Preloaded GNU/Linux systems

Serdar Yegulalp of Computerworld has a nice article that surveys available suppliers of GNU/Linux PCs but then, mysteriously, fails to find the gold-mines:
“Buying a preload is the costliest option, and cost-effective only in that in some cases you’re purchasing support for a custom-built kernel for the system. But it also goes a long way towards guaranteeing that the entire system — Linux distribution, drivers, hardware and all — works well as one complete system.”

Preloaded Linux systems: Weighing the options.

e.g. If you are in South America, Positivo and several other OEMs will sell you GNU/Linux preloaded with no premium at all as will Dell in China…
e.g. Philco brand has two GNU/Linux machines that are cheaper than “8” and altogether they sell 13 notebook models with that other OS and 18 with GNU/Linux.
e.g. SpaceBr sell the majority of their Desktops with GNU/Linux and good prices. In the best-sellers list, there are 8 GNU/Linux desktops before the first “8” shows up and the machine with “8” sells for a much higher price.

e.g Dell.com.cn shows Dell’s latest product, a 14″ Inspiron for Â¥ 4999 (US $819.33). A similarly equipped and discounted XPS notebook on Dell.com is $850

So, while Dell and others mess with USAian consumers, the rest of the world is enjoying reasonably priced GNU/Linux machines.

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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11 Responses to Preloaded GNU/Linux systems

  1. bw wrote, ” Go find some encouraging statistic showing that Linux is actually making any headway in that arena.”

    Sure. Linux is 10.92% of page-views at Wikipedia in spite of what StatCounter says. That’s 9.92% higher than what M$’s fans say.

  2. oiaohm wrote, “The reasons for OEM’s not to provide Linux devices is ending.”

    I don’t think there were ever many such reasons. Chiefly, OEMs feared losing revenue/profit by switching. They clung to the Devil they knew but now the Devil is dying. They were content with tiny margins and huge volumes as M$ got paid for doing little or nothing but now they see that they have to ship FLOSS to be competitive. It’s taken a long time but the future is bright. The OEMs are used to competing. M$ is not. The OEMs will survive. M$ is scheduled to hit the wall in the coming year. It’s whole house of cards depends on the client OS which is drying up. Businesses who change clients are going to start asking why they pay such high prices for server OS when the client OS is $0… That will be Armageddon for M$. That could happen in 2014 for early adopter businesses and a few years later for the rest. “7” will be the last gasp for M$’s monopoly.

  3. oiaohm says:

    bw if your logic was true OEM’s would not be selling chromebooks with Chrome OS to home users. So yes OEM are pushing a form of GNU/Linux at home users. I am seeing this in wine support channel as well with people using the chroot solution on chromeos to install wine.

    The reasons for OEM’s not to provide Linux devices is ending.

  4. oiaohm says:

    bw chromebooks have been the only section with major growth in the PC market. All other segments are in decline when it comes to new sales.

    This is the problem. The numbers of Windows 8 showing up have to be upgrades more than new units.

    Really bw you need to go and look at the metrics before opening your mouth.

  5. bw says:

    Nope. M$ needs renewals, upgrades and replacements

    You are just wishing and hoping, I think. The vast majority of people just used what came with their PC until the day it dies and they get another with a newer version of Windows. In the past few years, some of those people have been buying a Mac instead of a PC, but not so many as would wreck Microsoft’s cushy businesses.

    The occasional nerd cheapskate may repurpose a machine with some version of Linux that they play around with, but those fold were never really Microsoft’s customers to begin with. They just like to play with computers for computers’ sake. There are not enough of them to matter anyway. Look at the miniscule sales of the Linux providers like System76 and the others you cited a while ago.

    I have even done that myself, putting Ubuntu on an old Compaq that my wife used before getting the Dell all-in-one. Worked fine, but so what? It didn’t do anything that Windows didn’t already do and I don’t need anything beyond this laptop down here and the desktop upstairs.

    The main reason that Linux will never sell in home use is that the OEMs have no reason to provide units and a lot of reasons to not provide them. The only useful metric for determining the success or failure of a product initiative is the sales volume of new units on an annual basis. Go find some encouraging statistic showing that Linux is actually making any headway in that arena. Count dollars, btw, and not inferences from some ad appearing in some remote corner of the world.

  6. bw, shortsightedly, wrote, “Microsoft sells Windows licenses. Once sold, that is pretty much the end of the interest for Microsoft.”

    Nope. M$ needs renewals, upgrades and replacements. They get none of that forever for a machine converted to GNU/Linux. As well, everyone who touches that machine learns that Wintel is not the One True Way and M$ will have to work harder to sell any future licences. It’s a compounding effect. In Brazil, for instance, where teachers, students and workers in government systems learn to use GNU/Linux they will be much more comfortable buying that in the future. This is one of M$’s tools being used against M$ at last. M$ has lost all momentum with no upside that I can see. In many countries, “8” has flat-lined and retailers can’t sell them and OEMs can’t ship them. “7” is still accepted but so is GNU/Linux.

  7. oiaohm says:

    bw
    –I think that it is most important to remember the basics here. Microsoft sells Windows licenses. Once sold, that is pretty much the end of the interest for Microsoft.–
    Until they need to sell the next round of Licenses. Brazil case in point. They started moving in 2007 to Linux to replace exchange. 2013 they do not renew Microsoft subscriptions. Did Brazil order new hardware to show they were doing this. Answer no.

    bw
    –If you later convert the machine to Linux or turn it into a doorstop is pretty much the same to them. They have been paid and all is well.–
    Also bw you are presuming Linux is not making income off Linux machines sold. To build a Linux machine as a OEM you need to perform quality testing and put drivers upstream so employ Linux Developers. So Linux machines coveted to Windows the Linux world has already made their profit as well. Sorry bw this is double sided. Linux machine sold and converted Linux wins. Windows Machine sold and converted Microsoft wins a little Linux might win long term.

    All is not well. Microsoft does not pay Shills and do anti-open source marketing for no reason. Microsoft needs on going sales. Open source products selling support clients get buy when money gets tight.

    bw its not just Microsoft by the way in fear. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/10/15/oracle_says_open_source_has_no_place_in_military_apps/

    Yes Orcale also works in I sell software licenses model.

    If the USA government does hit the debt wall a lot of the USA government might have no choice but to go FOSS. They simply will not have the money to pay the License renewals.

    bw Linux grows in financial crises markets. Brazils start of moves to Linux also starts with a financial crises.

    The fastest Linux Migrations have been countries out of cash.

  8. bw says:

    I think that it is most important to remember the basics here. Microsoft sells Windows licenses. Once sold, that is pretty much the end of the interest for Microsoft. If you later convert the machine to Linux or turn it into a doorstop is pretty much the same to them. They have been paid and all is well.

  9. oiaohm wrote, “the reverse is true as well that a certain number of machines installed with Windows will be formatted to Linux.”

    Mathematically, this is a much larger niche because the installed-base of that other OS is so much larger. In schools where I worked there were many machines migrated to GNU/Linux but very few migrated the other way. Cute. XP anchors a huge installed-base of potential GNU/Linux candidates because many of them don’t even have drivers in “7” or “8”… I expect 30% of those machines to go to GNU/Linux because they’re just too good to discard and folks don’t want to waste money or pollute the environment for the sake of Wintel.

  10. oiaohm says:

    eug

    –Counting the number of boxes with linux preloaded is not accurate because a certain number will have it replaced with windows not licensed (aka “pirate”).–
    And the reverse is true as well that a certain number of machines installed with Windows will be formatted to Linux.

  11. eug says:

    Counting the number of boxes with linux preloaded is not accurate because a certain number will have it replaced with windows not licensed (aka “pirate”).

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