Recently I visited two large superstores in NSW (Australia) which had
previously sold Linux powered Acer Aspire One netbooks.
Both those stores now have only Windows powered netbooks, the Linux ones
are no longer on sale.
The Linux ones were $320-$350 after various cashback options, the Windows
ones $550 ish.
Fortunately we can still buy the Linux ones on line:-
$399.95 + $59 cash back
Is microsoft cutting off distribution channels again, as *documented* by
the DOJ ?
The Importance of the OEM and IAP Channels
144. Very soon after it recognized the need to gain browser usage share
at Navigator's expense, Microsoft identified pre-installation by OEMs and
bundling with the proprietary client software of IAPs as the two
distribution channels that lead most efficiently to browser usage.
Two main reasons explain why these channels are so efficient. First,
users must acquire a computer and connect to the Internet before they can
browse the Web. Thus, the OEM and IAP channels lead directly to virtually
every user of browsing software. Second, both OEMs and IAPs are able to
place browsing software at the immediate disposal of a user without any
effort on the part of the user.
Microsoft has also relied on studies showing that a very large majority
of those who browse the Web obtain their browsing software with either
their PCs or their IAP subscriptions.
We tend to overlook that *most* Linux netbooks come with the full
unrestricted versions of Open Office and Firefox web browser as well as
a bundle of other handy applications.
Apart from the fact the OS is Linux and NOT windows, there is a HUGE
incentive on behalf of microsoft to promote Ms Word and Internet
Exploder to the exclusion of all competing products.
The threat is much bigger than the one Netscape posed, and microsoft was
found guilty of harming Netscape by abusing its monopoly power.
Yes, I know, they may have later been found not guilty after Dubya became
US president, they may have later been knighted by the Queen, and loved
by Aliens, but FIRST, they were found *guilty*, and history cannot erase
The trolls will now plague this thread claiming that the reason is "no
one wants the Linux versions"
But if customers don't get the *choice* to see them in the shops, and
save $100 - $200, how can anyone claim "no one wants the Linux versions" ?
As a side note, I don't see anyone dumping the Linux versions which you
would expect if they were not selling, however I see Dell Canada dumping
the XP HOME versions to compete with the Linux versions.
One compelling reason could be the smaller profit levels of Linux
netbooks at the resellers, compared to the windows units which at a
higher price means more money for the reseller.
However as they can't stop on-line sales, the resellers are only
postponing the inevitable in my opinion.
If we wish to reduce our ignorance, there are people we will
indeed listen to. Trolls are not among those people, as trolls, more or
less by definition, *promote* ignorance.
Kelsey Bjarnason, C.O.L.A. 2008