Free is too expensive (Economist)
Posted Apr 10, 2012 14:34 UTC (Tue) by khim
In reply to: Free is too expensive (Economist)
Parent article: Free is too expensive (Economist)
A computer manufacturer could do a lot worse than team up with somebody who will provide support for one of the major long-lifecycle distributions like Debian or Ubuntu (LTS). That would ensure a reasonable time between upgrades (which are usually seamless) as well as timely security patches, and a wide, easily-accessible selection of software from the get-go. Also these distributions are unlikely to go away anytime soon. So far this hasn't been seriously tried AFAIK.
This will never be “seriously tried” because of poor ROI: if there are no lock-in then how can you recoup your expenses? This is the case where Linux's greatest strength becomes it's greatest weakness.
Of course if the prime purpose of the computer in question is to run the newest Windows games, a Windows machine is likely to be the better bet – but that isn't going to change however much Linux is modified. It may not actually be worth the trouble.
Of course direct attack is hopeless! Linux must do something which MacOS and Windows just can't do and then grow from such niche to the full-blown desktop. There are some ideas about what exactly this niche can be - different companies play with different niches.
The problem is that it looks like all such attempts will happen with something like Android or webOS: Linux which has nothing to do with traditional Linux desktop.
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