menchaca, Digital Media Manager : With all due respect, I believe your update only validates the criticism voiced in the ‘negative reactions’. The problem many in the Linux community have with this so called ‘collaboration’ is (a) that it is being used by MS to spread Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt about Linux allegedly infringing on MS patents, and (b) that there is no sign whatsoever of any tangible collaboration from MS’s side. Both the articles you point to as ‘being on the right track’ immediately confirm point (a). Neither gives any evidence to counter point (b), and neither do you. Mr. Null’s article concludes with ‘All of this is a long way of saying that Linux is really on the rise in both the server and desktop universe’ which, considering the enormous growth in Linux use over the last years, makes me doubt his impartiality.

    You state that Dell’s goal is to offer your customers choice. This is excellent, but for servers you already did that. lt is comforting to hear that this deal does not impact the plans to offer Ubuntu, I for one hope that you will soon offer laptops with Ubuntu here in Europe. I personally know at least a half dozen people who will want one.

    So while it is greatly appreciated that you take the time to respond, showing that posts here are taken seriously, I am afraid many critics will still stand by their opinion. Now I hope this will not make you reconsider your commitment to Linux, just to this particular deal with MS. Just remember, to MS Linux really is the enemy, and everyone in the Linux community knows it. And I’m sure you know even better than we do the ways in which MS has earned our distrust.

    With kind regards,

    a Linux-running Dell customer from NL. 

  • Anonymous

    Well, it appears that Dell isn’t going to be reversing this deal anytime soon, but at the very least, it could at least help its public image, at least in the eyes of the Linux community, by creating an announcement stating that by no means is this implying that Linux infringes Microsoft’s “Intellectual Property”, just like Novell’s public letter to the community stated shortly after their own deal with Microsoft. It would likely not irritate Microsoft too much, yet would likely undo some of the damage this deal has done to the reputation of Dell in the eyes of the open-source community, or, at the very least, win back some of the supporters (potential customers) Dell gained through its deal with Novell.

    Revoking the deal altogether, of course, would likely be the action that would most likely put an end to this new wave of anti-Dell sentiments, but since that’s apparently not going to happen, Dell, like Novell did before, should at least announce to the community, publicly, that this does not imply that Linux infringes Microsoft’s “Intellectual Property”, in order to minimize the damage this deal has done, without revoking it outright.

  • Anonymous

    Aristid said:  “What’s the point except pissing off the Linux community? (Sorry for the wording.)” on May 8, 2007 4:07 PM

     Aristid, as far as methods go, that’s probably the entire point. 

    It allows Dell to claim that they tried to provide Linux to the consuming public; however, despite all that obvious demand on the “What do you want the most?” question, demand for Linux ‘evaporated’; so, what looked like demand was never real in the first place.  [Must be all those Linux fanatics who were threatening Darl McBride with death by Twinkie, or something (rolling eyes).]

    If this works, Dell can go back to taking all those kick-backs for selling machines with windoze pre-installed, and claiming that Linux is a pain to support; and Michael Dell can go back to wearing Steve Ballmer’s ball gag and sitting at the foot of the bed. 

    (Besides that, microsoft has to monetize something…anything…since the vista launch looks like it’s flopping worse the the win-me launch did.  Might as well monetize those SLES certificates, and Michael looks like, not only a likely sucker, but one who doesn’t want to fall out of good graces with microsoft.  This has Ballmer’s and Alchin’s fingerprints all over it.) 

  • Anonymous

    My research group in the Boston Partners system is buying $5000+ workstations with RedHat from Dell, and I was ecstatic to learn about your Ubuntu plans (for both personal and business reasons).

    This deal with MS and Novell is deeply troubling.  We will now carefully consider if Dell is the right source for our next purchase order.

  • Anonymous

    people have to be in incredibly difficult positions to do such things. it surely can’t be ineptitude alone…but if it is, please note that many of us specifiy corporate machines as well.

    serioiusly, nobody asked your internal linux people how this might fly? nobody even _thought_ to check how this would be received?

    nicely done, dell. i hear nashes were nice cars at one time, too. welcome to the short list of Really Bad Business Decisions. your competitors must be awash in champagne. time to familiarize myself with their product offerings instead of yours.


    you have no idea what you could have created, do you?

  • Anonymous

    “dell will purchase SUSE Linux Enterprise Server certificates from Microsoft

    and yeah, like my css choice, background-color:666666;, is so totally on purpose and perfectly fitting &deserving.

    like since when did ms start selling & owning linux?  this is such a pretend agreement it makes me laugh, except i feel to sick.  ms has no ip in linux or based around it, but they can bundle a bunch of “oh you’ll sale more” with these contracts.  in the last several months my current distro and fave laptop & pc maker have went up & down on my “like; what total fakes” meter.  like, btw my fave has always been Mandriva(let‘s face it, they get it!).  which clearly dell is just clueless about it… its about our community!

    your ubuntu offering seems like nothing more than a warm and fuzzy lil hug to the community while dell goes where they feel the real money is: with b2b next to ms and that’s just bs.

    so now let’s see ms has tainted SUSE, dell, and by association ubuntu; i only hope they react to this.  but who knows?  maybe now Mandriva will finally get some help getting back to where it was.  but like bottom line is ms doesn’t own any part of linux!  purchase certs from them: you help spread this delusion that ms owns some part of linux.  until that delusion becomes like a total hallucination and the corporate world believes that linux is microsoft’s.  which is just like this total path of confusion, that in the name of profit, you‘re more than happy to walk with them on.

    like all i want to know now is how dumb all of you companies believed the linux community to be?  sure, you’ll get more ms into companies while piggy backing on open-source buzz.  but the community; we’ve built this OS since (some of us, like me for one) were in our early teens and to even imagine the amount of stupidity that you imagined we’d have along these lines is just like totally astounding!

    i can only imagine the board room meeting: “oh sure they built an os, but come on? open source?, these geeks’ll never get the business side!”  you couldn’t have been more wrong!, we do, its like one of the main reasons that we’ve poured our souls into our software.

    and than like omg!  this whole “protecting clients from ip infringements”… rofl!  just like one question will you promise to protect them from the boogie-man and the monsters that hide in they’re server rooms and NOCs.  oh wait, sorry, i like so just forgot: you’re putting the boogie-man and the monsters in their NOCs.

    and though i’m like totally sure that you’ve made sure ubuntu(and i’m sure canonical and like even mark shuttleworth) are stuck tightly in their contract.  but i’d like to see a call to action for them to show their true support for open source and drop your deal like the total read hearing it like so totally obviously was.

    only one question to you.  its obvious that ms came to you with this deal.  how could any reaction have been like anything but just saying like totally no way and telling ms to stick their ‘ip’ monster back where they get all their great ideas?

    but most importantly, and saddest of all, is that GNU, linux, &just like open source in general has been under-estimated this whole time… but now you’ve(ms, novell, &dell) have chosen to under-estimate something far more powerful: our community!

  • Anonymous

    ..what i can say?  0_o



    and last things: 

    why are you buying linux from microsoft?????????????


  • Anonymous

    Dell is a trash OEM imo, how anyone in the linux community could trust Dell now is beyond me.  Dell, If you are going to stab in the back,  why not have a getaway plan,  that noone would know who you are ?. Dell as Novell, was not thinking and/or just could care less what reaction would come from the linux community because of Microsoft. Microsoft with its threats to linux, then selling linux because its customers, so it gos, say they want it, will be something to note over time as the demand for linux ups will have Microsoft’s linux threats served with ketchup.

  • Anonymous

    What a brilliant idea to promote linux by selling windows! Because we really need windows to browse those webpages, read
    those documents, and manage those users the way only MS knows how to. Excellent linux strategy.

    No one that has just a tiny bit of knowledge about
    MS and linux will never ever buy this fluffy
    interoperability PR/marketing bull. Companies with interoperability problems clearly suffer serious IT
    competence problems and that is really not Dells problem!

    This deal really SCOX

    Hopefully, sometime in the near future Dell will finally realize that windows is not a threat to linux, and stop suppressing linux on the desktop by treating it as a pariah just tolerated by the intense customer demand.

    We like Dell, we want Dell, but we are not going to excuse
    Dell for being bullied by MS anymore. Take a stand and let us know that Dell is not getting behind the MS IP FUD even in big biz context.

  • Anonymous
    1. “A bit of controversy” (in Update 5/10) is probably quite an understatement. The Linux community hates it.
    2. You can’t possibly think that the Linux community welcomes a deal where buying a Linux machine involves buying a licence product (nothing real) from the most hated, most monopolistic and biggest competitor of Linux.
    3. I will not be influenced by this in my decision to buy a Linux laptop.

  • Anonymous

    This is a HORRIBLE decision.  Steve Balmer is clearly out to undermine Linux (

    I was truly, but apprehensively, excited about your Ubuntu announcement.  I should have known it was too good to be true. I have no doubts that Dell will have to consult with MS on any Ubuntu decisions.

    This is all about Freedom, and ladies and gentlemen:

    Microsoft != Freedom

  • Anonymous

    3. I will not be influenced by this in my decision to buy a Linux laptop.

    ditto! big time!  i’m sure as big as Dell is their “home”(desktop &laptop) devision is like totally separate from their server side.  if Dell’s laptops work the best under linux; i’ll be Dell’s laptop.  but i’ll be sure to stay like way away from Dell’s servers as long as this deal stands… unless i find out that Dell is buying certs.from ms for each ubuntu install they sell(anyone know?-for sure?)

    and than i need to like clarify my earlier post(after doing much research).  i’ll be sticking with OpenSUSE, which although they’re like supported by novell: it still remains a community project.  plus gawd mandriva’s just fallen apart, so ixnay on like everything i said about mandriva.  for now OpenSUSE not SLED will remain my distro of choice… especially because of our community.  so long as we just like avoid being touched by this ms ip bs.  of course if that ever happens: like can we say fork, LOL.  i’m just so relieved to feel good about OpenSUSE remaining clean of this like entire mess!

    at least novell had the strength to call ms’ bs on these ip lies: see Novell clarifies Microsoft *barf*“patent collaboration agreement”*gag*and Novell,ms spar over Linux agreement.  dell, can &will you do the same?  at least responde, reply, remark?  the vidcast wasn’t any response worth the like time it tool to shoot it.  we(being the open source community) get tht you are, have… might? be doing this for money… like we get it.  we don’t need that explained.  we just want an answer to your feeling on ,whew.. what smells?, ms’ ip claims?

  • Anonymous

    Like most of the people who were eagerly awaiting our chance to buy an Ubuntu laptop from Dell, I’m very disappointed about the collaboration with MS and now rethinking my decision. What I’d like to know if that result was actually your intention or not.  

    You had to know that this deal would undermine if not destroy the potential for success with the preinstalled Ubuntu project, so I can think of 3 scenarios.

    1. You were sincere about the Ubuntu offering and wanted it to succeed, but were threatened by Microsoft in some way, and the collaboration thing was the price to remove the threats.

     2. You weren’t sincere about preinstalled Linux; quite the opposite, after the Ideastorm demand for Linux, you wanted to appear as though you were listening to customers, but needed an excuse (there was no real demand for Linux after all) to get out of actually having to do it.  This MS deal effectively squelched the enthusiasm of the Linux community to support Dell.

    3.  You really didn’t care one way of the other about what happened with the Ubuntu offering; it just provided a good way to get MS’s attention, all the better to negotiate some good deals with them.

    If it is one of those 3 things, I don’t expect to hear anyone admit it, but if it’s #1 and you really do want the preinstalled Linux project to succeed, you need to follow the advice of those like kosmo who said,

    “It would be most helpful if your company publicly and strongly states
    that it does not by any means substantiate of believe microsoft’s IP
    claims. And also if you state that microsoft is in fact distributing
    Linux,and GPLd software since you are buying it from them.”

    I think you should also clearly explain why you bought the certificates from MS instead of from Novell.   Like kosmo, “I will keep
    negative towards this pact until then.”


  • Anonymous

    This clearly only highlights the fact that you are in dire financial trouble …IBM’s further gains will be your loss. 

  • Anonymous

    Just as I was all set to buy a pre-installed Ubuntu machine that I didn’t really need, just to show my support for Dell in doing the “Right Thing”, then you completely spoil it with this deal with MS to buy “Linux Certificates” from them. Thanks for saving me a few hundred dollars!!

  • Anonymous

    I, like many other linux users I’m sure; was looking forward to simply clicking onto Dell and selecting a computer I know would run my chosen OS perfectly.

    However, the deal with Microsoft undeminds the excellent work over the years, of the linux community. For Microsoft to bully its way into making money from others work, is something I can’t support.

    I’ll simply have to go back to spending my time reading about
    hardware, and its linux driver support, and build my own machines.

    I also hope the EU see’s this as the anticompetitive practice it is.

  • Anonymous

    so, you’ve chosen to be on enemy’s side, on MS side, on NOvell side, against human rights, against freedom.

    You finance MS just to stay sure you won’t have to be sued, but u all know they can’t sue you, because  Linux doesn’t violate any patent.

    U know that, but MS must have given u a lot of… motivation (?) to make this step.

    I never liked DELL: a lot of years ago u took the name domain to a french guy.. u got that domain and left it to rot.

    So, just for this thing, i’ve never ever liked u. Now, after this partnership with Novell and MS, stay sure i won’t support your firm, I will tell every person interested in my opinion in buying a computer to choose not DELL.

    You never opened with me,  but for sure you’ve closed forever

  • Anonymous

    oh my god. really sad 🙁

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, did Dell have no clue as to how the community would respond to this decision on their part?

    It feels like a slap in the face and I for one along with many of my friends and colleague looked forward to Ubuntu on Dell laptops. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be as M$ tuggs on the marionette that is Dell.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Lionel,


    Can you please answer why you’re buying from Microsoft? Why not direct? How much did it mean to you to do this? Has it been worth the cost?


    One could wonder if this is worth so much to you, was this always the plan? Are Microsoft and Dell more interested in their relationship and a monopoly than their customers? Will we really ever see what has been promised? Too many questions, and a great loss of faith in the supplier from so many people. What began as great PR placing seems to have turned ugly. We’re still waiting to order Linux on the desktop worldwide and, even before you make it available, you have lost possibly 90% of your sales. Wow, these people will just buy elsewhere. Seriously, I have never seen so much potential revenue lost in such a short time-frame. Surely, this must be beneficial from a financial arrangement between you and Microsoft, there must be something hidden – otherwise you’ve just made a really silly business decision. So, silly or devious. We don’t know – and it could be too late to try to explain.




    Truly sorry for not being able to buy from you again, ever – not even when we need Windows systems (as fear still remains that this is devious: could Dell really be that silly?)

     No Longer A Buyer

  • Anonymous

    Judy said “These customers want…”. No, they don’t Judy. YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO WHAT THESE CUSTOMERS WANT.


    These customers, in data centers, do _not_ want Microsoft to decide how interoperability will work. The idea of that entirely rubs right against the _whole_point_ of opensource. We want Judy to go – we are your old customers, this is what we want, not you deciding for us. That is the idea of this whole thing, remember??


    This has nothing to do with interoperability. If you wanted to do that for your customers, you would have provided them with an opensource operating system for the past X years – on the desktop, the server, in the data center , everywhere. Judy, we’re really unimpressed. You (a) aren’t in touch with customers and (b) are arrogant as a company to address customers and try to tell them what they want. In the corporation or at home, we’re from all over the world – different sectors – some of us _are_ in the data centers, in the lab, writing code, compiling, even building your components – even working for you.


    Don’t tell us what we want, you don’t know. I’d advise that you didn’t get involved in any more decision-making and the board review your effectiveness as a director. This move is insane – and to try to tell a Linux user what he/she wants, rofl…


    This has nothing to do with interoperability, it’s about 235 unknown software patent infringement claims – they logically don’t exist as there is no evidence of them. VapourInfringements… please stop spreading FUD.


    Yours Respectfully, 


    No Longer A Buyer 

  • Anonymous

    The way the deal reads it seems is for server/data center interop…not desktops.  Am I missing something.  Trying to read and understand all the interesting comments here in the blog