Just don’t get too excited, because this is old news [circa 2004]. And something that is currently being rehashed as new on Digg, Slashdot, and Linux sites…
I’m sure you have seen it too: the news along the lines of “[insert random OEM here] releasing incredible Linux offers”, quickly followed by naive comments proclaiming the end of Microsoft.
The fact is, OEMs and companies like Wal-Mart have been attempting to sell Linux based PCs and Laptops/Notebooks for years. Take a look:
- Sept. 14, 1999 Is the IBM Thinkpad now Linux-friendly?
- Spring 2000 Dell Delivers Linux! [Archive.org]
- June 17, 2002 Wal-Mart trims prices of Linux-based PCs
- May 12, 2003 HP “people’s notebook” runs Linux
- July 22, 2004 Toshiba Windows media laptop plays with embedded Linux
Unfortunately, most of these attempts have resulted in complete failure or extremely small volume [Wal-Mart couldn’t even sell 1000 of those Laptops]. And every few years, the waters are tested again, with the same exact outcome.
Lets face the truth: Linux does not work for the average consumer, it never has, as “choice” is not something that consumers are looking for. Familiarity, function, and eye candy are the determining factors here.
As “Linux” is not synonymous with “Wal-Mart”; it neither is with “Desktop.”