IDC FORUM: NT to prevail over Linux, says Dell

IDC FORUM: NT to prevail over Linux, says Dell

Dell chairman and chief executive officer Michael Dell on Monday predicted that Microsoft's Windows NT operating system will continue to dominate its upstart rival Linux in the PC server market.

"I don't think it will happen," responded Dell, when asked when he thought the much-talked-about Linux operating system will ship in more Dell servers than Microsoft's NT.

Perhaps realising that he had made a comment he might one day regret, Dell quickly added: "But if it does happen, we will be ready."

Noting that his company earlier this year entered into a relationship with Red Hat Software, one of the leading Linux providers, Dell said that the direct PC vendor is already shipping Red Hat's version of the open-source operating system in some of its servers.

Dell made his remarks in a question-and-answer session following his presentation here at International Data Corporation's European IT Forum. In his speech, Dell gave the audience an update of how his own company's electronic-commerce efforts are progressing.

The company is already seeing more than 40 per cent of its revenues coming from sales over the Web, representing a $US11 billion annual run rate, with more than half of consumer revenues coming from the Internet, Dell said.

"The Internet is a weapon just sitting there on a table. Either you will pick it up, or your competitor will," Dell said.

In short, there are three rules a successful Internet company should live by, he said:

* Velocity. Information about what the customer wants to buy will replace the need for inventory;* Efficiency. This is just as important as products and service because it can save a company a lot of money; and* Customer experience. The Web site must create a better experience for the customer than what can be offered in the real world.

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