Dell says it's on board with the Microsoft and Novell Linux partnership.
As part of the deal, Dell will buy SUSE Linux Enterprise Server certificates from Microsoft. It will also launch a services and marketing program to woo existing Linux users who are not Dell customers to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. It wasn't immediately clear how many certificates Dell either purchased or planned to purchase. The certificates sold tally--40,000--is the same as it was in March when Microsoft and Novell announced HSBC was buying certificates. The tally in January was 35,000.
The good news: Dell is going after the Linux market in a big way. The bad news: Dell may torpedo any goodwill it had in the Linux community after choosing Ubuntu for its desktop Linux distribution.
Many Linux fans haven't been thrilled with the Novell-Microsoft partnership. Needless to say Dell's buy-in on the Novell and Microsoft collaboration is a fairly big deal. Other technology companies such as Hewlett-Packard may follow suit. Dell is looking to be the first mover when it comes to endorsing the Novell-Microsoft partnership.
Now here's the part that'll ding Dell's goodwill. In a statement, Rick Becker, vice president of solutions at Dell's product group, said:
"Dell is the first major systems provider to align with Microsoft and Novell in this collaboration, and we intend to lead in this space. This move is a huge success for the industry and, more specifically, for customers who haven't purchased Linux through Dell and who want to migrate to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for the IP assurance and interoperability benefits."
I can hear the FSF screaming now, "Huge success!?!" My stance: Novell and Microsoft are merely foreshadowing the inevitable--mixed source enterprises are the present and the future. It's not a zero sum game and the folks expecting one to win over the other are missing reality. Enterprise customers do want software to work better together and if that means an unholy (to some) alliance between Novell and Microsoft so be it.
Customers that have signed up for the Novell-Microsoft 3-year certificates include AIG, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, HSBC and Wal-Mart. Dell should be able to add to that list.