Some things should crumble, like the crust of an apple-pie but tech industries rely on rapid growth and deployments to feed the whole supply chain. If any link in the chain crumbles, the whole thing comes apart.
“Notebook brand vendors are having trouble finishing their 2013 request for quotation (RFQ) processes as early as in previous years due to conservative attitudes about the notebook industry’s future, according to sources from ODMs.”, according to Digitimes. IHS says much the same thing.
They are not writing about a few weeks’ delay either. It’s months… It’s no longer the case that you couldn’t get fired for ordering Wintel. Now folks are waiting to see what others are able to sell first. In notebooks, “8” isn’t it. “7” is doing better but even in USA where XP to “7” is picking up in business, notebook shipments are down. The killer is that no one can justify spending $100 on M$ for a $300 notebook. Consumers may not be able to see the price of the OS but the OEMs certainly can. OEMs are finally responding to the demands of consumers for small cheap computers.
The Wintel supply chain depended on everyone supplying nothing but Wintel so no choices in OS had to be made. With the whole supply chain trying to shave pennies off the price, the big ticket item with little value is harder to skip. That’s M$’s licensing.
The whole world has discovered that for many purposes a tablet running Android/Linux for ~$100 will do what a notebook or desktop PC will do for $300. On top of that are the update and malware issues. Consumers don’t want to be system administrators. They want devices they can just use. The only way OEMs can continue to make money shipping notebooks is to ship GNU/Linux and a much lower price-tag. While most have begun to ship GNU/LInux, they are not pushing it, yet. That will happen next quarter if hesitation continues. I would bet OEMs will not throw away their investments in notebooks rather than push GNU/Linux. They may even quit recommending that other OS.