Dual Booting Windows-Linux: The Dell Option

For those companies straddling the Windows and Linux worlds, Dell offers some advantages – but check the fine print.
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Generally when a company is considering an upgrade to new workstations or notebook computers, they will elect to use Microsoft Windows. Not out of love for the operating system, rather out of understanding for the importance of familiarity and compatibility with the existing office ecosystem. Sounds like a good approach, until the ecosystem breaks down with a security breach targeting the OS used almost exclusively by the business in question.

I believe the logical option that is missed these days is a second OS option, a tool that enables your IT staff to navigate the minefield that a security breach may have caused. That tool? The common Linux distribution.

Vista may be safe, but should your company put its trust in a single OS?

There is no question that Windows Vista is light years ahead in security when compared to Windows releases of years past. Yet the question of putting too much trust into one single operating system remains. I distinctly remember the rather simplistic 'Blaster Worm' ripping through hospitals, DMV offices, and a variety of other enterprise environments.

Considering the fact that the patch for this worm's payload existed even before the worm itself actually hit, the event proves that IT departments everywhere need an improved back-up plan, should using Windows become impossible. Having a malware resistant solution during such events would have made a world of difference.

At the end of the day, however, the question of who installs the 'back-up' OS remains. Is going with an OEM option, dual-boot solution the best option here?

“Dude, you're getting a Dell!”

The cost involved with the existing IT team installing the selected Linux distribution onto all of the workstations and notebooks throughout the company is frankly not a viable option. A wiser choice would be to look into an OEM solution with companies like Dell, as they can provide you with pre-configured workstations that offer Linux installed and ready to go. If a dual-boot environment is needed, many Linux OEMs are willing to work with your IT team to ensure that replacement machines are dual-boot ready with the latest copy of Windows Vista.

If your team needs something with a bit more power in a notebook form factor, then looking into Lenovo might be the best option. SuSE Linux notebooks for the entire IT team, which dual-boot Vista, will make any IT manager feel more secure should something malicious hit the network.

Going OEM not only makes more sense than in-house Linux installation, it can also save your company money in the long term by preventing any system configuration issues.

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