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Dell eyes PCs running Linux, Windows at same time

File photo of a computer grab taken, January 31, 2007, shows a Dell logo in virtual world Second Life. Dell Inc. is developing consumer PCs that can run multiple versions of Microsoft Corp's Windows and Linux software at the same time, the personal computer maker's chief technology officer, Kevin Kettler, told Reuters. REUTERS/Mal Langsdon

BOSTON (Reuters) - Dell Inc. is developing consumer PCs that can run multiple versions of Microsoft Corp’s Windows and Linux software at the same time, the personal computer maker’s chief technology officer, Kevin Kettler, told Reuters.

Users of the new Dell PCs would be able to simultaneously run multiple, software-generated computers on one machine, using an increasingly popular technology known as virtualization.

Such PCs could go on sale as early as next year, Kettler said in an interview by telephone while attending the LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco.

He declined to say whether the machines will be able to run Apple Inc’s OS X software designed for its Macintosh computers, whose sales are growing faster than the overall PC market.

“I can’t speculate on that,” Kettler said. “Virtualization is very powerful. It’s an environment that would allow many different operating systems to co-exist. You can interpret that however you would like.”

Mac computers are able to run Windows software using virtualization programs including SWsoft’s Parallels and VMware’s Fusion.

Dell is developing the machines with help from several partners, including EMC Corp’s VMware unit, which is expected to go public through an initial public offering next week, and privately held SWsoft, he said.

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