Microsoft faces mutiny: Dell to expand Linux factory-installed options; HP dumps Media Center PCs

By SteveJack

Looks like Microsoft’s biggest “partners” are getting more than a wee bit antsy:

Dell to Expand Linux Factory Installed Options
Since launching Dell IdeaStorm a little more than a month ago, one idea has risen to and stayed at the top: better support for Linux. We have heard you and appreciate the direct feedback. On March 13, we responded by launching a Linux survey asking for your feedback on what you need for a better Linux experience. Thank you to the more than 100,000 people who took the survey. Here are some of the highlights from the survey:
• More than 70% of survey respondents said they would use a Dell system with a Linux operating system for both home and office use.
• Survey respondents indicated they want a selection of notebook and desktop offerings.
• Majority of survey respondents said that existing community-based support forums would meet their technical support needs for a tested and validated Linux operating system on a Dell system.
• Survey respondents indicated that improved hardware support for Linux is as important as the distribution(s) offered.

Dell has heard you and we will expand our Linux support beyond our existing servers and Precision workstation line. Our first step in this effort is offering Linux pre-installed on select desktop and notebook systems. We will provide an update in the coming weeks that includes detailed information on which systems we will offer, our testing and certification efforts, and the Linux distribution(s) that will be available. The countdown begins today.


HP Drops Digital Entertainment Center, its Flagship Media Center Line

HP is pulling out of the Digital Entertainment Center (DEC) business. The company that pioneered the living-room form factor for Media Center Edition (MCE) PCs has decided to drop the line.

The company instead will focus its energy on MediaSmart, the new brand of TVs with digital media adapters built in — not Microsoft Media Center Extenders that link Media Centers with remote TVs, but HP’s own solution for distributing photos, music, video and other content (including Web-based) to the TV.


I wonder if Microsoft will drop the hammer on these uppity “partners” to get them back in line or is Microsoft even capable of such a thing anymore due to heightened government scrutiny? Are we seeing the sparks that will set Rome ablaze? I expect Steve Ballmer to break out the fiddle any day now.

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.


  1. It’s time for Microsoft to learn how it feels when their biggest partners start go walk away.

    They did the same to IBM, Sybase and others. You all know the story.

    Come on, let’s sing:

    How does it feel,
    How does it feel,
    To be on your own
    With no direction home
    Like a complete unknown
    Like a rolling stone?

    MW: “college”, like the main Mac marketplace.

  2. Let’s keep this perspective. This is by no means even a minute dent to Microsoft’s overall Windows sales. But it is a slap to their once omnipotent ego, and does show that PC hardware companies are more than able and willing to sell/drop whatever configuration consumers want or don’t want. Add to this that Apple runs computers w/ Intel processors, and you can see just how much things have changed since Y2K.

    Although we profess the superiority of Mac OS and systems, I prefer to see Apple stay in the ~10% marketshare range. I think that’s where we will achieve the greatest satisfaction in being Mac owners (and will keep the US Justice Dept active).

  3. D9

    HP and Dell are the biggest PC sellers at the moment. If both drops the M$ for Linux or something else it will affect M$ immediately. No doubt about it. Market cap. that Micro$oft has is down to $270 billion. Down from $600 billion what it was before the .com bubble. That will drop significantly. If anyone has MSFT sell it while you can. Trade it to AAPL.

  4. Finland guy,

    That’s what I mean about perspective. Neither HP or Dell is dropping or going to drop Windows for Linux or any other OS. Neither is losing money selling Windows, so neither has a need to replace Windows w/ Linux or Mac OS. What they do have is the need to increase the market and by offering this Linux line, they tap into new markets. Sure, it’s a great increase in Linux marketshare but it comes at a very small if noticeable hit to Windows sales.

    Now the Media Center issue is a bit more interesting in that Microsoft is by no means the de facto leader of the so called Digital Living Room. This once again shows that where Microsoft must play catch-up or even playing field, their lack of true innovation and customer satisfaction prevents them from controlling new markets.

    At the very least, these articles show that Microsoft can no longer dictate where technology will go and who will follow.

  5. D9,

    Um, Microsoft *is* the defacto leader of the digital living room. Where have you been since 2003? Ever see the HP Z557? It kicks tail on anything else *I’ve* ever seen. What? Are you telling me Apple has something better? Please…

    Finland guy,

    MS is not being dropped! LOL, do you think Dell would want to sink? Even if they do offer Linux equipped PCs, only the uber geeks are going to buy them. Its like MAC. You can freely buy MACs but they aren’t taking over Microsoft at 10% market share. And MACs are superior to Linux. So how much do you think Linux is going to get if MAC only has 10%?

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