This is kind of a different sentiment from some OEMs we know…
“It’s nice to have choices
All HP Workstations can support a variety of operating systems. HP engineers work extensively with Windows® and Linux operating system providers to verify top performance, flexibility, reliability, and compatibility with HP Workstations. We conduct joint engineering collaboration with industry partners long before systems are introduced.”
Further, when you look at the products we see things like this:
|Form Factor||Rackable minitower|
|Available Operating Systems||Windows 8 Pro 64-bit|
|Windows 8 中文版 64-bit|
|Windows 8 Pro Downgrade to Windows 7 Professional 32-bit|
|Windows 8 Pro Downgrade to Windows 7 Professional 64-bit|
|Windows 7 Professional 32-bit*|
|Windows 7 Professional 64-bit*|
|Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit*|
|HP Linux Installer Kit|
|Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop/Workstation* (1 year paper license; no preinstalled OS)|
|*||This system may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware and/or a DVD drive to install the Windows 7 software and take full advantage of Windows 7 functionality.|
The point is that the OS is not bundled with the workstation and users can get to see the price of that other OS. They do supply that other OS pre-installed but you can see the price difference between that and installing GNU/Linux.
With identical hardware, getting that other OS costs about $100 more.
I would bet the cost of tweaking the OS would amount to more with that other OS too. That has been my experience, hours instead of minutes with GNU/Linux.
Now, obviously, HP can do that for all their PCs and they could bundle GNU/Linux as well. Pick any of the major desktop distros and consumers would be happy. It costs HP nothing to give consumers a choice. It is a distortion of the market to give M$ the bye on retail shelves. Clearly there is a market for GNU/Linux PCs.