Linux & OEMs

As most of you know, I use Linux. It’s been my primary OS for my own personal use for many years now* and I use it because it suits the way that I do things. It’s task/application switching is incredible. It’s highly customizable. It’s stable. It’s secure. It’s not a resource hog. Basically it’s all of the things that Microsoft Windows isn’t and using it doesn’t come at the expense of the single vendor lock-in that one gets with Apple.

The fact that it’s freely available is a side bonus, but that isn’t why I use it. In other words, I’m not using Linux because I’m cheap.

This is something that it seems that all of the computer OEMs are failing to grasp. They seem to think that if they offer Linux, that have to slap it onto the cheapest hardware they have lying around and then they have to slash their profit margins to nil if they ever want to move product. That’s a terrible way for a computer manufacturing business to try to make money. No wonder why they always seem to be doing their best to either avoid it, or they do some blatantly stupid things seemingly early on for which the only possible explanation is that they want to sabotage the process so they can claim that they tried (without really putting for much effort) and that it just didn’t work out.

If anyone from an OEM is out there listening, I have two words for you… You frakking idiots!! (Alright that was three words, but technically speaking it’s a gray area since “frakking” is a made up word from BSG, so it isn’t really a word.)

I want Linux, but I want it on hardware that screams, not on some cheap, slow, throwaway Netbook. That’s not to say that Netbooks don’t have their place or their uses, but they are not, and nor should they be, the only option on the table for us consumers.

Give us the laptop with the 7400RPM 500GB hard drive, give it to us with that über-rated graphics card that will melt a hole in the desk (or makes us sterile if those health reports are true and we actually use it on our lap like the name “laptop” implies that it’s meant to be used). And what’s the point of having all of that graphic power if it’s driving a cheap 1280×800 screen, give us those nano-pixel rated 1900+ resolution screens that your marketing department will laud makes everything look truer than real life. Oh, and while we are on the subject of quality, don’t cram it into a cheap and ugly plastic box either, put it in a real enclosure with at least half a thought from your design team to make it at least seem like you give a damn about your own product.

I make or drive the purchase/acquisition of many server and desktop systems each year. While not all of them involve Linux or BSD, there are enough of them that do that I’ll gladly give more weight in my considerations to an OEM that gives broad coverage to all of my needs; including Linux on the desktop. At the same time, an OEM that merely dips their toe in the Open Source waters and then gives me lip service is not only not going to be seeing a PO from me or my clients any time soon, they are also going to have to work three times as hard to win us back later, because as far as I’m concerned they are either incompetent or they are basically saying that they think that I am. Either of which instantly earns them a spot on my list of companies to actively petition against.

[* I started using Linux off and on in 1993-4 and eventually made it permanent around 2003 or so.]


~ by ghendar on May 16, 2009.