"Hidden away in a seemingly routine industry news story by John
Spooner at CNet last week was the most important PC desktop news of
the year. Maybe of the past ten years. Unfortunately, the story was
wrong. Michael Kanellos, Editor of Enterprise Computing and
Personal Technology at CNet, told me that IBM did not [get] its
story right the first time. IBM won't preload Linux after all.
"The announcement--had it been true--would have been a much more
important one than Microsoft signing an SCO Unix license. It would
have represented a frontal assault on the most sacred ground of the
Microsoft monopoly: preloads for desktop computers. It's been a
long time since a major OEM has had the courage to preload
something other than Windows, even in dual-boot configurations.
Don't write to me about Dell. Dell was never in the game to play.
If you did manage to special-order from Dell a Linux laptop or
desktop you still paid for Windows even though Dell didn't load
"SCO's pathetic attempt to grab a golden IP parachute on the way
down is newsworthy, and I'm not saying otherwise. However, an IBM
announcement to preload Linux on the desktop would have signaled
the official beginning of DW II--Desktop Wars continued. The real
struggle is not between SCO and IBM. Neither is it just between
IBM, SCO, Novell, and Microsoft. The real struggle is between
Microsoft and Linux. The monopoly is desperately trying to fend off
the inevitable and prevent free/open source software from ending
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