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Dell Says Ubuntu Is Safer Than Windows

Dell has long made the vast majority of its money selling Windows-based PCs. In mid 2007, the company did start selling some computers pre-loaded with Ubuntu, but they were not heavily promoted, and the selection left something to be desired. It appears, though, that the company is prepared to push a little harder on behalf of the open-source OS.

A new post on the Dell Ubuntu page extols the virtues of the Linux distribution with a "top ten list" of things you should know about Ubuntu. Most are fairly pedestrian bits about it being "simple and elegant," and its impressively short boot times. But number six on the list, while undeniable, is bound to ruffle some feathers: "Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft Windows."

The full entry on the list reads: "The vast majority of viruses and spyware written by hackers are not designed to target and attack Linux." That's an accurate and diplomatic way to make the point, but it's the blunter title of the entry that is garnering some attention. With the release of 10.04 (Lucid Lynx), Ubuntu has made a major push for consumer relevance. Dell is expected to update its Linux-based PC line to 10.04 soon. When considered alongside the company's decision to ditch Windows Mobile for Android on its tablets and cell phones, this may indicate stiffer challenges to Microsoft's dominance in the days and years ahead.

Dell is not about to stop selling computers loaded with Windows 7, of course, and we're sure that, if Microsoft complains loudly enough, Dell will amend its top 10 list. Still, this is just one more sign (along with HP's purchase of WebOS) that Redmond's traditional partners are growing dissatisfied with the status quo.

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