Thursday, June 10, 2010

Memo from Dell: Ubuntu linux is safer than Windows

Even as Dell ships millions of Windows 7 systems, the PC giant is making a bold statement on its web site. Indeed, if you look hard enough you’ll find Dell stating that “Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft Windows.” Moreover, Dell quietly says it plans to ship Ubuntu 10.04 systems in mid-2010.

Visit and you’ll find a “Top Ten” list of “things you should know about Ubuntu.” Item number 6 on Dell’s list states:

“6) Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft® Windows® The vast majority of viruses and spyware written by hackers are not designed to target and attack Linux.”

On the one hand, Dell states the obvious: Hackers target Windows (rather than Linux) because of Microsoft’s massive installed base. But on the other hand, it takes guts for a major PC maker to state — in black and white — that Canonical’s Ubuntu is safer than Windows. The move will surely ruffle some feathers in Redmond.

But the story doesn’t end there. Dell claims it has shipped more computers pre-loaded and pre-tested with Ubuntu than any other computer maker in the world since 2007.

No doubt, Dell remains committed to Windows 7. But Dell’s decision to ship Google Android-based tablets and Ubuntu 10.04 systems reinforces a hard fact: PC industry leaders continue to seek alternatives to Windows, especially in emerging markets like mobile devices.

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