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Microsoft Potential Dell Investment: Bad for Linux, FOSS?

Amid rumors that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) may invest in Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), a massive question has emerged: If such an investment occurs, will Dell maintain its extremely close relationships with Canonical (Ubuntu), Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), SUSE and other open source providers? Hmmm… Here’s The VAR Guy’s spin.
First, a little background. As you may have heard, Dell may go private. Investors could include Silver Lake Partners (a private equity firm), Microsoft, Michael Dell and others. If Microsoft pumps money into Dell, the software giant could strain relationships with Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Acer and other PC makers. Acer has already been critical of Microsoft’s Windows Surface RT and Surface Pro tablet launches.
Open Source Concerns
Meanwhile, a Microsoft-Dell financial relationship could also have a ripple effect in the open source world. Dell is one of the top suppliers of servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux. The company also has a close, ongoing relationship with Canonical, promoting Ubuntu Linux on PCs in emerging regions and also working with Canonical on cloud computing.
Moreover, Dell’s own public cloud will leverage OpenStack, the open source platform for launching infrastructure services.
But if Microsoft invests in Dell, will Dell deemphasize or abandon its open source relationships? The VAR Guy

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