|| ||"Kapil Hari Paranjape" <kapil-AT-imsc.res.in>|
|| ||media-AT-osia.net.au, lwn-AT-lwn.net|
|| ||Linux-PC's and pirated Windows|
|| ||Fri, 15 Oct 2004 09:24:06 +0530|
Unfortunately, if you examine the sale of "Linux-pre-installed" PC's in
India some of what has been said *is* true. The following is based on
1. The shop-owner (not the manufacturer/vendor) will say "don't worry my
`engineer' will install *all* the software for you". This usually means a
lot of un-licensed software including Windows.
2. The reason why the manufacturers pre-install GNU/Linux (rather than
install nothing) is to satisfy the "minimum requirement". A large
institute once got a notice from Microsoft/BSA---"We notice you have
bought a large number of PC's but only a handful of Windows licences.
etc." So the installation of GNU/Linux is a "cover".
3. The pre-installed GNU/Linux is so shabbily installed that it is a
wonder the poor thing boots at all! It is clear that even the
manufacturers expect that this installation will be replaced by
something better---a proper GNU/Linux installation if the user is
willing---or an un-licensed Windows plus stuff.
4. The support from even the big companies like Acer and Dell for their
GNU/Linux installation is negligible in comparison to their support for
Windows. The shop-owner's knowledge of GNU/Linux is usually next to
nothing. Often the PC has hardware for which there are currently *no*
drivers available in Linux.
All these points---especially 3 and 4---are reasons why pre-installed
GNU/Linux systems may not really be a great boon. They may actually end
up deterring users from trying GNU out because of crippled installations.
(Looked at this way it even looks like a pro-Microsoft ploy:).)
However, you have correctly pointed out that Gartner is jumping the gun
in claiming that "pre-installated Linux is *responsible* for Piracy".
The un-licensed copying is happening anyway. "pre-installation of Linux"
is just one more tool for people to share proprietary software in a
manner not permitted by law. In fact, as you point out the installation
of Windows is itself a tool for people to do more of the same.
Thanks and regards,
Kapil H. Paranjape.
Checking host system type...
configure: error: sorry, this is the gnu os, not linux
-- Topic on #Linux
http://www.imsc.res.in/~kapil/gpg.html for my Public Key.
1024D/5416E5B8 2004-10-13 Kapil Hari Paranjape <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Key fingerprint = F160 CBB9 03C8 425D 4BBA 79F4 491F 8FDA 5416 E5B8
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