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Re: Woohooo! Dell + Linux


> Max Hyre <max@hyre.net> wrote:

> Their per-hardware-unit-sold
> license was so much cheaper than the per-OS-copy-sold
> license that it made no sense to do anything else.  Thus,
> any system sent out already had the cost of MS-DOS (later MS
> Windows) built into its price.  Hence, remarks about the
> ``Microsoft Tax''.

>   Once this happens, adding any other OS, no matter what
> (>= 0) its price, means more effort for the manufacturer.
> It raises the cost of the sale, and Linux is frozen out by
> economics.

Thats a very fine point, I totally agree! 

What I am wondering is when will the lost sales to consumers who want 
Gnu/Linux on their boxes will outway the extra cost.  In other words at 
what cost say Gnu/linux offer >= lost sales.  

I do think the Windows tax is a perceived cost even as you so pointed out 
might not be a factual one. I think that consumers, expect to see a 
Gnu/Linux system to be cheaper. So if I was Dell I would offer a base 
model about 15-30 dollars cheaper then a similar Windows box let the 
consumer choose the addons. I bet the increase in volume sales would make 
up for poor product margins. I just hope that HP will get into somewhat 
of a marketing war with Dell, see who can have the best Gnu/Linux offer.

One good thing that I see come out of this is good Gnu/Linux hardware 
support. If this catches on, has some good volumes you might see Windows 
only hardware support decline as it would be much cheaper just to use 
Gnu/Linux.  The cost to certify hardware for Windows might make that 
choice easy, when a company knows they will not sell hardware to 
Gnu/Linux and only have Windows they might change behavior.  In fact you 
might see a reversal instead of having hardware support for Windows, you 
will have it for Gnu/Linux, then you have to add the cost of all the 
different versions of Windows ie 64 bit Vista, 32 bit XP on and on.


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