said by FF4m3 :
Microsoft's $2 billion loan to Dell is a sign that the software maker wants to influence hardware designs in a post-PC world while protecting itself from the growing influence of Linux-based operating systems in mobile devices and servers, according to analysts.
It may also be an attempt to secure the partnership and to stop the PC maker from looking toward alternative operating systems like Linux, analysts said. Dell offers Linux servers and in late November introduced a thin and light XPS 13 laptop with a Linux-based Ubuntu OS, also code-named Project Sputnik. Major PC makers in recent months have also introduced laptops with Chrome OS.
The investment could help Microsoft ensure that Dell doesn't drift toward Linux-based operating systems such as Chromebook or Android, said Al Hilwa, program director at IDC. "For them it's a little investment, but it allows them to put strategic influence" behind the device designs and software implementations, Hilwa said.
Microsoft's Windows 8, which shipped in October, so far has failed to lift PC shipments, which fell by 6.4 percent in fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the same quarter in 2011, according to research by IDC.
Dell's PC offerings are mainly based on Windows, but the company has been adding Linux to its server offerings. The company has also been increasing its profile in the open-source community with contributions to the OpenStack cloud OS and efforts like Crowbar, which is a software framework for systems management on Linux servers.
While Microsoft's loan isn't a major part of the deal, it is large enough to ensure Dell's commitment to Microsoft's products and keep its struggling PC business alive, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.
There could also be more touch-based laptops, tablets and even smartphones based on Microsoft's Windows operating systems in the future, King said.
However, a Microsoft-imposed limit on Linux-based product development would not necessarily be in Dell's best interests, King said. Despite Microsoft's loan, Dell will likely remain committed to Linux as it remains important to the company's enterprise offerings.
"I hope for both Dell's and Microsoft's case that the investment was made without strings attached," King said.
Hoping for MS to have made an investment like this one without major strings attached is like sticking your bare hand in a large bonfire and hoping you won't get burned.--
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