"On Dec. 7, Dell Computer Corp.'s share price fell to a 52-week
low of $17.44 after hitting a 52-week high of nearly $60 in March.
On Dec. 8 at the company's headquarters here, Chairman and CEO
Michael Dell spoke with Computerworld's Don Tennant about what Dell
plans to do to make his company less vulnerable to a whimsical
financial market that's punishing PC makers."
"Q: You've made it very clear that you're
interested in the Linux market. Do you feel as if [Microsoft
Chairman] Bill Gates and [Microsoft President and CEO] Steve
Ballmer are keeping an eye on you?
A: When I think about Linux, I don't think
about Ballmer and Gates. For Unix-centric customers, we think Linux
is a great alternative to [Sun Microsystems Inc.'s] Solaris. The
gestation cycle for Linux is a fairly long one, so we don't expect
that this thing will all of a sudden be a massive percentage of the
"Q:Has Microsoft approached you directly
to talk about your Linux plans?
A:It certainly has been a topic of
discussion. What we've tried to impress upon them is that there are
reasons why people are buying this [Linux], and we try to help them
understand what we think those are. To the extent that they
want to address those, great. Competition is a beautiful
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