Friday, 25 May 2007


So much has happened in Linux land since I briefly discussed Vista that it's difficult to keep track of everything that's going on. The trends are clear though. We all know that Linux has basically won the battle of the server room. I'd like to hear one good reason for installing a new Windows server versus having it run some flavour of Linux. What must be even more worrying for Microsoft though are the clear signs that the Desktop may be next. Let's look a little closer at recent events:

Dell sells pre-loaded Ubuntu machines
This appears to be the first serious attempt by a major PC vendor to sell Linux desktops. I must admit I was a little sceptical at first, so I tried out their website earlier today. I knew Dell were only offering three models (two desktops and one laptop) to start with. I wanted to see what specs they had on offer for the Linux machines, the price and how easy it would be to purchase one. I was impressed on all accounts. Check out the Linux offerings for yourself .

Dell are certainly making all the right noises. I particularly like this quote from their article announcing the Ubuntu desktops:

"We will continue to work with vendors to improve the stability of the associated Linux drivers moving forward. That’s part of our longer-term goal to increase the number of drivers that work at the kernel level—something Direct2Dell readers made very clear. We’ll get there, it just takes time.
Dell certainly has enough clout to get other hardware manufacturers create Linux drivers. This can only be good for everyone. Now, if only they'd start selling these machines in the UK I'd buy one. My next home computer will definitely be a Dell/Ubuntu laptop.

Kubuntu 7.04 is released
I updated my home laptop from Edgy to Fiesty. It's worth the update just to get KNetworkManager. Fiesty is an incremental update to Edgy so don't expect too many changes. Most of the effort in the KDE project is going into KDE4 and rightly so. I can't wait to get my hands on the first release of Kubuntu with KDE4.

Microsoft issues patent threats
Steve Balmer has been telling people that Linux/OpenOffice violates MS patents but he can't tell us which ones, presumably because MS are too busy. Hmmn. Haven't I heard all this before (hint: think SCO)? Thankfully, most people have seen this for exactly what it is: FUD. Jim Zemlin shares his thoughts:

"If you earned $34 million a day from Windows and Office, you too would try to spook the market with patent threats"

Tux at the Indy 500
Finally, I'd like to congratulate the guys running the Tux500 project. It's a fantastic effort to market Linux and I'm sure everyone involved has done a lot of work. Check out the blog over at Lobby4Linux for more details.

So, there has never been a better time to be a Linux user and it's only going to get better. As Stephen Vaughan-Nicols points out, we are all Linux users now.