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Computer Giant Dell Is Latest to Jump on Linux Bandwagon

April 07, 1999| From Reuters

NEW YORK — Dell Computer Corp., the top supplier of corporate personal computers, on Tuesday became the latest computer maker to throw support to Linux, an alternative to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows software.

In a series of announcements, Dell said it had taken an equity stake in closely held Red Hat, a leading supplier of Linux software, and is now offering to install Linux on some Dell server and workstation computers and will shortly offer it on desktops.

Linux, a variant of the Unix software system used to run large-scale business operations, is maintained by a far-flung group of software programmers instead of being controlled by one company, as Unix and rival Windows NT from Microsoft are.

As such, Linux presents a growing challenge to existing software systems, although its use on desktop PCs has been limited because the most widely used desktop program, Microsoft Office suite, does not run on Linux.

In a further endorsement of Linux, Dell said it had signed up a new corporate customer, clothing retailer Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp., to buy 1,250 desktop PCs running Linux as its operating system software.

Dell said it plans to offer Linux on its Optiplex line of corporate desktop PCs during the first half of the year.

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