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Be-CEO Gassee about Microsoft practices and Linux

Feb 26, 1999, 12:35 (2 Talkback[s])

Branko Collin writes:

In his column in the weekly Be Newsletter Jean-Louis Gassee, president of Be, the company that makes the BeOS, discusses the way Microsoft makes sure a PC manufacturer will think twice before letting the system boot with anything but Windows.

At some point he discusses how this affects Linux:

One suspects that Linux suffers from the same fealty to Microsoft's licensing strictures. Linux is the culmination of 30 years of development by the Unix community. Surely an OEM can't complain about Linux's quality or its price: It's good, and it's free. If Microsoft licensees are as free to choose as Microsoft claims they are, why isn't Linux factory installed on *any* PC? If you randomly purchase 1,000 PC clones, how many have any OS other than Windows loaded at the factory? Zero.

But what about all these announcements from companies such as IBM, Dell, and others? A few URLs are supplied here for your convenience:

http://www.dell.com/products/workstat/ISV/linux.htm
http://www.compaq.com/isp/news_events/index.html
http://www.compaq.com/newsroom/pr/1998/wa111298a.html
http://www.hp.com/pressrel/jan99/27jan99.htm
http://www.hp.com/pressrel/jan99/27jan99b.htm
http://www.software.ibm.com/data/db2/linux/

If you parse the statements, Linux is offered and supported on servers, not on PCs. Another IBM story is that installation is to be performed by the reseller on some PCs or laptops, not by IBM at the factory.