Linux Losing Market Share to Windows Server II

As a quick follow up to this post, it seems that Dell is not seeing the same trend. From the article:

Dell CEO: Linux server sales increasing

Claims made by Microsoft that Linux violates its software patent have not affected sales of Linux-based hardware, according to Dell’s CEO Michael Dell.

Speaking at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Dell said his company has seen Linux uptake for servers increase faster than Windows server products, despite Microsoft’s claims.

He said: “On the server side Linux continues to grow nicely, a bit faster than Windows. We’re seeing a move to Linux in critical applications, and Linux migration has not slowed down.”

Just another data point to keep in mind, like I said this stat is particularly hard to track with any real accuracy. While on the topic of Dell and Linux, it looks like Ubuntu desktop sales are tracking as expected. From a recent interview:

Can you give me an idea of what embracing Linux/Ubuntu for the home desktop and laptop has done for Dell? What has changed, what has stayed the same?

Embracing Ubuntu Linux on our desktops and laptops seems to have really raised Dell’s visibility within the Linux community. We have been supporting, testing, developing for, and selling Linux for 8+ years here at Dell, but before the Ubuntu announcement, a lot of people didn’t know that we did any of that. The announcement certainly opened people’s eyes, and there seems to be much more awareness now that Dell is serious about supporting Linux.

What has not changed is our overarching philosophy and trying to make Linux “just work” on all of Dell’s systems. Through our work with Linux on our servers and workstations, our goal has always been to push all device driver support and bug fixes into the respective upstream projects and to our Linux vendors. Our goal is to have customers be able to choose their Linux distro of choice, install it on whatever Dell system they buy, and have the OS install and run flawlessly. While this is very hard to accomplish, we have had a lot of success over the years doing this, and was an easy model to extend into the other Dell product lines for Linux.

Previous to our Ubuntu product announcement, it was much more difficult to extend this model to consumer desktop and laptop technologies. We would have a conversations with vendors about pushing Linux support for their hardware, but without a Linux product offering from Dell for that hardware, it was very difficult to convince them to release Linux drivers. That has certainly changed now that we offer Ubuntu Linux, and we are making much more progress in our vendor discussions.

Another area that has changed is our thinking around OS support models. Traditionally for enterprise Linux customers, if we sell them an OS on their system, they expect and demand a high level of operating system support. That is certainly not the case for our Ubuntu Linux customers, who have stated very loudly that, for the most part, they do not want to pay for OS support, and would rather get support from the community. That is a much different support model from what we have traditionally used, but is certainly one that we have embraced.

The original sales estimates for Ubuntu computers was around 1% of the total sales, or about 20,000 systems annually. Have the expectations been met so far? Will Dell ever release sales figures for Ubuntu systems?

The program so far is meeting expectations. Customers are certainly showing their interest and buying systems preloaded with Ubuntu, but it certainly won’t overtake Microsoft Windows anytime soon. Dell has a policy not to release sales numbers, so I don’t expect us to make Ubuntu sales figures available publicly.

A couple interesting tidbits in there. It’s absolutely great to see Dell pushing for more native vendor Linux drivers. They ship the kind of number needed to get vendors to listen. Kudos.


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