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Lenovo Removes Linux Option For Home Buyers

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the and-the-linux-netbook's-non-us-only dept.

Linux Business 380

billybob2 writes "Lenovo has stopped selling laptops pre-installed with Linux on its web site, only 8 months after starting the trial program. This means that home customers won't be able to buy a Thinkpad without paying the Microsoft tax. Word has it that the decision to pull the plug on Linux came down from the highest levels of the Chinese company's corporate headquarters. For those looking to buy full-sized laptops and desktops with Linux pre-loaded Dell, System76, ZaReason and Everex all still offer such products."

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380 comments

Well up-theirs (1, Insightful)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967415)

And im willing to bet that they only do that for their american store, but still sell you preinstalled linux if buying in asia.

So up theirs. As Ive always said: if it doesnt run linux, it doesnt exist.

Re:Well up-theirs (3, Interesting)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967477)

i bought my laptop for dual-booting, WinXP MCE and Linux. After 4 months of getting tired of it telling me "Use *our* antivirus of choice!" in windows I just gave up and installed linux. Truth be told, I kept my MCE key around, because that gives me the legal right to use it in a VM should the need arise. (But it hasn't, thanks, in part, to everything moving to the web)

Re:Well up-theirs (1)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967495)

Correction - Linux is now on the whole drive, rather than the 20GB partition.

Re:Well up-theirs (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24967939)

After 4 months of getting tired of it telling me "Use *our* antivirus of choice!" in windows I just gave up and installed linux.

Let me be sure I understand this clearly to confirm you aren't trolling.... you were annoyed by Windows Security Center telling you to install Anti-Virus software? You were not able to simply turn this off? Did you believe you MUST have Anti-Virus software to use the computer rather than rely on common sense practices? Something doesn't quite add up here.

It's clear why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24967493)

Look, people would get these things home and try to download pictures from their cameras and print them, and it was impossible.

Re:It's clear why (1)

ThatDamnMurphyGuy (109869) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967627)

Really? The last 3 Ubuntu releases for me worked just find when I plugged my camera into the usb port.

Re:It's clear why (1, Insightful)

villindesign (1260484) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967715)

Lenovo shipped Novell's SLED 10 (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10), but not Ubuntu. Maybe Lenovo selected the wrong distro?

Re:It's clear why (2, Interesting)

juiceboxfan (990017) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968009)

Lenovo shipped Novell's SLED 10 (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10), but not Ubuntu. Maybe Lenovo selected the wrong distro?

So, does SLED 10 play mp3's and DVD's out of the box?
Don't get me wrong I am a Linux fanboi - it's the only thing I run at home and mostly at work. But having to find and install all the various "non-free" apps from possibly incompatible repos (yum) is a PITA. Probably even more so for a non-technical user.

Re:Well up-theirs (2, Informative)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967539)

Or perhaps there was no demand.

Re:Well up-theirs (1)

Lobster Quadrille (965591) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967803)

I bought one.

Re:Well up-theirs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968011)

You are a fucking moron if you think your comment is an intelligent reply to the above.

Go commit suicide.

Re:Well up-theirs (0, Offtopic)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968087)

You are a fucking moron if you think your comment is an intelligent reply to the above.

Go outside.

Re:Well up-theirs (5, Funny)

pablomme (1270790) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967559)

if it doesnt run linux, it doesnt exist.

Dude. You just made my car disappear.

Re:Well up-theirs (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968029)

There goes my air conditioner and window fan, too.

Re:Well up-theirs (1)

cdrom600 (981598) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968109)

Crap. My roommate disappeared this morning, and now I'

Re:Well up-theirs (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968117)

Not mine.

Re:Well up-theirs (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968045)

but still sell you preinstalled linux if buying in asia.

Pffft, if your buying in Asia they just "sell" you a pirated copy of XP ;)

AC comment from TFA (4, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967417)

I suspect the decision was made because of comparatively small demand.

Not every disappointment in life is the result of a Grand Microsoft Conspiracy. (grin)

Re:AC comment from TFA (5, Insightful)

yukk (638002) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967519)

Most likely it was a combination of low volume and pressure from Microsoft. If M/S keeps the pressure on and the sales don't make it worthwhile fighting then they drop the line.

Re:AC comment from TFA (5, Funny)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967781)

Most likely it was a combination of low volume and pressure from Microsoft. If M/S keeps the pressure on and the sales don't make it worthwhile fighting then they drop the line.

Most likely it was an example of Boyle's law in action: the higher the pressure, the lower the volume.

Re:AC comment from TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24967819)

If they weren't selling many of them, why would Microsoft bother applying pressure?

Re:AC comment from TFA (3, Insightful)

amn108 (1231606) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967573)

It does not cost them anything to pre-install Linux in the first place, any more than tweaking a copy to run on each model they have, which is not the worlds hardest job. Roll out and copy, that is it. And no need to pay royalties to MS. The decision was probably made as a result of suits taking a meeting with another group of suits that told their "friends" that their product is superior in every way and there is absolutely no reason to even consider Linux. This is the way of recent ISO-votes and it works. All you need is too much power.

Not every disappointment is a result of a Grand Microsoft Conspiracy, but this one is, and most others that are mentioned in context are too. We are not talking about Mars Polar Lander failure.

Re:AC comment from TFA (4, Informative)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967867)

Not true, if you release an OS with your system you "have" to test it, along with all the drivers for each hardware configuration you offer. At larger PC vendors a lot of time and money is spent on this test phase, and a lot of issues are found. The bar is a lot lower for consumer grade stuff, but the testing does still happen. This is why you can't always find the exact combo of hardware you want, for the exact flavor of OS you want.

In order to deliver the cheapest, fastest, greenest, whateverist, people do tend to deviate from Intel's reference design for a given platform. They deviate from other IC vendor reference designs as well, to, in theory, provide a better end user experience, more integration, etc.

The result is that a stock OSes (linux, windows, or "other") may not necessarily work as well, unless/until patches are sent upstream and accepted by whatever OS community is responsible. I am personally aware of a number of OS bugs in both Linux and Windows, found during this testing, that are corrected with the OS shipped with the product by the mfg, that are not yet part of the mainstream OS release. They will be released in a service pack or hotfix, update, etc. at some point, but OS release schedules rarely correlate with hardware releases. Sometimes they never are in the OS release and are in registry changes etc. YMMV.

It may be that some PC vendors are choosing to absorb these costs because Microsoft has been rubbing everyone the wrong way. Lenovo clearly doesn't wish to be one, except perhaps in markets where there's a different expectation of quality & support or where piracy is acceptable.

Re:AC comment from TFA (3, Insightful)

amn108 (1231606) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968013)

Actually I did not say that it is a automatic process, where manufacturers just install vanilla Ubuntu. I said it is not the worlds hardest job. And if you count in the savings of royalties they otherwise pay to MS, it is is very cheap to maintain Linux.

I am well aware Linux does not behave nicely either, given I have a Thinkpad T61, half of which functionality I had to tweak to work properly.

Still, even in the short run Linux does pay off. Also, people can choose Windows still, nobody forces them to run Linux like they are currently forced to run Windows.

In Windows even after all the tweaking and custom drivers, stuff breaks and issues arise. And in these cases its all finger pointing.

Re:AC comment from TFA (4, Informative)

businessnerd (1009815) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967887)

It does not cost them anything to pre-install Linux in the first place, any more than tweaking a copy to run on each model they have

That's not really true. While the copy of Linux itself does not necessarily cost them anything, the fact that it is another option for the customer DOES make it cost more. General rule of thumb is that the more stock keeping units (SKU), the more it will cost you as a company. Basically, if you only sold one model of widgets, in one color with no options at all, it is cheaper than selling one model of widget that comes in either red or blue. It's not about the paint - the red and blue paint cost the same. It's the fact that your production line now has to support two variations. You now have two different packages for the product and on your web site, you now have to add in the capability for the customer to choose their color, and then you have to make sure that they get the right one. Going back to Lenovo, having a second operating system option means a lot of extra investment in their supply chain. Granted, if there is significant customer demand, the extra investment in the supply chain may be worth it. However, if the demand is not there, then the company shouldn't be selling that extra SKU.

On a non-business note, though, I'm sad to hear that they will no longer be selling pre-installed Linux. In fact, I didn't even know they had been selling pre-installed Linux until now. I like that the option is there. At the very least, I don't pay the Microsoft tax when I won't be installing any Microsoft software and hardware compatibility and driver support becomes more robust. I'm glad Dell is hanging in there. I won't comment on whether this is a conspiracy or not. I'm a dedicated Linux user and I love to bash Microsoft, but even I can admit that the demand just may not be there. It could have even been a factor of them failing at getting the message out to those who would be interested (I at least didn't get the memo). Although I will never completely rule out the possibility of an MS conspiracy, we can't exactly jump to that conclusion here.

Re:AC comment from TFA (2, Interesting)

The_DoubleU (603071) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968099)

If they still sell Linux to enterprise users then they have to do the testing anyway. So there is no loss to also sell to home users.

Re:AC comment from TFA (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967903)

The operative word here is "comparatively".

Picture this: some company, a laptop manufacturer, hears about Linux and decides that it wants to sell units with pre-installed Linux. It makes some changes to the process and cranks out(for example) 2000 units. Only 22 units sell.

The company could do a few things: they could allow the other 1078 to collect dust(lost time == lost $$$) while hoping demand picks up, or they could install windows(less lost time == less lost $$$) on 'em and send 'em out the door. You can bet that the company won't choose the more patient option given today's short-term obsessed economy.

Re:AC comment from TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24967947)

They never actually said it came because of pressure from MS. They just said it came down from headquarters. Likely HQ looked at the numbers and decided to cut it out because the volumes just were not there to make it worthwhile. The company isn't going to keep doing something they find to be not in their interests.

And honestly why do they care about MS? They pay very little for it and pass the cost to the consumers anyway so to them the fact they can install it for free is meaningless.

Re:AC comment from TFA (1)

capnkr (1153623) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968151)

I would gladly pay the same price for a Linux laptop as I would for one with a copy of (insert Win flavor) on it.
 
OEM's: Don't charge *more* for Linux, charge the _same_ as what you would for a system with the MS tax, and then put the difference in your pocket.
 
Use the extra profit as an incentive to offer and support Linux, and keep it in the line...

Maybe the word actually came from consumers? (5, Interesting)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967431)

And people just weren't buying them?

Re:Maybe the word actually came from consumers? (5, Insightful)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967489)

Yeah All kinds of possibilities can lead to this.

I think as *nix advocates (at least some of us), we need to realize that it's not all about being altruistic to these guys. It's about money, and if it's doesn't make money then why would they do it? But why speculate on motivations. It's just a fact and we can accept it, make Linux better where we can, and move forward.

Re:Maybe the word actually came from consumers? (4, Interesting)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967567)

Agreed..

Linux isn't the answer to everything. Typical linux users don't pay the premium lenovo/IBM pricing anyway for the most part. They would go HP/Dell and put their own OS on since the "MS tax" has little to do with the price differences of Lenovo and other options.

BTW, when will Apple get rid of the Apple Tax? :)

Re:Maybe the word actually came from consumers? (3, Insightful)

schwaang (667808) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967659)

BTW, when will Apple get rid of the Apple Tax? :)

Maybe when Microsoft starts selling PCs, so that your comparison is really an apples-to-Apples one? ;)

Xbox (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967985)

Maybe when Microsoft starts selling PCs

That was 2001, when Microsoft introduced Xbox, a PC marketed as a game console.

Re:Xbox (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968073)

a PC with an inferior interface marketed as a game console

Fixed that for you ;)

Re:Maybe the word actually came from consumers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24967699)

BTW, when will Apple get rid of the Apple Tax? :)

The day before I buy a Mac Mini to run OpenSolaris or FreeBSD on :).

Re:Maybe the word actually came from consumers? (2, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967975)

Some of us do. Unfortunately, laptops often have strange new combinations of components that are not yet stable in Linux, such as scrollbars, new graphics chipsets, strange RAID controllers, etc., that were only tested with Windows by the manufacturers. Maintaining good quality for such components, and making sure the drivers work well together, takes real effort by competent people. And if you're trying to trim costs, those people may not stick around.

Re:Maybe the word actually came from consumers? (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967765)

Cost most certainly could have been a factor. How much in additional costs did the company incur to support customers with the linux distro versus Vista/XP?

What about driver support etcetera? (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967457)

The Microsoft tax isn't that big a deal, at least not in the Thinkpad price range. Were their Linux-based laptops any cheaper? I know some other companies that offer Linux don't offer any discount for it.

A bigger concern is whether they're providing driver support for Linux installation or not.

Re:What about driver support etcetera? (2, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967511)

The Microsoft tax isn't that big a deal, at least not in the Thinkpad price range.

If it was possible to burn the money in a fire instead of giving it to Microsoft, then format the laptop and put Linux on it, then no, it wouldn't be a big deal. But that's not the case here. Microsoft is actually getting stronger off that tax, and I think we'll all agree, that is a big deal...

Re:What about driver support etcetera? (3, Insightful)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967615)

So let me get this straight. There was no MS tax on these, NO one was apparently buying them, so they're dropping the line and we still have to rattle on and on about a MS tax?

If i buy an apple, how do i get rid of the OSX/Apple tax?

If I buy a ford, how do i put a Mazda engine it it from the getgo and not pay the Ford tax?

Re:What about driver support etcetera? (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967791)

"If I buy a ford, how do i put a Mazda engine it it from the getgo and not pay the Ford tax?"
Ford and Mazda use mostly use the same motors. Ford owns a bit part of Mazda.
And it really isn't the same thing. X86 has always run many different Operating System. IBM didn't bundle PC-DOS with the PC you had a choice of PC-DOS, CP/M-86 and I think at one point Xenix. PC-DOS is the cheapest so that is what most people bought. So buying a PC is not like buying a car without a motor.
So you analogy was flawed on many levels.
It is more like buying a Bass boat without a motor. It should be a common thing and allow you to customize what you spend your money on.
Imagine if a company made these rules.
You can only buy this boat with this motor.
If the boat breaks or is damaged you can not use that motor on any other boat.
If you repaint or change too much of the boat then your motor will stop working until you call us and beg us for a fix motor code!

Re:What about driver support etcetera? (4, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967859)

If i buy an apple, how do i get rid of the OSX/Apple tax? If I buy a ford, how do i put a Mazda engine it it from the getgo and not pay the Ford tax?

Apple makes the computers. Ford makes the cars. So there really isn't a way to not pay them in some way (unless you stole their products...but that's beside the point)

Microsoft, on the other hand, does not manufacture the computers. So if I want to buy a computer I shouldn't have to pay them as well if I don't want their product to come with it.

Re:What about driver support etcetera? (1)

rufus t firefly (35399) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967863)

If i buy an apple, how do i get rid of the OSX/Apple tax?

That's a bit of a broken comparison, since Microsoft doesn't produce full computer hardware, as was noted by another poster.

If I buy a ford, how do i put a Mazda engine it it from the getgo and not pay the Ford tax?

See, this is the crap that is making it difficult for people to see their way around Microsoft. An engine is a piece of *hardware*, much as a CPU is a piece of hardware. An operating system is not a CPU; if you're going to use a car analogy (since this is slashdot, after all), try to use one that makes sense. If you equate the OS to the engine which a car comes with (which is more often than not made by the same manufacturer), you're implying that Microsoft is the only thing that the computer works with, and all else is hackery. It's probably more akin to injecting a more intelligent (as well as occasionally more belligerent) driver into a vehicle.

I'm glad that I can buy a car without a driver (or chauffeur, if you'd rather call them that), but can choose my driver without having to pay for something I don't want, don't need and won't use. How's that for a car analogy?

Re:What about driver support etcetera? (1)

lordofthechia (598872) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967945)

If I buy a ford, how do i put a Mazda engine it it from the getgo and not pay the Ford tax?

True that an OS is to a computer akin of what an engine is to a car, but that is not a good comparison for this case. What would be a good comparison is say if when you bought any car it came only with a Bose sound system. For many, a Bose system will sound "awesome" or good enough. But many others would rather have a system with a better range, or better MP3 support, or at a much lower cost. They see the true product being the car and the premium stereo being pushed on you would be a frivolous tie in.

Now imagine the dealer still charged you the 1 to 1.5k for the Bose sound system even if you returned it or if you decided to go with a generic factory system... (And FYI some dealerships will credit you ~$300 if you decline the built in head unit - did this with a Saturn a few years ago).

Now expanding on our analogy, imagine they refuse to give you the right to re-sell the sound system, if they systematically looked for "OEM Bose sound systems" sales on like ebay and had them pulled?

This is a better example of what Microsoft is like in the PC hardware world. They'd be like a particular stereo you were forced to buy with *almost any* new car you pick up (and were practically forbidden to resell).

** Note I"m not endorsing Bose or trying to rip on them. I just picked them as an example because many believe them to be a good choice for audio equipment (they're in the top 4 speaker manufacturers in the US) while a seemingly more (audio) educated group can see flaws in their designs and benefits for lesser expensive systems.

Re:What about driver support etcetera? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968021)

Your analogy would have been good if the issue was :

If I buy a microsoft, how do I get rid of the microsoft tax.

But it is not. It's about the fact that now, they are giving consumers on less options, and a free one at that.

But it was good practice to try and plug a car analogy on slashdot!
Better luck next time.

Re:What about driver support etcetera? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968035)

Easy, buy psystar, or install OSX on your pc, it is still an apple (have OSX) and you don't pay the apple hardware tax.

Re:What about driver support etcetera? (2, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968133)

The Microsoft tax isn't that big a deal, at least not in the Thinkpad price range.

If it was possible to burn the money in a fire instead of giving it to Microsoft, then format the laptop and put Linux on it, then no, it wouldn't be a big deal. But that's not the case here. Microsoft is actually getting stronger off that tax, and I think we'll all agree, that is a big deal...

I know a few really smart, really nice people who work at Microsoft. I don't have a problem with MS making money. I'd much rather have the money go to MS and then get filtered back into the US economy and partially eventually back into my pocket than burned or sent to China where the money doesn't come back this way.

Re:What about driver support etcetera? (1)

zmjjmz (1264856) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967823)

Since it's discontinuing the option for home buyers and not business buyers, driver support will probably still be there.

Re:What about driver support etcetera? (1)

Piranhaa (672441) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967893)

In my view it's more of a "Microsoft Rebate" with all the crapware that gets installed alongside the default install. Either way, it's still included in Microsoft's numbers as a 'sale', which helps their sales figures and shares.

Maybe they shouldn't have used Suse (2, Insightful)

Lucid 3ntr0py (1348103) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967471)

If they had seriously wanted to hit the market they would have rpovided a variety of options. I was going to buy one, but now I think I'll go Dell.

Re:Maybe they shouldn't have used Suse (3, Insightful)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967517)

And that is why Linux is a bad idea for them. Every linux nerd that wants a pre install, wants their favorite "flavor" of pre install. And gets pissy when their favorite brand name isn't in first place. And half the time people buy linux machines for their computer-illiterate relatives, making them take up huge amounts of phone-support time.

Easier to pitch it and say "eh, we have windows. Enjoy."

Re:Maybe they shouldn't have used Suse (2, Insightful)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967611)

No Linux nerd or any other PC nerd will accept the default installation as a valid option. Power users will remove any crap they put on the hardware and will replace it with a proper installation. Knowing that a notebook supports Linux, whatever distro it is, it's good enough.

Re:Maybe they shouldn't have used Suse (4, Insightful)

Lobster Quadrille (965591) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967875)

Precisely. I bought one of the Lenovo Suse lappys, but never even booted it into Suse. I had an Ubuntu disc sitting on my counter before the UPS guy showed up.

I bought the Suse one for two reasons- known linux-supported hardware, and not paying MS.

The laptop, by the way, is fantastic. Durable, high-performance, and with a docking station, replaced both my desktops.

Re:Maybe they shouldn't have used Suse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24967691)

They could have at least gone with a more popular distro.

Home buyers? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24967475)

So if I buy a house from Lenovo, I can no longer get it preinstalled with Linux?

Communist Plot Against Linux? (1, Funny)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967479)

the decision to pull the plug on Linux came down from the highest levels of the Chinese company's corporate headquarters.

China is a Communist country. The "highest levels" of any corporate HQ is the Communist Party. Is China's Communist government attacking Linux?

Maybe because Linux really practices "from each as per their ability, to each as per their needs", and leads the world in sharing property without respect to class. And is not only successful, but makes some people gloriously rich. Maybe China is just jealous of Linux?

Re:Communist Plot Against Linux? (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967587)

Linux is no commie OS! How DARE you?

On the contrary: full rabid competition is what we aim for here. Fair prices for the consumer is what linux can achieve. Lowering barriers of entry to the software market and facilitation of technology use and aquisition is what linux does supperbly and FOSS excels at.

Commies jelous? They should be running like hell at the sight of the penguin.

Re:Communist Plot Against Linux? (3, Interesting)

ianare (1132971) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967849)

Linux is communist in a sense because the community 'owns' it, anyone can contribute to it regardless of social class, and the community governs itself without need of outside interferance.

These are all fundamental ideals of communism [wikipedia.org] - that all property is communally owned, that all people are equal regardless of class, and that the workers (common people) should be in charge of governing themselves.

The way the Chinese run their country is very far from the ideals of communism, in fact no country that I know has ever had a successful communist government. There has been plenty of dictatorships masquerading as communist though.

Re:Communist Plot Against Linux? (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967841)

Do you think your tin foil hat would protect your head from the clue bat?

China's economy hasn't been centrally planned for a long time.

As for linux, FOSS is the product of self organising peer production and it's absurd to compare it to any form of government.

Re:Communist Plot Against Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24967877)

Did you just equate linux to both a communist rat and a capitalist pig?

Re:Communist Plot Against Linux? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967901)

I doubt it. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Communist Plot Against Linux? (1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967951)

Isn't Communist Party an oxymoron?



--Oh, well Bad Karma must . . .get . . .badder . . .

--But Cap'n I'm giving her all she's got!

I have one (5, Interesting)

penguinchris (1020961) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967503)

I bought a T61 several months ago from them with Suse pre-installed (I then installed the latest version of OpenSuse instead as the pre-installed one was an older, stable and supported version.)

I like it a lot and was planning on doing the same for any future laptop purchases. It's a shame because these are great machines and perfect for Linux (and the kind of person that normally runs Linux.)

However, I ran through the various options before purchasing and it was hard to tell if I was really saving money this way. For the Linux systems the choice of hardware options was more limited than with Windows (which does make sense) and I don't think I was able to set up equal systems which to compare prices with. In the end I think I paid the same or possibly even more for this system than if I had got one with Windows with the intention of not using it.

I think, then, their trial of selling Linux machines failed because they failed to make it a compelling option to the buyer, either financially or otherwise (limited options.)

I still feel good about myself for not giving any money to Microsoft.

More reasons for preloading (4, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967907)

> I think, then, their trial of selling Linux machines failed because they failed to make
> it a compelling option to the buyer, either financially or otherwise (limited options.)

We also bought a SUSE loaded Thinkpad recently. Normally we do RedHat based distros but since this one did come with a supported load left it alone. Yes SUSE is different but the user adapted pretty quick.

The point of preload is not just to avoid giving Microsoft money, I'm smart enough to realize Lenovo almost certainly gave Microsoft their per unit tax (no amount of court orders will ever end that practice) but we got three other important things:

1. PRELOAD. Take it out, plug it in and go. Don't underestimate the value of that.

2. NO SUPRISES. If they are preloading Linux on it they won't suddenly switch vendors on wireless chipsets, etc. and hose you. Even if you decide you don't like the flavor of the month a vendor ships the odds are good you can load any other recent distro.

3. SUPPORT. If a vendor preloads Linux you can call them up and get warranty support without having to worry about reloading Windows before shipping it off or ensuring the drive is yanked out.

In the past we bought Thinkpads because they were the best hardware and nobody offered Linux as a supported option so their lack of that didn't hurt them. That isn't true anymore so future purchases won't go to them.

Shouldn't be suprised (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967507)

The manufactures seem to provide very little value with these Linux installs.

Re:Shouldn't be suprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968129)

what the fuck are you talking about? if free software has no value for, why do you post here on one of the largest forums o free software advocates? these are greedy industry bitches and should get roped up.

HP Small Business still has FreeDos Laptops (2, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967537)

http://www.hp.com/sbso/busproducts_notebooks.html [hp.com]

Many of those laptops that can be configured have "FreeDos" as an option for the OS.
Sure, that means it doesn't come with an installed Linux distro, but you can get a customized laptop without the MS tax.

Re:HP Small Business still has FreeDos Laptops (1)

klapaucjusz (1167407) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968111)

Many of those laptops that can be configured have "FreeDos" as an option for the OS.

The same is true of Dell, but in many cases you won't find that option on the website -- you need to ask your friendly Dell representative.

I am the proud owner of a Dell-branded FreeDOS CD.

Clever Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24967541)

When a particular target group is loyal to a product do your best to alienate them. Thinkpads have always been very popular among GNU/Linux and *BSD people.

renova removes rinux? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24967547)

rame.

DVD Playback? (3, Interesting)

bucketoftruth (583696) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967561)

On Dell's website, all the Ubuntu models have a note: Ubuntu 8.04 with DVD Playback. What does that mean? That they installed the unlicensed work-around for you or is there some licensed linux DVD decoder?

Re:DVD Playback? (5, Informative)

zsouthboy (1136757) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967745)

They install LinDVD.

The market speaks? (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967577)

Rather than focusing on dark and sinister plots perhaps speculation should center on lack of customer demand and/or too many calls for customer support. If the product was selling well and at a profit its not likely that Lenovo (or anyone else) would abandon the it.

Maybe Vista is better? (1, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967613)

I'm having a really bad Linux day, because I installed KDE 4.1 on my Hardy Heron Ubuntu box, and found that, after the dust settled, I was booting with an extra kernel, my graphics were destroyed and my networking was f--- up. About the only thing that works right, actually, is in fact Vista running in a VirtualBox OSE environment, and I'm so bitter about KDE trashing my machine that I'm about ready to say screw Linux and just format the whole dang thing to Vista, if only I can find the signed drivers..

Re:Maybe Vista is better? (4, Informative)

yuna49 (905461) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967703)

From the KDE 4.1 announcement page:
"While KDE 4.1 aims at being the first release suitable for early adopting users..."

If you want to be an early adopter, you need to live with the consequences. I've run KDE for years and would never consider moving to KDE 4+ for a least another year or two.

Also KDE != Linux.

Re:Maybe Vista is better? (2, Insightful)

Korey Kaczor (1345661) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967825)

Just because you don't know how to use linux doesn't mean it is linux that sucks. Ubuntu seems to have a lot of bugs and KDE 4 isn't stable; so maybe blame the distro and desktop environment instead?

Re:Maybe Vista is better? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967861)

"and I'm so bitter about KDE trashing my machine that I'm about ready to say screw Linux and just format the whole dang thing to Vista, if only I can find the signed drivers."

A nice thing about Linux is that when something barfs, you can boot with your live CD, rescue your home directory, reinstall and update easily. (An external DVD drive allows booting from the main CD/DVD drive and burning to the external if you don't have another machine to copy to.)

A "nuke and pave" is MUCH faster than with Windows.

No matter what OS you use, it is time well spent learning to quick-turn a hosed system back to service.

Re:Maybe Vista is better? (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968063)

A nice thing about Linux is that when something barfs, you can boot with your live CD, rescue your home directory, reinstall and update easily. (An external DVD drive allows booting from the main CD/DVD drive and burning to the external if you don't have another machine to copy to.)

Can I reinstall over myself? If I could just nuke and pave I would be immensely happier, for sure.

No matter what OS you use, it is time well spent learning to quick-turn a hosed system back to service.

That's definitely fair enough. I just haven't.

Re:Maybe Vista is better? (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967925)

I thought KDE4 is not officially supported in Hardy? That is a warning that it is not yet stable.

I want KDE 4, but I am not upgrading until it is the default for my distro because it is not worth the hassle that results if something goes wrong.

Re:Maybe Vista is better? (1)

Lobster Quadrille (965591) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967989)

It'd help to not use an unstable version of KDE, then complain about it being... unstable.

All honesty though, I made the switch to Gnome when I was thoroughly disappointed with the direction KDE4 is going. Apparently, Gnome got a lot better since I used it last, because I switched the rest of my systems that night.

Re:Maybe Vista is better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968007)

Yes, that's it. Vista is definitely better.

How is the Microsoft Tax a "tax"? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24967649)

I don't get why Slashdotters assume that it would be cheaper for computer producers and for consumers to install Linux instead of Windows. We also see this in complaints about the Inspiron 900 costing the same with Linux as without it, and there were some huge posts about that. Here's the deal: software development and support costs too. When a manufacturer puts Linux on their devices, they have to first test it, make sure that it works, and iron out the bugs in the parts that won't work. This takes expensive developer time. Once the product is launched, they probably have to deal with 10x more consumer support requests from each user that bought Linux over those that bought Windows, because people simply won't know how to do things. This costs money too. In contrast, if the company went with Windows, they'd have to pay 40 dollars and then a) the software would work out of the box and b) there would be a much smaller flow of support requests, many of which would be handled by Microsoft. That's worth something - perhaps as much as 40 dollars per machine! If you think about it, 40 dollars is maybe 2 hours of a customer support representative's time. What you guys don't get is that preinstalling Windows on PCs is a business decision that is mutually beneficial for the PC manufacturer and Microsoft. It's beneficial for 99% of consumers too of course.

As long as Linux on the desktop remains a demo scene with ever-changing technology, unstable API, incompatible distros, and idealists that make it difficult for companies to provide binary drivers, things stay that way, and you're going to see PCs preloaded with Windows. If you want Linux to reach end-customers, you need first and foremost to make it one single, stable (as in rarely changing), OS. After that you need to make it usable for people who never open options dialogs and have no clue what a terminal is. After that you need to actually have worthwhile software running on it (Microsoft Office, Flash, Photoshop, a decent media player, etc).

Thinkpad T61 (3, Informative)

Philotic (957984) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967661)

I just bought a new Thinkpad T61 preloaded with Suse Enterprise Edition from Lenovo just a few weeks ago. If I remember correctly, it was roughly $100-120 less than the equivalent model preloaded with Vista. Everything worked out of the box (wireless, suspend, 3D rendering, audio...), although I found the distro to be somewhat buggy. I loaded linux mint on it the other day and it works like a charm. It's a shame they stopped offering linux preloaded. At this point I have virtually no need for windows, and I'd rather not pay for it. As an anecdotal story, I was talking with a Lenovo representative about why they offered Linux on only a few select models. Eventually I started asking about anti-trust law. Her response was continually that Lenovo was aware of the law and that nothing was going to change.

3rd party (2, Interesting)

CXI (46706) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967687)

I know when I was looking previously I stumbled upon some other options, such as http://www.emperorlinux.com/ [emperorlinux.com] which is still perhaps a viable route.

Re:3rd party (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24967937)

I've noticed several small-scale start-ups recently that are building and selling computers [jgcustompcs.com] pre-loaded with linux. I wonder how many of these are outsource refugees...

Chinese Spyware... (0, Flamebait)

PainMeds (1301879) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967697)

Chinese Spyware didn't support the Linux drivers.

How do you say, "can it run Linux, bitch?" in Chinese?

I was about to buy one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24967709)

It's funny because I was about to pull the trigger on one of them. I'm using a company provided T60 that I wiped and installed Ubuntu on. I wanted one of the newer T61's with a 7200 RPM drive so I was just gonna buy one with linux, wipe it and install Ubuntu (I'm not fond of SUSE). When I found out that I'd have to pay the extra cost for the windows licensing that I decided to wait. Looks like I'll be waiting quite awhile or going with another vendor.

Re:I was about to buy one (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24967869)

sorry. had we had known that there was going to be an order this month we may have held off on our decision to pull linsux.


sincerely,

lenovo corporate office.

So what? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967719)

A vendor offers an option, doesn't make enough money from it to make it worth continuing, so they drop it. Why does this warrant an article?

-jcr

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24967809)

If you don't care, why does it warrant a comment?

Re:So what? (1)

Lobster Quadrille (965591) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968051)

Because it was a very good product that supports the efforts of the majority of people here. And apparently it wasn't marketable enough.

Re:So what? (1)

I'm not really here (1304615) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968147)

Simple. Many computer geeks are concerned that Linux is simply getting lip service, a "trial run" and then being tossed quickly so a company can say "See? We tried... no one wanted them."

Similar to the electric car.

Anyways, this is news that matters to many "geeks", so it appears here.

No biggie (1)

motang (1266566) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967857)

Well that alright, we got Dell with Ubuntu and Asus with Xandros! Not to mention HP is warming up...sorta, and Acer has their netbook.

NOBODY WANTS IT (1)

n1_111 (597775) | more than 5 years ago | (#24967913)

End of story. Get a freaking clue. Linux is a pain in the ass for "consumer" Ubuntu is a piece of harry crap.

zareason /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968023)

Looks like zareason has been slashdotted.

Linux 'support' from computer vendors (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968041)

I don't remember what Lenovo was offering, but I know with Dell, it's pretty pathetic. You get a *small* number of their machines available, plus a small number of available options - even if 'Linux compatability' does not apply - fewer, if not far fewer, options available with Linux Dell machines.

Then there's the matter of even *finding* the damned things on Dell's website. They've separated it into it's own dell.com/ubuntu area, and you can't (easily) get into it from within the main dell.com purchasing process. Is it really that hard for them to make Ubuntu an option in the OS choice box?

Lame.

This isn't as bad as it used to be (1, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#24968053)

Back in the day, most Linux users recall a time when the only hardware that really worked well with Linux was OLD and otherwise useless hardware. Those days are long-since gone and no amount of Microsoft pressure could prevent people from developing drivers and support for Linux or otherwise releasing the specs so that other people could write support code. Now just about everything is supported under Linux and quite a few things won't fly under Vista... and it won't be long before Vista is all that is [easily] available. (There will always be ThePirateBay I think...)

But with people everywhere interested in at least trying Linux out, the people refusing to supply Linux preloaded will also become a starving minority group... and in time, we will even see Linux priced at $0 while Windows will be shown for its true price... not $0.

It is an eventuality... an inevitability. I don't see this as much of a setback as it might have seemed a couple of years ago.

The life well lived (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968091)

is almost always about value, and almost never about price.

Most people have long ago swallowed the Wal-Mart Kool-Aid.

Refund (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24968123)

So buy a Windows machine and get a refund [fsfe.org] .

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