After being berated by Microsoft for attempting to sell Linux on some of the company's desktop systems, Dell has decided to stop selling Windows altogether.
CEO Michael Dell said, in a fictional conference call with reporters, "Microsoft is in no position to push us around. By selling Linux, we will save each customer nearly $200 per computer. If Microsoft would like to continue selling Windows through Dell, it will need to ask very nicely and accept that we have the right to sell other operating systems."
Mr. Dell says Dell is going further and will be switching all its internal computers to Linux with a deadline of November 1st, 2004. "We realise this is a very ambitious goal, but the internal license cost savings alone will allow me to buy a new Ferrari every month."
Microsoft has reacted angrily to the news. Steve Ballmer is in the hospital recovering from choking on his breakfast after receiving the news, but a spokesperson says that "Microsoft is not impressed with Dell's actions and will be taking anti-competitive action to ensure that the hardware company changes its mind."
A vehicle with Washington state plates "BILL" was seen entering the Round Rock, Texas based head office of Dell corp. just before press time escorted by several large SUVs. It is not known at this time what is being negotiated.
HP-Compaq, the world's #2 seller of desktop computers - behind Dell - is expected to follow Dell's lead on Monday and cease selling any Windows operating systems on their desktop computers.
Gateway, however, says their computers will remain unequivocally Windows-only. The desktop manufacturer believes the extra expense of Windows is valuable to consumers. Gateway spokesman William Bradley said of Dell's move, "I'm glad to hear Dell will be selling less expensive computers without the Microsoft tax -- we'll finally be able to upgrade the computers around the office."
Italian distributor Questar, which managed to send Dell down its course toward the abandonment of Windows, says that Dell has "made the right decision" in moving away from Microsoft, and that it hopes Dell is not doing it to get a better deal from the Redmond, WA-based software giant.