The Price of Wintel

From time to time the world needs to be reminded of the terrible cost of using Wintel. Here’s an example. ViewSonic makes a lot of electronics. They make thin clients. Two new models have these characteristics:

Feature SC-T35 SC-T45
OS Linux

M$’s OS

size 39.5 x143 x 103 mm

39.5 x143 x 103 mm

display Dual 1080p DVI

Dual 1080P DVI and VGA

Protocols Citrix ICA/HDX, VMware, and MS RemoteFX

Citrix ICA/HDX, VMware, and MS RemoteFX

Power Consumption 8W




Price $220


So, for about half the capital cost and half the cost of operation giving the same performance, you should use GNU/Linux rather than that other OS. It makes sense. When you add to these obvious advantages, which alone are sufficient to make the choice, the advantages of freedom from M$’s EULA, and the freedom to run the code, examine, modify and distribute the code under a FLOSS licence, it’s a no-brainer. Use FLOSS. Use GNU/Linux. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux.

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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8 Responses to The Price of Wintel

  1. Alex says:

    The atom’s RRP is $134 from Intel’s site, probably most of the price difference is due to that.

  2. ram says:

    A better price comparison would have been to a bare bones Atom system that is configured to run Linux.

    When core Linux applications are specifically compiled to run on Atom platforms their performance is pretty good, far better than using a generic precompiled version.

    Atom processors running Linux are very popular in China for education and government use. They dominate the market throughout Asia for controlling digital signage.

  3. oiaohm says:

    MK –If you call yourself a Linux advocate, may I suggest getting back to reality, and sticking to the strong, rather then weak point.–

    There is a catch. Linux people mention using thin clients then get picked on for that.

    The weak point is of interest. Desktop and Thin are truly highly linked. Graphical driver issues that effect desktop also effect thin to a point.

    From a technology point of view it gets very interesting. Thinclients used in the Linux world might not be that thin.

    MK go read Linux terminal Server project some time. Even on something like SC-T35 its possible to have some applications run locally. Of course to push application local on a SC-T35 it has to be an Linux application.

    MK yes good in theory to say focus on thin-clients. Problem is when you need high responsive application running thin does not exactly work. Ways of working around that leads you back to we have to take the Desktop and how questions. Yes the thick-client mode to thin clients. This feature also is not in the Windows models.

    Things will get simpler when ARM64 bit chips start becoming common.\

    Yes Mk the problem is the year of the Linux desktop is also required to have the Year of the perfect Thin/Thick Client. Then the Year of the Linux only server room without temptation to put windows in there also leads back to the same problem.

    The desktop is the one market were Linux success has been limited. Problem is that one market is effects how far Linux can go in a lot of other markets.

    MK basically get use to it the focus on the Linux Desktop is not going way until it has a decent acceptable market share.

  4. MK says:

    Yes indeed. Linux has been widely used in various spheres of the IT market, including thin clients, where no MS Exchange support is required. However, strangely enough, Linux bloggers have been somewhat quiet about those, and instead been stubbornly proclaiming the non-existent victory of Linux over Windows in the PC market. If you call yourself a Linux advocate, may I suggest getting back to reality, and sticking to the strong, rather then weak point.

  5. Mats Hagglund says:

    While not exactly same devices (SC T-35/45) the gap of price (about 200 dollars) is giving quite realistic picture how much more expensive Windows really is. You need more expensive compotents to run Windows on it. That’s the reason Windows licenses will never sell well outside OECD-countries and mobile world. It’s too expensive ecosystem for soutern Asia, Africa, Latin America but also among EU-nations like Creece, Portugal or Spain.

  6. dougman says:

    Windows Embedded Standard 7 costs $200?

    So, if you have ten clients, you are forking out an extra $2K for what??

    I can connect to Windows Servers all day with Remmina and Chrome RDP.

    That $2K, could be spent on ten Chromebooks.

  7. Ed says:

    But you can’t do anything useful with Loonix. It has a 1960s teletype interface and no apps. Who would want that? Nobody that’s who. Windows is the only thing you should be using.

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