Microsoft’s nightmare before christmasFor at least the third time in recent weeks, prominent Dell newspaper advertisements feature the Inspiron Mini 9 Netbook running Canonical's Ubuntu 8.04 (that's a small Linux notebook, folks). The VAR Guy hears Microsoft "has gone postal" over the Linux notebook ads. You might even say this is Microsoft's nightmare before Christmas. Here's the complete scoop.

The VAR Guy first noticed Dell's newspaper inserts featuring the Inspiron Mini 9 running Ubuntu in October. Different versions of the ad seem to arrive at The VAR Guy's front door each Sunday. The latest Ubuntu Netbook ad was part of a Dell multi-page insert that shipped with Newsday (Long Island's largest newspaper) on Nov. 16.

Here's a look at the ad (the Linux Netbook is on top; the Windows XP Netbook is below). And The VAR Guy's pithy blog continues below -- including Microsoft's alleged reaction.

Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Netbook Running Ubuntu 8.04 (Linux)

Redmond Roars

At $349, Dell's low-cost Ubuntu Linux system is "giving Microsoft fits," according to one source familiar with the Microsoft-Dell relationship. "It's one thing to have Dell ship Linux to consumers," said the source. "It's quite another to have Dell advertising Linux to millions of consumers in a Sunday newspaper heading into the holiday season."

The VAR Guy has already explained why Linux Netbooks are impacting Microsoft Windows sales and profits. And don't forget: More and more businesses are running Ubuntu on selected desktops and servers. Check out the Works With U 1000 -- which tracks Ubuntu business deployments worldwide -- for details.

For the record, Dell's multi-page ad was filled with Windows Vista and Windows XP systems. But that one little Linux Netbook ad shows big changes are under way in the PC market, The VAR Guy believes.

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