The same day Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer issued an E-mail to customers promoting the virtues of Windows against the dramatic growth of open-source software, longtime Microsoft partner Dell tightened its relationship with Linux provider Novell.
During the fourth quarter, Dell will begin shipping its PowerEdge 1850, 2800, and 2850 servers with Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 preinstalled, Dell said Wednesday.
Dell will offer SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 for a $175 per-CPU annual maintenance subscription and $269 for a dual-CPU subscription. Dell, a company known for entering new markets only after they've matured enough to generate sufficient revenue, already has a similar relationship with Microsoft and Novell rival Red Hat Inc. Dell has shipped Red Hat Enterprise Linux with PowerEdge 4600, 2650, and 1650 servers since August 2003, charging $349 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES and $899 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS. Dell will also ship Red Hat on its PowerEdge 1850, 2800, and 2850 servers.
Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun Microsystems have offered SuSE Enterprise Linux preinstalled on their servers for more than a year. "Dell was the last of the majors not to have a relationship with SuSE Linux," a Novell spokesman says. "We consider this to be a validation of our strategy and of our platform."