Free is too expensive (Economist)
Posted Apr 10, 2012 20:35 UTC (Tue) by khim
In reply to: Free is too expensive (Economist)
Parent article: Free is too expensive (Economist)
There is nothing in principle to prevent someone like HP or Dell from offering Linux als a pre-installed alternative on all of its machines other than that the margins you get from moving boxes do not lend themselves to experiments.
Ever wondered why systems with Linux preinstalled are always separate models (often with the same hardware but still with separate nomenclature article)? Apparently there are just this little teeeny agreement.
The problem is to get things going in the first place; once you have a system set up, there is no reason why supporting Linux would need to be any more expensive than supporting Windows.
Not enough. You need bigger margins, not the same margins, or else the whole exercise is pointless. For that manufacturer need some kind of lock-in - that's what I'm talking about. And indeed when nettop story started vendors tried to produce such lock-in - but unsuccessfully.
In the long run it may even be cheaper.
PC business is very low margin business. Companies just don't have luxury to think about long term: if they'll start producing losses then the end can come very fast.
»Lock-in« doesn't enter into it from a hardware manufacturer's point of view because nobody is »locked into« generic PC hardware that you can get from dozens of manufacturers.
Sure. But why start expensive and complex program which may jeopardize your relationship with Microsoft if the end result are the same tiny margins you already have?
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