Dell will spend $750m this year on Linux research and
development (R&D), according to the company's chairman and
chief executive Michael Dell during a keynote speech at this week's
LinuxWorld Expo in San Jose, California.
Dell talked about his company's growing interest in Linux -
especially as the operating system (OS) for servers - while taking
shots at rival Sun Microsystems' Solaris OS.
"We don't think Solaris is the answer. We think Linux is," he
Dell said about 10 per cent of the company's servers ship with
Linux pre-loaded. "We are spending more R&D dollars on Linux
than any other OS, and this year alone the company will spend about
three-quarters of a billion dollars on Linux."
He claimed that the open source collaborative development model
is built to succeed in the internet age. Most of the company's
customers are using Dell Linux servers as the server and storage
products that power their internet infrastructure. "It makes much
more sense than the proprietary model," said Dell.
But he added that he doesn't see lots of reasons why proprietary
OS vendors would support Linux. He said Microsoft has a pretty
profitable customer model and customer franchise, adding that Dell
isn't going to stop supporting Microsoft customers.
The company is also examining the feasibility of Linux on the
desktop. "We're quite interested in how Eazel's software, or the
desktop opportunity, might emerge," said Dell.
With so many companies aligning themselves around Linux, Dell
hopes to leverage the direct model to continue to decrease
operating costs. Dell has about 22 per cent of the US market in
servers, and about 10 per cent of those products run the Linux
The company is also deploying dedicated Linux imaging servers in
its facility in Texas to load the Red Hat OS. Dell said the imaging
servers will be deployed at the company's other worldwide sites by
the end of the year.
He said the company would begin to lean on its own suppliers,
asking vendors of chipsets to provide software driver support for
the Linux infrastructure.
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