Free is too expensive (Economist)
Posted Apr 11, 2012 6:05 UTC (Wed) by khim
In reply to: Free is too expensive (Economist)
Parent article: Free is too expensive (Economist)
If anything, a desire to create lock-in would be an argument in favour of preinstalling Linux as long as your Linux distribution is good enough and supports your machine well, because as long as you're the only one selling such a machine people will continue being your customers.
Nope. Others sell similar machines, too. Both tiny firms with full selection of models (tiny selection because firms are tiny) and large companies like Dell, HP, or Lenovo - but with few models (again: Linux is not large enough to support the large range of models).
This works for Apple – Macintoshes could just as well run Windows but people tend to stick with the OS X that comes with the machine.
Some actually install Linux and/or Windows, but that's not the point. The point is that MacOS works poorly on anything else and Apple vigorously ensures that there will be no machines with Hackintosh preinstalled. This is where lock-in scheme starts to work and this is what you can not do with Linux.
In the same vein, if a good computer came pre-installed with a good, supported mainstream Linux like Debian (rather than the low-end boxes with weird Linux distributions that hardware manufacturers tend to offer if they offer anything at all), most people would probably stay with that because putting anything else on it would be more of a hassle than it was worth.
This was tried many times. It does not work. People find something deficient with tiny selection of “Linux preinstalled” offers and buy something else instead. And it makes no sense to create as many models with Linux as you create models with Windows if you expect 10x-100x less buyers.
to post comments)