First Cell-phones. PCs Next?

In response to a petition demanding consumers be permitted to use the hardware that they bought:
“The White House agrees with the 114,000+ of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties. In fact, we believe the same principle should also apply to tablets, which are increasingly similar to smart phones. And if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren’t bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network. It’s common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring we continue to have the vibrant, competitive wireless market that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers’ needs.”via White House urges reversal of ban on cell-phone unlocking

If restricting what consumers can do with the cell-phones, smartphones and tablets that they own is unconscionable, isn’t it time personal computers of all kinds were freed from the unconscionable terms of end-user licence agreements (more likely, decrees by monopolists) which are clear attempts to monopolize hardware and to extend copyright beyond what legislators conceived? This is not a new concept. Richard Stallman was decades ahead of the US government when he called for Free Software to be used everywhere.duo

The government of the USA is on the verge of getting the concept. You own the hardware. You have a right to run whatever software you want on it. You have a right to get maximum benefit from your hardware. You should be able to buy a personal computer with no software on it or with software of your choice and you should be able to install whatever software you want on your personal computer. It’s about time.

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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40 Responses to First Cell-phones. PCs Next?

  1. kozmcrae says:

    Kindergarten kids are intellectually more stimulating than adults who disguise their pitiful hate against what they perceive as non-free as the fight for freedom.

    What the hell kind of logic is that supposed to be Trollrog? Don’t bother. You’re just a sick individual. You have a problem with people who want to be free. This is an adult blog but you would rather try to drag it down with your pitiful insults.

    People have a right to be free from digital tyranny and to try to educate others on how to avoid the trap of digital tyranny. You, however, come here and attempt smother this site with proprietary FUD. It’s an attempt by you to censure the work by Robert and others who try to spread the goodwill of GNU/Linux and open source. That makes you a “bad person”. I put that in quotes because I’d really like to call you all the names that could be substituted for “bad person”.

    You are not on the side of right Trollrog. You are on the side of tyranny. You can make yourself out to be anything you want but you’re still on the wrong side of right. You are a drain on this world.

  2. oiaohm says:

    “bw…”

    –Talk about obsessive-compulsive behavior! Or maybe just talk about beating a dead horse! Prozac is said to work well for these problems.–

    Funny the problem is the timeline and market data agrees with me not you.

  3. Der Balrog says:

    They might work on the playground, but on an adult blog they are just embarrassing.

    No, no, dear Kotz. They’re good enough, because this ain’t no adult blog. Kindergarten kids are intellectually more stimulating than adults who disguise their pitiful hate against what they perceive as non-free as the fight for freedom.

    I even go as far as saying that for you people it’s not a long way down from hating “that other OS” to hating “the others”.

  4. kozmcrae says:

    Well, offer your body instead and die a true martyr. Because right now by using Linux you’re just an imaginary one, Kotz. (It is very telling that immediately the thought of puke enters one’s mind when reading your name.)

    Is that the best you could come up with? I thought you were smarter than that. Guess I was wrong. You’re just a dullard doing your best to keep up with the rest of us. This isn’t the 4th grade Trollrog. Your insults are pitiful. They might work on the playground, but on an adult blog they are just embarrassing.

  5. Der Balrog says:

    Really, it is very telling that you would choose those words Trollrog. Smashing their precious hardware to bits is often what people have said they wished to do after becoming so frustrated with Microsoft’s software.

    Well, offer your body instead and die a true martyr. Because right now by using Linux you’re just an imaginary one, Kotz. (It is very telling that immediately the thought of puke enters one’s mind when reading your name.)

  6. bw says:

    “bw…”

    Talk about obsessive-compulsive behavior! Or maybe just talk about beating a dead horse! Prozac is said to work well for these problems.

  7. oiaohm says:

    bw not once has a windows netbook or notebook caused Intel to run out of chips to be able to produce it unless something Linux had taken the chips.

    bw there is another problem 2010 ipad was released as well. Smartbook(this branding was blocked due to someone else holding the trademark) and chromebooks is also a response to the ipad as well.

    Ipad 10 inch size. Microsoft define of netbook max of 10 inch screen. Companies making Linux devices due to market changes knew they had to change branding to get access to bigger screen sizes.

    Both smartbook and chromebook branding removed the 10 inch limit. Hardware makers were free to make what ever screen size they call fit and call it those brand names.

    bw
    –It seems to me that the story told here is that the Linux popularity went unfilled due at first to product availability limits and then evaporated when Microsoft met the challenge with an even more desirable product.–

    No attempted branding change 2009 to smartbooks failed for Linux Netbooks due to trademark in way.

    Chromebooks was the second attempt to change the branding bw. In fact the early smartbooks 2009-2010 you also see minor dip in Windows netbook sales. There are warning signs in the sales numbers that Linux netbooks and Windows Netbook sales were interdependent.

    The reality Linux Netbooks were required so Windows Netbooks would sell.

    bw Microsoft setting the screen size of a Netbook in stone make the Netbook brand unworkable.

    bw really was is realistic for Linux netbooks to face of against ipad while restricted to the same size. The answer was it was not.

    bw you want to blame Microsoft Windows 7 Starter for the destruction of the Linux Netbooks. The reality is 2009 the writing was on the wall with the makers attempting to change branding to Smartbook to get free of particular Microsoft defined Netbook restrictions ram and screen size.

    Windows netbooks end up left in the wrong hardware sizes to be competitive with a too limited OS 2010 on. They have also lost there whipping boy of hey you at least did not buy that.

    Why was 11.6 in more popular than 10 inchs in the early Linux netbooks before Microsoft defined the 10 inch limit. Its a simple one bw. At 11.6 in you don’t have to reduce the keyboard key sizes. So a 11 inch netbooks were nicer to type on.

    Yes the Microsoft netbook define was out by 1.6 inch of where it required to be for physical usage requirements.

    Acer Aspire One and others have what some reporters are calling netbooks. That are 11.6 screens. They have done this off there own back and are using Full Windows 7 Home Premium so they don’t have to work to the Windows 7 Starter restriction of 10 inch screens.

    The 11.6 screens are not Netbooks by Microsoft define of what a Netbook is. Changing to a full copy of Windows also has pushed the price of Netbooks up and forcing them to fight with bottom end laptops.

    bw there are no Microsoft Defined Netbooks being made new by anyone. In fact Acer with the Last generation Acer Aspire One’s don’t call them Netbooks same with other 11.6 makers. Reviewers are calling them Netbooks because they cannot think what else to call them.

    bw to avoid MS having to admit mistake Windows 8 does not officially support netbooks.

    http://www.hsn.com/products/acer-aspire-one-116in-led-windows-8-laptop/6965556

    This is the result. All the 11.6 devices are now being called laptops.

    Netbooks have been dead for quite sometime. The death of the brand is all Microsoft Fault for defining it wrong. 2010 Linux makers jump ship. 2011-2012 windows makers jump ship. Resulting with Microsoft either having to admit they stuffed up define of netbook with Windows 8 release or declare it dead.

    Even so entry stuff like the Acer Aspire One still has the Acer Chromebook so users can go at least I did not by that. This is a critical buy factor at the low end. Windows vs Linux dynamic has not left the market. The names of the parties has changed. The Linux item now has a clear brand. Problem is low end laptops of Windows construction don’t have a clear brand.

    Of course you want as a hardware maker to own both objects then ever way end user goes you win.

  8. bw says:

    “see … microsoft-killed-linux-netbook/”

    For starters, I agree that your cite is somewhat proof of your claim that Linux netbooks were hot sellers. However, your cite seems to refute your point that retail store managers would not go with a popular trend. It seems to me that the story told here is that the Linux popularity went unfilled due at first to product availability limits and then evaporated when Microsoft met the challenge with an even more desirable product.

    As an aside, it seems to me that this outcome is the likely result of almost any such initiative that relies on the price differential between Windows and Linux. There is some degree of cost associated with any OEM’s adopting of a technology, such as Linux, that hasn’t been used before. To thwart such a move, Microsoft can simply, as it did with netbooks, move to lower the price to a point where the motivation of the price difference is no longer enough to cause a change.

  9. bw says:

    “No, they don’t.”

    You must have a poor opinion of your fellow man to say that. I buy things that I want and do not buy things that I don’t want. I believe that is the way that just about everyone looks at things in stores.

    You can perhaps say that I might want to buy something different if it were offered, but that is just hypothetical if no one is willing to take the risk to go into business and offer such a product. The retail store people who decide what goes on the shelf and what does not are fairly astute about that and are quick to jump on anything that might be a new trend.

  10. kozmcrae says:

    The EULA does not prevent you from owning your hardware. You can smash your precious hardware to bits. Microsoft won’t mind one bit.

    Good one Trollrog. The Rog comes up with one of the few things Microsoft will let you do with your hardware and what you’ll actually feel like doing to it once you let them get a hold of it.

    Really, it is very telling that you would choose those words Trollrog. Smashing their precious hardware to bits is often what people have said they wished to do after becoming so frustrated with Microsoft’s software.

  11. oiaohm says:

    bw yes Robbert is right 2008 ASUS run out of chips from intel to make more net-books because the Linux net-books had taken all their reserve inventory. There was no inventory to make more windows ones either. Windows ones were selling slower.

  12. oiaohm says:

    bw the same vendors making chromebooks now were making Linux netbooks.

    bw Linux netbook disappearance is not a mystery.

    Selling quite well and quite well produced in 2009. Start of 2010. End of 2010 those makers see chrome-book from google.

    Way more well polished. Don’t produce more stock let the current stocks run out.

    2011 start producing chomebooks. That is exactly what has happened. bw.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netbook
    –As of August 2010, major netbook manufacturers no longer install or support Linux in the United States.–

    There was a rapid change August 2010. Linux netbook production stopped over 6 months earlier.

    bw this is the thing early prototypes of Chrome OS November 2009. Google Plan release for Chromebooks devices end 2010.

    Sorry the time-lines line up perfectly. You don’t wait for your design to be obsolete before stopping producing if you don’t want left over inventory.

    bw Linux net-books were all selling quite well right up until August 2010.

    Yes the hardware makers simple did not answer why or if they did they were cryptic.

    bw the scary thing is August 2010 is also when you netbooks go into a sales tail spin for sales.

    No Linux on the shelf now buying a Windows netbook was buying the worst item possible. Yes 2011/2012 windows netbook sales tank.

    bw yes its one stroke of pen killed the netbooks as we know it.

    The move to chromebook branding effectively killed the Windows netbook.

    Yes the Linux world made the netbook market. The Linux World destroyed the netbook market.

    Really in one way MS was lucky smartbook branding fell threw.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartbook contains a clue about the on coming storm of 2010.
    In December 2009 Acer announced it wanted to be the first to launch a Google Chrome OS netbook. Yes this is before the title Chromebook and before the sudden killing of Linux netbooks.

    Acer is not the only one to signal intention to go Chrome OS before Aug 2010.

    http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-dea1.htm dead as a door nail is very historic. A dead door nail is not reusable without remaking the nail you have damaged it past simple repair.

  13. bw wrote “If that is the best that you can do, why bother?”

    Do you know how many times trolls here have made that demand? Twit!

    “Stocks of the Eee PC sold out instantly and, within months, every major PC manufacturer had announced their own Linux-based netbook range. Linux’s future looked good.”

    It wasn’t at a few select locations. It was everywhere.

    see http://www.sitepoint.com/microsoft-killed-linux-netbook/

    December 5, 2007: “The Eee PC, Australia’s cheapest laptop, went on sale in Myer stores nationwide on Sunday and by close of business on Monday all the capital city stores were sold out. The Asus spokeswoman said other metro stores might have a small amount of stock left.”

    14 July 2008: “Asus has blamed Intel not Microsoft for the apparent absence of the Atom-based Eee PC 901 from UK suppliers’ shelves.”

    Denial is the first stage of grief. I would think you would be over it by now…

  14. bw says:

    “Where do you work? I could send the BSA after you…”

    I have 3 PCs at my home and one at my office. At home, I do manage to connect them together on occasion and they all connect to a common Seagate network drive where I keep backup copies of pictures mostly as well as Quicken and TurboTax files. Even at that simplified level, I am scads more sophisticated in my use than most of my neighbors and friends. I even help them with their PCs.

    At the office, there are more than hundreds of PCs on the network, I believe, and there is a whole staff of people who can be called to handle problems. I am a lowly volunteer there, but I get as much help as I need. One of the things we had to do to get “certified” to use those computers is sign an oath that we would not mess with anything ourselves and any software needed be purchased and installed by the IT staff. I am sure that they read the EULAs and abide by them. They don’t complain about it though.

    Surely the EULAs do not prohibit my home configuration, else why would Microsoft provide the easy means to make the connections with its remote desktop connection program? One interesting thing is that when I connect my Windows 7 computer to one of the Windows 8 computers, it shows the display screen just as if it, too, were using Windows 8. I didn’t have to do anything to the Windows 7 computer to do that.

  15. bw wrote, “They buy what they want up front”.

    No, they don’t. They buy what M$’s partners offer to the exclusion of GNU/Linux. If consumers had GNU/Linux as a choice on retail shelves, M$’s share of units shipped would plummet.

    • XP pro price $300
    • Vista Business price $300
    • “7” Pro price $300
    • “8” Pro Price $140

    Finally, we are seeing some price-competition and it’s only because */Linux on ARM is taking a bite. Prices of consumer PCs (not just legacy) range from ~$50 to $2000 and many consumers are finding the new gadgets do the job. I’ve been using the little woman’s cast off smartphone for a day and I can see what the attraction is although it does not like the cold of winter. Yesterday I tried voice-search for the first time. It was an adventure but it blows my mind that one can get more for less using */Linux on ARM. Finally, the retailers are not ignoring price/performance.

  16. bw says:

    “dead as a door nail”

    One can only wonder about why a doornail is the standard of deadness. Even so, I note that my claim, that there is no evidence that Linux netbooks were so popular as to defy any answer as the mystery of their disappearance, is met by a couple of unsubstantiated statements about inventories at unspecified sites and a conclusion that I am wrong. If that is the best that you can do, why bother?

  17. Der Balrog wrote, “The EULA does not prevent you from running any software you want on the hardware you own.”

    Of course, it does not apply to me because I know about GNU/Linux and can install it in a few minutes. They typical consumer does not know he/she has that choice and it might take them days to figure it out. I taught all my high school students how to do it but very few computer teachers do. For a consumer, the EULA is like the ten commandments. They cannot use their PC without agreeing to be bound by it.

  18. Dr Loser says:

    You could do that, Robert. You could.

    And the chances are that the BSA wouldn’t give a stuff.

    They’re not like the Free Software Foundation, you know. They don’t send out vindictive lawyers on an arbitrary basis, just to make money.

  19. bw wrote, “What is forbidden? When I read the EULA, I get bored after a few lines and just click Accept to get on with the start-up.”

    If you are in a school with ~100 PCs you may well run afoul of the limitation on connected machines sharing stuff and authentication. The last place I worked had 40 PCs and no server and no CALs. I doubled the number of PCs and used GNU/Linux so the EULA no longer applied to them.

    Where do you work? I could send the BSA after you…

  20. bw says:

    “M$’s EULA forbids them to do all kinds of things they can do with GNU/Linux besides make extra copies.”

    You say that, or at least something like that, frequently. What is forbidden? When I read the EULA, I get bored after a few lines and just click Accept to get on with the start-up. So far, after maybe 30 years of doing that, I haven’t gotten into any legal trouble, but maybe I have just been lucky.

    What is it that I should beware of?

  21. Der Balrog says:

    M$’s EULA forbids them to do all kinds of things they can do with GNU/Linux besides make extra copies.

    That’s not the issue.

    1. The EULA does not prevent you from owning your hardware. You can smash your precious hardware to bits. Microsoft won’t mind one bit.

    2. The EULA does not prevent you from running any software you want on the hardware you own.

  22. bw says:

    “The vast majority of buyers/users of legacy PCs do not ever install an OS”

    Exactly. They buy what they want up front and use it until they some day decide to buy something else. Then the old one goes into the dust bin after some friend or Geek Squad worker transfers any beloved data files or pictures to the new one.

    A very small percentage of the population get their jollies from fussing about with computers and what’s under the hood. It is likely that a majority of this minority fuss with Linux computers since there is a lot more to fuss with and hence there is more joy in doing so. Fortunately for everyone involved, the fussers have no problems with finding bare bones hardware to use or even with installing Linux onto a computer originally sold with Linux.

    I think there is some move afoot to protect bootstrap functions of a computer from hacking and that may affect the last issue, but there seem to be many ways around even that.

  23. Der Balrog wrote, “everything you ask for has nothing to do with any EULA. And everything you ask for can already be done.”

    The vast majority of buyers/users of legacy PCs do not ever install an OS. When they buy an OS likely with that other OS on it, M$’s EULA forbids them to do all kinds of things they can do with GNU/Linux besides make extra copies.

  24. Der Balrog says:

    Due to WordPress (or at least this WordPress installation) lacking simple editing features.

  25. Der Balrog says:

    Sorry, double-post.

  26. Der Balrog says:

    No, you can’t. Read the EULA. You can’t legally connect more than X together. If the mobo dies, you can’t legally put the hard drive to work elsewhere even though you own the NIC and you own the hard drive.

    We’re no talking about any kind of EULA.

    Honestly, should I really believe that you can’t remember what you wrote? Let me remind you, sentence by sentence:

    You own the hardware.

    You do. Even if you’re “forced” (although you aren’t) to pay the Windows “tax”.

    You have a right to run whatever software you want on it.

    You can. You can run whatever software you want on Windows. Or you can install some Linux derivative and run whatever software you want on Linux. Or you can install *BSD or Haiku or whatever.

    You have a right to get maximum benefit from your hardware.

    That sentence is devoid of meaning in this context. “Maximum benefit” is a subjective thing.

    You should be able to buy a personal computer with no software on it or with software of your choice and you should be able to install whatever software you want on your personal computer.

    Again, you can do all of those things already.

    To sum it up, everything you ask for has nothing to do with any EULA. And everything you ask for can already be done.

  27. Der Balrog says:

    No, you can’t. Read the EULA. You can’t legally connect more than X together. If the mobo dies, you can’t legally put the hard drive to work elsewhere even though you own the NIC and you own the hard drive.

    We’re no talking about any kind of EULA.

    Honestly, should I really believe that you can’t remember what you wrote? Let me remind you, sentence by sentence:

    You own the hardware.

    You do.</b< Even if you're "forced" (although you aren't) to pay the Windows "tax".

    You have a right to run whatever software you want on it.

    You can. You can run whatever software you want on Windows. Or you can install some Linux derivative and run whatever software you want on Linux. Or you can install *BSD or Haiku or whatever.

    You have a right to get maximum benefit from your hardware.

    That sentence is devoid of meaning in this context. “Maximum benefit” is a subjective thing.

    You should be able to buy a personal computer with no software on it or with software of your choice and you should be able to install whatever software you want on your personal computer.

    Again, you can do all of those things already.

    To sum it up, everything you ask for has nothing to do with any EULA. And everything you ask for can already be done.

  28. oiaohm says:

    bw there is no left over inventory of the Linux netbooks. There are let over inventory of Windows XP netbooks from the same time frame.

    So the Linux stuff did sell out bw. None of it had to be crushed. There are still Windows 7/vista Starter netbooks in inventory. Basically these are devices you can go to companies and buy boxed as new.

    Now try buying a 3 year old android device. Its not that they are getting crushed it that stocks are selling out.

    bw Reality here is the Linux netbooks no matter how crap you call them did sell so retail companies were not left with unsold inventory. The other surprising thing most of the Linux netbooks sold out without having to be discounted.

    bw there is a supply and demand issue. Windows devices are being over supplied. Over supply shows up as not clearing inventory.

    You only have to go to places like amazon and look at what you can buy new bw. There is lots of over supply.

    Remember Linux netbooks was released as a kids toy. They were never expected to sell like they did.

    Also the most populating Linux netbooks before MS netbooks had a 11 inch screen. MS defined netbooks as being 10 inch and smaller.

    bw the chromebook is the Linux netbook back again. Those are also selling out.

    Netbook. Network Book. Chromebook matches that define perfectly. The custom Linux software on netbooks was very Internet focused. Not very refined. First attempt.

    Chromebooks are refined Linux netbook idea basically.

    Linux Netbooks were never designed to competition to Windows.

    bw there is a problem with your time line. Netbooks start 2007. Windows 7 released late 2009. First windows 7 netbooks don’t appear until about halfway into 2010.

    In 2009 depend on who figures you believe. Either 0.5 was Linux(that microsoft figures) or 30 percent that are hardware makers figures were Linux.(they made the devices they should know)

    First prototype chromebook Dec 2010 with sales starting in 2011. Main vendors of majority of Linux netbooks release chromebooks 2011. Now of course Linux netbooks sold out. Who wants to have netbook Linux competing against Chrome OS Linux.

    So it appears that the Linux netbook did not die to Windows. Its died to a blood relation that does not have to work to MS stupid screen size restriction.

    bw the reality is the Linux netbook market is still there today it just has a new name. Its now called Chromebooks.

    Now the Windows netbook market on the other hand is as dead as a door nail.

  29. bw says:

    “Wal-mart was selling out of GNU/Linux eeePCs faster than they could replace them yet they dropped the product”

    Where is there any evidence of that? Years ago the Linux netbook was being ballyhooed as the next hula hoop, but a year after its introduction, they were all powered by Windows 7 because they were seen as little computers and after a while the public got tired of their shortcomings in speed and video presentations. I don’t think I have seen one in any store lately. That business seems to have gone to the iPad.

    Wal-Mart is hardly a trendsetter kind of store anyway.

  30. bw wrote, “I bet the people who control what is on the shelves would have Linux computers on those shelves in short order.”

    Nope. Wal-mart was selling out of GNU/Linux eeePCs faster than they could replace them yet they dropped the product.

  31. oiaohm says:

    Der Balrog Not exactly depends if you call the Windows 8 RT branch Windows 8.

    Windows RT devices are bootloader locked. With android devices the battle is over if bootloader locked is allowed as well. For reduction of throw away we do want it to come down that anyone who buys a device can unlock the bootloader at least when the warranty/support on the device is void so the device can be repurposed.

    Chromebook devices is about making it less painful to alter.

    Also due to some of the EFI firmware issues we strike already like some Toshiba laptops not shipping with MS third party signing key so the Linux foundation bootloader will not work. Worse is some of them you cannot get secure boot to remain turned off. So you might be able to get Linux to boot once but when you need to power it back on you will have to go re-disable.

    Der Balrog
    –Buy a computer with Windows 8 on it — suprise! — you can still do with the hardware whatever you want.–
    So this is not true right now. Ok it might get better or it might get worse.

    Der Balrog history of PC makers having really bad bios/firmware is long. And it has not stopped yet.

    The big thing Linux people don’t want todo is play Russia Roulette buying hardware or have bricked hardware because firmware is buggy. Network people get tones of routers and other devices a year that have to go in the scrap because the software on those devices is screwed and is no longer secure. Not that the devices cannot do the job.

  32. Der Balrog wrote, “you can still do with the hardware whatever you want.”

    No, you can’t. Read the EULA. You can’t legally connect more than X together. If the mobo dies, you can’t legally put the hard drive to work elsewhere even though you own the NIC and you own the hard drive.

  33. Adam King says:

    “You talked about whether or not you can do with the hardware you own as you please. And that you can do. This has nothing to do with retail stores. Buy a computer with Windows 8 on it — suprise! — you can still do with the hardware whatever you want.”

    It’s not as easy to buy a GNU/Linux PC as it is to buy an M$ encumbered PC. We demand a superior footing to the illegal monopoly.

  34. Der Balrog says:

    As a consumer, go into Big Box store in Winnipeg and try finding a PC with GNU/Linux on retail shelves.

    You talked about whether or not you can do with the hardware you own as you please. And that you can do. This has nothing to do with retail stores. Buy a computer with Windows 8 on it — suprise! — you can still do with the hardware whatever you want.

    You’re shifting those goalposts again.

  35. Dr Loser says:

    I believe the Balrog’s point was that you can, indeed, run any OS you want on your spiffy new hardware. There is no legal obligation to run Windows on it, unless I have horribly misread the EULA.

    True, you’d be out $60 or so for the OS, minus $60 or so for the crapware that funds the $60 for the OS. But since you’re going to wipe the OS in the first place, why would you care?

    It’s a funny sort of monopoly that you guys are constantly whinging about. It’s cost-free and totally ineffective in true “monopoly” terms (eg Carnegie hiring goons to beat up strikers).

    All it’s got is the near-unanimous support of customers over the last twenty or thirty years.

    Yup, time for the Prez to sit up and take notice of 114,000 random idiots with nothing better to do than stick their electronic moniker on the end of a petition!

    I mean, these things scale up. Multiply that 114,000 by $60, and you get a Monopoly Tax of, ooh, nigh on $7 million dollars!

    Think how important that magnificent wastage is, compared to the minor problems that Obama has, like dealing with an $85 billion hole that nobody can come to terms with.

    Yup, Linux === Sanity (I’m following your type-free lead here), all right.

  36. bw says:

    “The retail stores are rife with retailers selling only one supplier’s OS”

    So what? If a bunch of people marched into Best Buy and demanded that they offer Linux computers or else they would just order them from Amazon or Wal-Mart or some other source, I bet the people who control what is on the shelves would have Linux computers on those shelves in short order. But that does not happen and the fact that it does not happen is either the fault of the Linux promoters who are no good at promoting it or the fault of Linux not being as great as you claim. In any case it is up to you guy to make a sales pitch, not up to Microsoft.

  37. bw wrote, “The internet is rife with vendors who will put just about any combination of hardware and software together that enough people might want.”

    The retail stores are rife with retailers selling only one supplier’s OS.

  38. Der Balrog wrote, “you can do that. Right now.”

    As a consumer, go into Big Box store in Winnipeg and try finding a PC with GNU/Linux on retail shelves. Also check out the EULA. Even if you wanted to run M$’s OS on a PC that you own you are prevented from doing this that and the other (not copying, just running the software). So, in several ways, Der Balrog is wrong again.

  39. Der Balrog says:

    You own the hardware. You have a right to run whatever software you want on it.

    And you can do that. Right now. Stop telling fairytales.

  40. bw says:

    “You should be able to buy a personal computer with no software on it or with software of your choice and you should be able to install whatever software you want on your personal computer”

    You can do that right now. The internet is rife with vendors who will put just about any combination of hardware and software together that enough people might want. I think you are complaining about the fact that many more people seem willing to buy Windows computers than Linux computers and so the people who run stores do not carry much in the way of Linux computers, at least what I would call a computer.

    I don’t think that the right to use your computer as you please extends to forcing a vendor to sell you something that you prefer when most people want something else. You have shown on several occasions that you are able to get what you want and to save money doing so. Do you think you are so much smarter than everyone else? A number of posters have tossed in their own stories about how they, too, have saved money with Linux, so it is not such a hard thing to do.

    You are trying to force everyone to do things your way and that is un-America, too.

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