Memo to Dell: Pump Up Ubuntu Linux

Includes: DELL, MSFT
by: Joe Panettieri

Hey Greg Davis. You’ve just been named Dell’s (DELL) global channel chief -- in charge of the PC giant’s worldwide partner strategy. What are you going to do to help bolster Dell's profits? Here’s one suggestion: Offer some Ubuntu Linux PCs to Dell's global partner base. Here’s why.

Sure, Dell has successfully introduced a few Ubuntu PCs and laptops to the geek crowd. But now it’s time for Dell to disrupt the very PC industry it helped to build.

Remember: Michael Dell himself used Ubuntu Linux on a home PC before Dell (the company) decided to sell Ubuntu systems in mid-2007. Greg Davis, Dell’s new global channel chief, should do the same.

Start using disruptive technology, Greg, to see emerging market opportunities before Dell's competition. Start speaking with IT consulting firms that sell into large government organizations and large school systems. You’ll hear demand for desktop open source — very loudly — from those experts. (Heck, look at the WorksWithU 1000 list for dozens of schools and government organizations worldwide already running Ubuntu servers and desktops.)

More Than Microsoft

Windows 7 (whenever that arrives…), Windows Small Business Server and Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) enterprise software will remain a huge revenue opportunity for Dell and its channel partners.

But there’s room at Dell, too, for a strong Ubuntu partner strategy. Dell promoted Ubuntu-based Netbooks (those small, low-cost laptops) to kids and parents during the holidays. Next, empower solutions providers with Ubuntu, and you’ll accelerate sales into emerging markets.

Steal a page from IBM and investigate virtual Ubuntu desktops hosted on centralized servers. Get creative — and aggressive — by introducing so-called Mobile Internet Devices running Ubuntu.

Greg: Seek freedom. Seek disruption. Seek leverage against Microsoft. But most of all, seek new software solutions that will drive profits for Dell and its partners around the world. No doubt, Ubuntu Linux could play a role in that effort.

Are you listening, Greg?

Disclosure: no positions