[LINK] Apple's Intel Desktop Move Threatens Linux Desktop,
glen.turner at aarnet.edu.au
Thu Jun 9 13:34:46 EST 2005
Deus Ex Machina wrote:
> distributors are not interested in linux because there isnt a decent
You've got to ask which distributors. Software distributors
certainly aren't interested Traditional distributors aren't
going to handle a product which comes in tens of variants, is
obsoleted frequently, and has a low margin.
Having written that, *someone* is filling this niche as every
uni bookshop has a rack of low-cost CDs with a range of Linux
distributions. And on the web Everything Linux looks like a
nice little earner.
I'm not so sure about hardware distributors. If it is cheaper
then they can sell more of it. And having the OS not decrease
in cost in line with the falling cost of hardware opens the
door to hardware distributors considering Linux. At the moment
Microsoft is holding them back by contractural T&Cs, but that
can't work forever.
> I was in dick smith last week listening to the sales girl telling
> acustomer that if she wanted a secure OS she should use XP which of
> course they could sell.
> why should the retailer push something with zero to miniscule margins
> when they can get a decent margin on XP?
I'm not sure the retail situation is as bad as that. You only get to
sell a Windows upgrade every three years, but you can sell a Linux
upgrade every six months. And by getting the customer into your shop
more you sell them other stuff too.
For retailers I don't think it's margins that's the problem. It's more
that the retailer doesn't have faith that a Linux sale won't result in
ongoing costs and unhappy customers.
I think we're approaching the point were people can have that faith.
I've had Ubuntu Linux running on my mother-in-law's machine for about
two months (I got sick of de-lousing her Windows machine every time
I visited). The only complaints were: the lack of a Shockwave plugin,
mplayer-plugin doesn't do neat visualisations like Media Player;
the OpenOffice menus were comprehensible but different. That is,
complaints about minor stuff. Nothing like "I'm a Windows user
and I've no idea how to do this under Linux".
But the very neatest thing is when she stuffs up something (like
associating a MIME type with a application that's never going to
decode the content) I can just SSH in and fix it.
And that's where I see the market going. You'll buy the OS with
your computer and, just like the lawns you bought with your house,
the son-in-law or Jim's Computing will maintain it. And it's in
the interest of son-in-laws and Jim that the OS be Linux.
Glen Turner Tel: (08) 8303 3936 or +61 8 8303 3936
Australia's Academic & Research Network www.aarnet.edu.au
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