The Dell and Red Hat Linux alliance begins perhaps, with billionaire Michael Dell investing a tidy sum in the OS. Mr Dell's investment company MSD Capital LP, bought a $99.5-million piece of an estimated $600-million debenture offered by Red Hat. Both MSD and Red Hat were keeping pretty quiet about the investment, which could really mean anything. A major endorsement of the OS by Dell? Or the beginnings of what will one day be Dell Linux?

The companyís Red Hat purchase was the largest piece of the debenture taken by a single investor. According to the Journal, other investors included Citadel Equity Fund, which invested about $82.6 million, and UBS Securities, which invested $51.81 million. In a filing with regulators, Red Hat said MSD Capitalís share would be converted into 3.89 million shares of the Raleigh-based company.