Yesterday, Dell said that it will start preloading Ubuntu Linux onto three Dell PCs targeted at the technical consumer market. As proponents of open source and Linux, Novell is happy to see Linux being preloaded onto any desktop machine. This announcement is just one more proof point in the continued growth of Linux. We view Dell’s move as a positive step forward for the Linux market. Dell will be loading Linux onto desktops aimed at the technical enthusiast community – the same community of people who voted on Dell’s Ideastorm website. We understand that support for the Ubuntu preload will be available through online technical self-help forums monitored by the community.
Novell’s approach to the Linux desktop market differs slightly from Ubuntu. Novell’s target customer for the Linux desktop is the enterprise business user, and so we’ve focused SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop squarely at the business market. For example, as we announced back in January, Peugeot, a top 10 global automotive manufactuer, purchased 20,000 copies of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop for general purpose business use. Novell won that deal by delivering the reliability and support that business customers demand.
Novell believes that the Linux desktop is ready for mainstream deployment in the enterprise, and that means you need to have enterprise quality support – something that Novell has a 23 year history of offering. Novell is in serious conversations with several leading hardware OEMs about preloading a Linux desktop that will be targeted at broad enterprise use. If we do release SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop on a preloaded OEM machine, it will come with the enterprise support that our customers require to run their businesses.