New GNU/Linux Choices Coming Soon to Retail Stores

  • Chromebooks at Best Buy, Google’s implementation of “the web is (nearly) everything”
  • The New Asus EeePC 1225C, the return of GNU/Linux to the netbook from ASUS, the first big OEM to promote netbooks
  • Dell’s ‘Project Sputnik’, a notebook designed for developers
  • The Diminutive Desktop – what I like to call small cheap computers.

I think there’s a reason the chorus chanting that GNU/Linux has no chance on the desktop has become so shrill. It’s already happened in Brazil, Russia, India, China, Malaysia, … and they are afraid it will soon happen in USA, home of the slaves to Wintel and the land of Big Brothers Wintel.

see Katherine Noyes – 4 Intriguing Desktop Linux Options Coming Soon to Retail Stores.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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25 Responses to New GNU/Linux Choices Coming Soon to Retail Stores

  1. oiaohm says:

    Most likely because you walk straight past them and don’t even see them Yonah.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loongson

    You are looking for a computer with a case about the same size as a 5 1/4 cdrom drive or the all in one. XiZhiMen has a few stores selling Loongson stuff running Linux. That is hardware that running Windows is not even an option.

    Just so you have a few pictures of 100 percent sure Linux machines to keep your eye out for Yonah http://www.lemote.com/en/

    I would say its a case of not knowing what you are looking at Yonah so have most likely looked straight past them to the more expensive items on the shelf.

    Yes the cdrom size machine is still a desktop machine. The Linux machines in china have a down right habit of being small in size compare to normal x86 PC’s.

    This is only the Loongson there are a few arm desktop machines being sold in china as well.

    Clarence Moon as normal wrong.
    “People do not buy netbooks or computers of any kind based on price.”
    Computers are no different to cars. Most people would like to drive around in a expensive car but cannot afford it.

    Price effects retail as well. Critical ratio appears to be yearly income vs device. Areas where the yearly income is less than 10000 USD. Retail shelves have more Linux machines mostly because there are machines in that range that get into the sub 200 dollars. Its also the fact is under 10000 dollars the cost of living means 10 to 20 dollars profit per unit is workable.

    The issue in the USA with Linux machines is there low cost equals low income per unit when matched to USA high cost of living being able to sell enough units to be profitable is a problem.

    Android tablets you will also notice that you go to Amazon you can by sub 200 dollar but try buying sub 200 dollar retail in the USA with support. Linux basically priced itself out the USA market in the funniest way. Not too expensive. Too cheep for retail to make a profit.

    You will not see sub 200 dollar in USA general computer store retail. This is why sub 200 dollar Android are turning up in food stores and other things in the USA. Laptops and Desktops take up too much shelf space for there price but tablets don’t for food stores to consider stocking them.

    So Linux in USA in laptop, desktop and netbook form is mostly online. Tablet and phone form being android mostly lower customer service areas like food stores.

    Clarence Moon it gets very interesting when you understand the price per cubic decimetre of shelf space. Cubic decimetre is directly linked to how much face time with sales people you will get. Anything that takes up more space than the profit it can be made will not remain on a retail shelf. Note a warehouse has a lower Cubic Decimetre income requirement. Your Cubic Decimetre income requirement is directly countries required wages for you sales staff.

    Once you understand this you understand why you don’t see particular things in the USA but you see stuff in other countries.

    XiZhiMen is not exactly the poor part of china Yonah either. Retail also altered between rich and poor areas. No point having 10 standard PC’s on the shelf if no one in the area can afford them.

    Again is price per decimetre required for profit. So rents in particular areas also increase this. It is a interesting effect to say the least when you understand it.

    Clarence Moon its not if people will buy something based on price its if they will even get the option. Based on how much money the device can get based on area.

    Apple stores can afford more open space because they make more profit per device.

    Android Mobile phone devices you see them stacked in as tight as the shop can get them. Including limited numbers on display and lots tightly packed out the back. In fact most of the display stock is fake. This is because a loss of a display item will eat into profit.

    Android tablet market is very much the same thing.

    PC market you have full machines sitting running on display that people can see them running very few fakes. So more expensive retail.

    Linux desktop and netbook really did not fit the place fake on display yet its price margin was in that range for the USA market.

    Clarence Moon
    “market positioning for consumer products”
    Problem is yes I have done this. I know more about the topic than you do. You are working from presumes based on what you are seeing with no understand of the retail requirements for consumer products. Yes those requirements are part of market positioning.

    You most likely did not know it was possible to have a item with a too low of shelf price to be stocked in retail.

    The price is so important. Its not just the customer deciding to buy on price is the shop deciding if they can display it in a way that they can make a profit. Linux netbooks and PCs have a habit in developed countries for price being too low to be profitable for the bricks and mortar stores.

    This price being too low for the USA and other developed countries does not apply in less developed countries. China is a mix of haves and have nots so income in particular areas in China Linux devices are not affordable to be on display in other areas they are highly affordable to be on display.

  2. Yonah says:

    “It’s already happened in Brazil, Russia, India, China, Malaysia,”

    It has? How did I miss that? I still haven’t seen GNU/Linux on a single desktop machine in the wild. But, here is a picture of another unofficial Apple store that just opened up in my favorite shopping mall adjacent to 西直门地铁站 (XiZhiMen Subway station):

    http://tinypic.com/r/20j32b4/6

  3. Clarence Moon says:

    Dumbo. People do not buy netbooks or computers of any kind based on price. They buy them to scratch an itch that they might have for a better experience. Price goes to affordability and that is much lower on the priority list than look and feel. Instead of inventing things in your head read about market positioning for consumer products. Look for the term “shopping goods”.

  4. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon
    “Oh, I did not say netbooks were dead, just Linux based netbooks ala’ 2008. There were 3 or 4 models on display at the local discount emporium the other day when I looked. They all used Windows, of course.”

    Really you are USA alone. Sorry to say that is not global. How many android tablets where there with keyboard option.

    Android tablets and Linux netbooks do give retail a problem due to price. Almost no profit to be made for countries like the USA where a Dollar cannot buy a lot.

    Linux device sales are directly linked to how much you can buy for the price of the machine. Since places where its a years wage there is profit to be made. Places where its a days wage there is not profit to be made in retail.

    This is the reality Clarence Moon what you are seeing on the shop shelf direct links to the base wage of the country. Big thing here is this wall will break. Retail stores have wanted to stay with Windows to increase commission.

    Sub 100 dollar tablets are going to put a breaking pressure on the windows netbooks.

    You are in an out of alignment area Clarence Moon it will correct at some point.

  5. Clarence Moon says:

    Netbooks have declined but they are not nearly dead.

    Oh, I did not say netbooks were dead, just Linux based netbooks ala’ 2008. There were 3 or 4 models on display at the local discount emporium the other day when I looked. They all used Windows, of course.

  6. Excellent comment, oiaohm. Thanks.

  7. oiaohm says:

    Chris Weig
    “Read the interview with Jerry Tung from MSI again. He points out specifically that the research they did wasn’t limited to MSI products, but was, in fact, valid for the entire netbook market.” Read more carefully Jerry Tung presumes its the complete market

    A few weeks late you have ASUS Dell HP…. Release their figures. Complete different to the MSI figures.

    ASUS, Dell and HP all release the windows return rates along side the Linux return rates. The return rate was higher in general than what Ubuntu thought. Its about 10 percent due to shipping caused defects. This was not just Linux with this problem but hardware design issue effecting even machines with no OS. Most of that was not having enough slack in leads so when a shipping container got a bit abused netbooks were internally damaging themselves.

    Funny enough at Dell the Windows machines were returned more often as failed and the high return rate trace to the fact the Windows machines were infected. Other than that Windows and Linux return rates were equal.

    Chris Weig
    “So if ASUS’s Linux didn’t look and feel like Windows, the return rate for ASUS’s Linux netbooks would also have to be significantly higher than the return rate of Windows netbooks.”

    http://eeepc.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/asus-eee-pc-linux-7inch1.jpg
    This is the 2008 ASUS Linux netbook default display. I want you to tell me how that looks like windows. Really the 2008 and 2009 ASUS Linux machines have gone out of there way not to look like Windows at all. They have a zero return rate due to OS because people were not buying them by mistake. Yet they sell millions of theses.

    Chris Weig Group test 2009
    http://www.tuxradar.com/content/group-test-linux-netbooks

    Scroll down the list. The only one that looks like Windows is the MSI unit.

    Turns out MSI had the completely wrong idea. MSI spent a lot of work to try to make there units look like Windows. And the more it looked like Windows the higher there return rates went.

    Your claim on look and feel is bogus Chris Weig. Android that looks unique is the correct answer. Don’t try to look like another OS all that does is cause uses to mix your item up with that other OS so they expect it todo things it cannot.

    Common sense is a risky thing. Like common sense tells you not to make a rubber malt the exact same shape as a metal hammer because you will pick up the wrong one. So hit a soft object with a metal hammer and a hard object with the rubber malt effectively either damaging the rubber malt or the soft object. This is what MSI did with there OS selection and could not work out why they had upset users.

    Chris Weig the lesson is do not copy the look and feel of windows. Take the concepts yes. Do up a unique looking interface. So that only the users who want Linux buy it.

    Concepts include like naming. So calling network manager like ip/tcp management is not going to work because person will not find there way around.

    Look and Feel is a strict do not unless you want more returns that you know what to deal with. Concepts is yes. There is one other important differences. The MSI unit did not include a means to search menus.

    Turns out the most importing things are concepts and search. Everything else about look and feel you could basically throw away as long as the concepts are right and search is effective.

    Android in fact is based off the lessons. Android devices was designed to fast and simple to search while still using the common concept naming. This is why android worked.

    Chris Weig your style of argument says Android should have failed as well. So should the ipad so should apple computers. The idea you are quote that the MSI guy said is bogus. Ubuntu did not understand the rate of hardware failure at the time. So the return rates looks suspect to them but it was not Ubuntu only with the problem. Modern design netbooks and laptops leave a little more slack in wiring than 2007-2008 did. Yes it was save 10 cents in wire per unit to have 1 in 10 bounce back with hardware defect. Yes when you are producing millions of units each cent adds up but something there is a price reduction too far.

    2007-2008 is not a good years in a lot of ways for laptops and netbooks.

  8. Clarence Moon wrote, “production of Linux netbooks ceased.”

    Nope. Didn’t happen. GNU/Linux netbooks dropped a bit but much of the expansion of netbooks was XP. Now that XP is no longer offered. Netbooks have declined but they are not nearly dead.

  9. Clarence Moon says:

    If GNU/Linux on most netbooks was selling out, why would the share of other PCs be 1%

    “Selling out” only occurred for the pilot production of Linux netbooks and there were no other such products being offered, so the share of Linux on “other PCs” would be essentially zero. Once the netbooks were able to switch to a version of Windows compatible with the low end hardware used, production of Linux netbooks ceased.

  10. oldman, denying “many organizations large and small use GNU/Linux quite happily”, is quite wrong in his assessment.

    He must be thinking of USA because Munich, French police and legislature, province of Extremadura, Spain, Governments of Brazil, Russia, India, China and Malaysia are all happy with GNU/Linux.

    In USA, his neck of the woods, NYSE does use GNU/Linux on its servers but it uses OpenMAMA, as a communication protocol allowing all kinds of software to be used. What do they use on their client machines? Here’s an example of their virtual machines running whatever app is required on whatever OS is required including GNU/Linux. Why should they limit themselves to that other OS when GNU/Linux works so well?

    US DoD was the largest customer of RedHat in 2008 and it wasn’t just for servers:
    ““We are not mandating that it’s either “open” or “proprietary” solutions,” he continued “We want to pay for unique intellectual property when they are best of breed, but not succumb to code and vendor-specific lock-in situations. Acquisition of proprietary solutions needs to be a conscience choice, not an assumption. The default should be “open technology development,” where standards and interfaces are open and accessible and best of breed software is utilized, all coupled with the Air Force exercising data rights. Further, we need to move toward an increased competitive, collaborative and interoperable environment across the Services and industry for technology development. This strategy will help to minimize redundant development efforts and enable more agile development and deployment of systems.” “

    see http://archive09.linux.com/feed/61302

    Google, many educational organizations and other businesses do use GNU/Linux desktops. To state otherwise is baseless.

  11. oldman says:

    “Ignorance of the fact that many organizations, large and small use GNU/Linux quite happily.”

    As servers not workstations.

  12. Clarence Moon, using weasel words, wrote, “that was in the heyday of Linux netbook sales. Soon after that the number of Linux models went to zero and the ratio went to infinity”

    Give your head a shake. If GNU/Linux on most netbooks was selling out, why would the share of other PCs be 1%? There’s no logic there. No proportionality. Ignorance of the fact that many organizations, large and small use GNU/Linux quite happily.

  13. Clarence Moon says:

    So, if the GNU/Linux machines are selling with 10% share, why do so many talk of ~1%?

    For one thing, that was in the heyday of Linux netbook sales. Soon after that the number of Linux models went to zero and the ratio went to infinity. Even so, netbooks were less than 10% of the overall market and so 10% of 5% is 0.5%. A math whiz like yourself should be able to understand that.

  14. Chris Weig wrote, “It’s not one failure case, it’s an example of systemic failure of Linux on the desktop.”

    That’s clearly contrary to the facts. GNU/Linux is used on the desktop by many millions of people and it’s growing rapidly in usage. How is that possible with systemic failure? I have given GNU/Linux desktops to complete newbies in schools with scarcely a problem. Show them once how to point and click and you’re done, for students from six to 20-something. It takes just one or two classes to show grade 10 students how to strip a PC to parts, reassemble, install GNU/Linux and run it for pity’s sake. It’s not hard at all. The failure rate of students to do that was 0%. I taught courses where stuff like that was evaluated by a checklist and it was rare for any student to get less than 100%.

    You know what the number one complaint of students about GNU/Linux is? Not echoing the characters when typing in the password… That startles many users. Number two? It’s so fast they have no time to fool around waiting for a usable desktop to appear… I have worked in schools where XP took 2 minutes to come to a usable desktop and on the same hardware GNU/Linux was ~40s, 30s to get to the login screen and 10s to get a usable desktop. Opening OpenOffice.org took less than 2s while that other OS took 7s to get OpenOffice.org to open. Why? Because they were using a thick client with a single slow hard drive whilst GNU/Linux was trivial to use the same hardware as a thin client of a terminal server with files cached. The last year I taught, I had the opportunity to teach students how to unbox a new PC loaded with that other OS. Their comment? “It’s so slow!”. That was a new-in-box dual core PC running that other OS versus 8 year old 32 bit PCs running GNU/Linux.

    Where’s the systemic failure? None. GNU/Linux is designed and built by people who do not accept failure as an option.

  15. oiaohm says:

    Mats Hagglund the high returns were directly linked to Linux models dressed up as Windows by themeing. So people thought they were getting one thing then found out they had something different.

    Informed consent. Same problem happened with a particular model Windows PC that case looked like a OS X machine. Same problem.

    The interesting point is that the high return rates of MSI proves something else. When you take it in context of dell and Asus. Lot of people don’t pirate windows. If the machine does not have Windows and they want to treat it like windows they return it.

  16. Chris Weig says:

    ASUS did not use a Linux configure to look like Windows.

    You haven’t understood a thing. It was pointed out by Canonical and MSI that the higher return rate of Linux netbooks was directly related to the unfamiliar interface. So if ASUS’s Linux didn’t look and feel like Windows, the return rate for ASUS’s Linux netbooks would also have to be significantly higher than the return rate of Windows netbooks. Your logic is flawed.

    Read the interview with Jerry Tung from MSI again. He points out specifically that the research they did wasn’t limited to MSI products, but was, in fact, valid for the entire netbook market.

    Chris Weig and Ted is MS trolls take the one failure case and blowing it out the water. Not understand that the failure was kinda predictable.

    BS. It’s not one failure case, it’s an example of systemic failure of Linux on the desktop.

    We’ve heard this one all too often from you. It’s always an isolated case. Well, this style of argumentation is flawed, too.

  17. Mats Hagglund says:

    I’ve never believed that higher returning % of Linux netbooks. It was quite the same than that of Windows (info by Dell). However there was one difference. Linux netbooks were returned because “they were not Windows”. Windows netbooks were returned because “they were not working”. In real life things normally go in this way: many people don’t like Linux coz it’s not Windows (“unfamiliar”) and most of the people don’t like Windows coz it sucks.

  18. oiaohm says:

    Ted MSI used a Linux that was configured to Look like Windows.

    ASUS did not use a Linux configure to look like Windows.

    Results major-ally different return rates.

    Ted yes there is a lesson there. Don’t dress Linux up in Windows look. http://xpde.holobit.net/shots.php This is the windows manager the MSI ones had.

    MSI blamed Linux not there choice in Windows manager. ASUS and Dell and others who did not make there machines look like windows did not have high return rates. People were not screwing up.

    Chris Weig and Ted is MS trolls take the one failure case and blowing it out the water. Not understand that the failure was kinda predictable.

    There have been equal issues with OS X look a like machines. With same return rate problem.

    Ted 2009 was after MS redefined netbook and pushed everything that was not a 10 inch screen from being a netbook. So anything under 10 inch become a subnotebook and everything over become a notebook.

    Lot of the Linux units were either bigger or smaller than 10 inch. So you see a drop in netbook figures even that Linux does not really move.

  19. Ted wrote, “more than 9 to 1”.

    Hmmm. So, if the GNU/Linux machines are selling with 10% share, why do so many talk of ~1%? There’s the lie. Further, return rates were not exceptional with GNU/Linux.

    Repetition of a lie does not make it true. I have used GNU/Linux with hundreds of newbies and there was no more trouble for them than that other OS. Sure, people still forgot passwords… but there were no show-stoppers. In my whole career only one user demanded the installation of that other OS which I did at great cost and she found it would not do the job.

  20. Ted says:

    “ASUS stated publicly that returns were no problem as did retailers.”

    One swallow does not make a summer, Mr Pogson. One datapoint does not make a trend.

    We’ve been over this before, allow me to refresh your memory;

    From; http://mrpogson.com/2012/06/01/wintel-prices-itself-out-of-the-notebook-market/#comment-89909

    “Netbook return rates much higher from Linux than Windows” [emphasis mine]

    http://linux.slashdot.org/story/08/10/05/123253/netbook-return-rates-much-higher-for-linux-than-windows

    And also;

    “We don’t know what the XP return rates are. But I will say that the return rate is above normal for netbooks that offer open-source operating systems” Gerry Carr, marketing manager at CANONICAL.

    “The return rate is at least four times higher for Linux netbooks than Windows XP netbooks.” MSI statement, unattributed.

    “Our internal research has shown that the return of netbooks is higher than regular notebooks, but the main cause of that is Linux.” Andy Tung, MSI.

    [in all cases, emphasis mine]

    And you can’t argue with the sales figures. Windows outsold Linux on netbooks EASILY.

    “Our Windows XP netbooks are outselling Linux machines by more than 9 to 1,” Henry Lee senior product manager – retail channel manager, Acer.

    http://appscout.pcmag.com/microsoft-windows/273814-windows-beating-linux-on-netbooks-by-a-big-margin

    “M$ forced XP onto it and it stagnated.”

    Demand from those pesky real-world users forced XP onto netbooks and then they took off. And despite your assertions, netbooks are far from dead. They’re still selling in both the UK and US. Would you like the PC World and Best Buy links to 30-odd netbooks each to remind you again?

  21. Chris Weig says:

    Andy Tung from MSI spoke of netbooks in general, and his comment on Linux netbooks being returned more often was backed by statistics MSI did. Jerry Shen on the other hand had nothing to offer but this:

    I think the return rate for the Eee PCs are low but I believe the Linux and Windows have similar return rates.

    He believes? He better should’ve checked.

  22. ASUS stated publicly that returns were no problem as did retailers.

  23. Chris Weig says:

    Then, M$ forced XP onto it and it stagnated.

    Got that wrong again, Mr. Pogson. Customers didn’t want Linux on their netbooks, which showed in the return rate. This was even confirmed by Canonical, which, as to be expected, blamed the users.

    Nice try, though.

  24. Chris Weig, go back to the dark side of Moon or from whence you came. ASUS produced GNU/Linux netbooks back in 2007 and had to redouble production rates repeatedly to keep up with demand. Specs are here.

    “The Asus Eee PC is being called the most wanted Christmas gift in America. It is number one on wish lists at Amazon.com and it is also number one at CNET.com. Asus predicts that its projected sales goal of 350,000 units will be met by the end of the year; next year the company predicts sales of 3 to 5 million units.

    The Eee PC is a success not only in the US, but around the world. It is sold out in many places as soon as it hits the market. “

    Then, M$ forced XP onto it and it stagnated.

  25. Chris Weig says:

    Chromebooks at Best Buy, Google’s implementation of “the web is (nearly) everything”

    Yeah, hasn’t Chrome OS windows now? So it’s almost like a real OS. Except that it sucks.

    The New Asus EeePC 1225C, the return of GNU/Linux to the netbook from ASUS, the first big OEM to promote netbooks

    The return of GNU/Linux? It was never there to begin with. And ASUS isn’t really promoting GNU/Linux with this thing. Let’s see what’s written in the specifications:

    Operating System: Ubuntu *1

    Note: *1 : May Vary by SKU and country.

    So I guess most countries will vote for the vastly superior Windows 7.

    And, really, Mr. Pogson: Wintel is dead, but Ubuntel is alive and endorsed by you? Very schizophrenic.

    Dell’s ‘Project Sputnik’, a notebook designed for developers

    Excuse me? It’s a stock DELL laptop with Ubuntu marketed as a developer laptop. Hardly exciting. And didn’t DELL basically kill off all their Ubuntu PCs? Oh right, you can order their wonderful small selection of outdated PCs with Ubuntu by phone. Too bad nobody knows about it.

    The Diminutive Desktop – what I like to call small cheap computers.

    Really!? Such desperation.

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