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No Demand for Linux in the UK?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the we-like-tea-not-penguins dept.

Linux Business 207

eldavojohn writes "If you're a Linux user in the UK looking for a Linux box, you're not going to get it from Acer. The computer maker has started releasing Linux installed machines in Singapore but cited 'no demand' as a reason for not releasing the same computer with Linux installed in the UK. From the ZDNet article: 'Before the launch of the Acer Aspire in Singapore, there had been no suggestion that any major manufacturer other than Dell was even considering releasing Ubuntu-based products. However, Acer president Gianfranco Lanci did tell Financial Times Deutschland that "the whole [PC] industry is disappointed with Windows Vista". Lanci claimed that Microsoft's new operating system had not boosted PC sales, due to concerns over its stability and overall maturity.'"

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Maybe... (5, Funny)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073313)

They just don't want Linux on an Acer.
Not a troll, just saying.

Re:Maybe... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20073801)

On Acer? It seems they just don't want Lunix on anything.

Lunix is losing market share to Vista in regions where consumers are paying for Vista, and Lunix is losing market share to Vista in regions where most consumers are breaking the law and using pirated copies of Vista.

If your product is FREE and you can't compete, where do you go from there? Is Lunix going to PAY people to use teh Lunix? Because that seems to be the only alternative they have to try and reverse the fact that they are losing in the marketplace (as well as the marketplace of ideas).

Combine that with FOSSie lock-in (due to the GPL's open hostility to commercial software), and it pretty much seals Lunix's doom as exclusively a hobbyist OS. Which is a shame, because teh Lunix could probably thrive in the small device market, were the GPL not doing it's hardest to prevent any kind of commerical use.

Re:Maybe... (3, Interesting)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073919)

It seems they just don't want Lunix on anything.
Lunix. [wikipedia.org] You keep using that word. I don't thing it means what you think it means.

Re:Maybe... (1)

Dr. Smoove (1099425) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073961)

Holy Shit!

Re:Maybe... (5, Informative)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074013)

From the linked wikipedia article:

"Lunix", however, is sometimes used as a mocking respelling of "Linux" in humorous contexts.
I think it means exactly what he was using it to mean.

Re:Maybe... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20074095)

See:
Lunix [encycloped...matica.com]

Lunix is one of the most powerful contraceptives evar. ...It is an operating system that was the result of really crappy reverse-engineering efforts to create a free version of UNIX. Linus Torvalds and Alan Cox are the perpetrators behind this travesty. Tons of people use it, especially hippies, and no one really likes it except the terminally uncool. Most of them use it in violation of SCO's intellectual property rights. To use Lunix legally, one must pay a $699 license fee to SCO for each processor that runs the Lunix kernel.

Re:Maybe... (1)

infaustus (936456) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074947)

I think Lunix [encycloped...matica.com] is exactly what he means.

Re:Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20075369)

The extent to which our brains see what they expect to see is fascinating. My brain made lunix into linux, and kept doing that until I read the first sentence of the wikipedia article.

Even more puzzling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20073951)

is how you misspelled Linux. Oncve or twice I can understand, but...

You're new here, aren't you?

Re:Maybe... (2, Interesting)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074705)

Personally, I'm seeing a migration away from Linux onto Macs over here in the UK. I was a regular Linux user myself (as in my only OS) from Mandrake 8 all the way through to Ubuntu Dapper Drake. But in November I got myself a MacBook and haven't looked back. Amongst my peers I'm also seeing this trend.

Bob

Hrm (1)

jrwr00 (1035020) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073335)

I still down understand why they wont allow people in the UK buy the computers with Linux, it doesnt sound that hard to do..... maybe somebody can explain why they are doing this

Re:Hrm (4, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073529)

Cost of extra training for sales people on the two differnt product lines if only a small portion will buy the Linux Acers then the cost of training could be more then the cost of sales.

Cost of support, you get a person wanting linux but never used it before, get it and everything seems to go wrong and talking to technical support. I am assuming that they don't use global support.

Cost of wearhousing now you need to manage 2 visual idenintal product lines the difference is the data on each system.

Cost of selling systems without Extra Junk installed, all those demo apps the company pays acer to put default on their system.

Trade Policies, sometimes by changing the OS you may need to renegoate your trade policy with other countries.

There are a lot of extra costs and little have to do with Linux but selling a product in an area where there is little demmand.

Blind Costs. GNU/Linux UI Last Longer. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075271)

It's amazing how people can be so blind to the TCO of Windoze:

There are a lot of extra costs and little have to do with Linux but selling a product in an area where there is little demmand.

Now you understand the man's frustration with Vista [slashdot.org] . Really. Every few years M$ changes their UI without substantial changes to anything else. Vista is the most radical change since 3.1 to 95, yet people like you just take that cost for granted.

With GNU/Linux, on the other hand, you have a choice of UIs and they remain the same over decades. Have you ever seen the first web browser, made in 1990 [w3.org] ? Compare that interface to Window Maker [windowmaker.info] or AfterStep [afterstep.org] , which have been stable for almost as long and is still available to those who want it. Those are only the beginning of your choices and they all work well together.

Re:Blind Costs. GNU/Linux UI Last Longer. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075659)

Ummm. O.K.
Except for the fact I was explaining why a company wouldn't sell a product with little demmand...

But they are some problems with your argument.
With windows while you got a new interface which you have to lear it will for the most part be consistant across the workforce all vista will look and work alike... Vs. GNU Linux where differences between distributions even cross versions of distributions are radically different. Sure if you have admin access or a lot of time you can make it look like your old desktop (assuming you have permission to do so) but you can also do that in Windows there is still progman.exe still there. You may in the shortrun save money by keeping the UI the same in Linux from version to version but over time it will cost more because more and more new people will be unfamiluar with the old interface and the old interface normally will be loosing productivity features of the new one.

Re:Hrm (2, Informative)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074541)

Well,

Maybe there's a bit of irony in the fact that 50% of our mail servers are Acer Altos servers running CentOS 4 or CentOS 5 - OK, fair enough I had to install Linux myself.

It is, however, possible to get some low-end machines with SUSE pre-installed:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/128595 [ebuyer.com]
"Esys Computer System Celeron 2.66GHZ 512MB 80GB 2MB 16X DVD Rom. Linux"

But this seems more of a means to avoid a "M$ tax", although you do get a passable general desktop for £145 including VAT (no monitor).

Re:Hrm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20074677)


http://www.ideastorm.com/article/show/71507/Dell__ Tell_us_if_this_explains_why_its_so_hard_to_get_No _OS_on_many_Dell_models [ideastorm.com]
http://digg.com/linux_unix/Comes_vs_Microsoft_Peti tion_Shows_How_Microsoft_Blocked_Linux_Sales_PDF [digg.com] ...in 2000, Microsoft ratcheted the restriction up so that OEMs are forced to forfeit all discounts otherwise earned if they ship any "naked machines" to consumers. This heightened restriction, which (on information and belief) continues to the present, prohibits PC users and PC retailers from buying and installing lower priced or better quality operating systems of their choice."

Re:Hrm (1)

jrwr00 (1035020) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075351)

wow thats messed up, no wonder M$ is hated so much

I get fed up of telling people.... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20073361)

...there's just no demand for it round here!

Also not being sold due to lack of demand... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20073363)

toothbrushes

rimshot, crash, I'll be here all week

Re:Also not being sold due to lack of demand... (0, Offtopic)

Ticklemonster (736987) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073685)

Okay, I have been mulling over trying to get a push going here at /. to see if they could put all anonymous coward posts below everyone's threshold so that they just don't show up unless a person specifically wants them to because there's just so many posts by people who won't register that are just total bull hockey.

And now you come along and post this as anonymous coward...

Which leaves me only one thing to say:

LONG LIVE ANONYMOUS COWARDS!!!! (hilarious post, bud)

Re:Also not being sold due to lack of demand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20074177)

You don't get out much do you?

Standard yellow teeth troll response (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20074365)

toothbrushes
Still, in the US you don't have much need for:
  • jeans below size 36" waist
  • dictionaries containing the word "irony"
  • atlases showing countries outside US (unless they are marked with "gertbigoilfield")
  • health food shops
  • gas mileage [sic] higher than double figures
  • IQ higher then double figures

In the Soviet UK, irony escapes you! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20075539)

IQ higher then double figures

Oh, the iorny.

Anyone know - (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20073445)

Does anyone know if the distro they are shipping is aimed at home or office users? For example, does it have Beryl installed?
I think if you are going to distribute Linux instead of Vista, you should enable Beryl so people can see that at least on the visuals side, Vista has nothing on Linux.

Re:Anyone know - (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073843)

speaking as someone who uses ubuntu and once upon a time used beryl when I first installed 7.04 feisty, its simply not stable enough. Its close, but needs a few more months or even a year. Admittedly the only problems i had with beryl were with using it with VNC, and Java applications (which i develop).

Re:Anyone know - (1)

Werrismys (764601) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074139)

With beryl, use x11vnc as server (with -nodamage flag), not vino (the gnome's built in VNC server). It will display just black. Search ubuntu wiki for comprehensive explanation. Besides, x11vnc is much faster than vino.

VNC clients all work 100% fine with beryl.

Some java web applets won't work - they display a single-color rectangle where the graphics should be. Problem with the java plugin probably.

Re:Anyone know - (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20075321)

He's not talking about web applets, but about applications. Many desktop Java applications don't work with Beryl - the bug's in Java, not Beryl, but it's unlikely Sun is ever going to fix it now that Beryl will never leave its permanent alpha state. Note that all Java apps work fine in Compiz.

No demand...really? (1, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073493)

I wonder how they came to the conclusion that there is no demand? Was there a survey among potential new PC buyers? Or is this company another Microsoft buddy, I wonder.

Re:No demand...really? (1)

HitekHobo (1132869) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073623)

I wonder how they came to the conclusion that there is no demand? Was there a survey among potential new PC buyers? Or is this company another Microsoft buddy, I wonder.

I'd hazard a guess that their cost analysis folks decided the demand wasn't high enough to justify testing their hardware against another OS and supporting it long term. There is 'demand' and then there is 'demand that maintains the same or greater profit margins'.

How many people really want someone else's idea of a good Linux installation on their workstations? Most of the Linux evangelists aren't going to be happy unless they install it themselves anyway. And most corporations are still full of people that have never used any OS other than Win 95, 98 and XP.

"From Whom?" (1)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073921)

I wonder how they came to the conclusion that there is no demand?

Whenever a vendor tells you that there's "no demand" for such-and-such, I think an important question to ask is "no demand from whom?"

For instance, it's possible that the lack of demand in this case comes from a certain Washington based software company.

Re:"From Whom?" (0, Troll)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074401)

That's the stupidest thing I've heard today. MS isn't an Acer customer. Demand comes from customers, not one of your vendors.

Re:"From Whom?" (1)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075521)

Demand comes from customers, not one of your vendors.

How open are you to the idea that you may be being taking my words a little too literally?

Re:"From Whom?" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20074593)

Exactly!
In my experience in science departments at universities in the UK, linux is very widely used. I would say that around 90% of people working in compuational 'hard' science use some variety of linux almost exclusively. Whether this actually translates into a demand for new machines with linux pre-installed is another matter -- people are often happy to take a windows machine and dual boot it...
Maybe if people were aware they could buy new machines with linux on them there would be a demand?

Re:"From Whom?" (1)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075725)

Maybe if people were aware they could buy new machines with linux on them there would be a demand?

A Mac quality O/S that did cost Mac prices, and didn't tie you to Microsoft? I should think that once word got about, they'd walk off the shelves.

Re:No demand...really? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20074603)

Acer is not a leader... they are a follower. By no demand, they mean no other company is really pushing it, or doing exceptionally well at it, so we won't bother.

Can't blame them for not wanting to provide another product that will only appeal to a very small percentage of customers.

might also be $$$ from MS preinstall (4, Insightful)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073545)

hardware vendors are squeezed for profit margin. selling windows preinstalled adds a bit of margin. Perhaps the studies they may or may not have conducted to determine market demand indicated that people who wanted linux also wanted a lower price tag for the hardware. Perhaps this expectation was inflexible, meaning that unit margin on a given PC would go down if they were to sell without MS. Or if they didn't conduct that study, maybe this is one of their fears that keeps them from offering linux product.

huh? (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073583)

Why not just buy a computer with no OS or build a computer and install Linux on it? This really seems like a non-issue.

Re:huh? (2)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073705)

Agreed; one would think they could increase their margin if the laptop came with no software or OS installed, as they would not have to provide support for any software installed, nor pay licensing for software installed. It could be like an OEM version of a laptop. Unless M$ is paying them to preload windows, it should be profitable. They'd just have to solve the problem of selling it only to people who know full well what they're getting into, tech support wise (i.e. none available to them, regardless of what OS they install).

Re:huh? (3, Insightful)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073885)

I'll have to agree with this comment. Why should Linux users even be concerned with getting their machine with a pre-loaded OS, especially when they may switch over to a new distro weeks/months later?

Re:huh? (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073731)

If you're building a desktop, i agree. however, while possible, it's a bit annoying presently to build your own laptop. Given that you're not building, then it's kind of annoying to be giving MS money for something you have no intention of using. And it's harder to find a prebuilt machine (laptop especially) without an OS than it is to find one that comes with Linux.

Barebone laptops are available everywhere (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20075573)

Since late 2004 it is easy to purchase a barebone laptop, put in your own CPU, memory, hard disk, optical disk, wireles card. You can buy them from abspc.com. excaliberpc.com, allasus.com, or even directly from manufacturers. All Asian brands are available, ASUS, UNIVILL, MITAC, COMPAL, etc. From my own experience ASUS barebones are the best.
'Building' a laptop if you can call it that, takes about half an hour, easier than building a desktop. You get a laptop without a brand name on it, you can put your own, "Joe's Company etc.". No windows sticker either, ready to install linux.

Re:huh? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20074155)

I've used Linux for a long time, and always built computers for myself and other people.
For a long time I would not dream of paying for an assembled one.

I needed a new one recently though, and realised I just could not be bothered.
It's quite a lot of research to make sure all the parts you buy will work together, be of good quality, and be Linux compatible. I also realised that paying someone else to do it for me works out cheaper than my own time would cost.
Also I have warranty and all that jazz.

Re:huh? (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074633)

Yep, our Acer Altos mail servers were bought as barebones units with no OS and are now running CentOS Linux.

Re:huh? (3, Informative)

Stocktonian (844758) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074725)

Or visit this UK website that is happy to take up the Linux niche that ACER would rather ignore.
https://www.xephi.co.uk/laptops/ [xephi.co.uk]

Just because ACER says there's no demand doesn't make it true.

Re:huh? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075335)

No Demmand != 0 Demmand.

No demmand means not enough people want their products to make it useful for them. Because demmand is so low they will not offer it so then 0 Demmand.

TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20073621)

Lanci claimed that Microsoft's new operating system had not boosted PC sales, due to concerns over its stability and overall maturity.

While I can see the failure of Vista hurting sales as businesses put off purchases of new machines or order cheaper ones that run XP fine, haven't we plateaued for a while anyway? You just don't need anything as fast as the newest machines for running the web and video. People, and businesses, are putting their purchase-dollars into other toys. Relying on a new OS to "boost" PC sales is a pretty sad strategy.

(So how /do/ you know there is "no demand" if you don't offer it, mr/ms Unamed Spokeperson?)

Just reject the Windows EULA (2, Insightful)

l33t.g33k (903780) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073643)

I remember there was a story a few months back about a guy who rejected the Windows license agreement on his new computer. He got his money back for the copy of Windows (without even having to return the OEM CD), and then proceeded to install Linux on it. So people who want Linux could just opt for that route... Maybe then Acer will notice "demand" for Linux!

Re:Just reject the Windows EULA (1)

mernisse (224328) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075113)

For what it's worth that wasn't an option with the laptop I bought. The copy was OEM so Microsoft wouldn't take it back and the manufacturer wouldn't take it back either. Granted, that was XP so the policy may have changed for Vista. I queried multiple vendors and none of them had any return plan for copies of Windows.

One UK reseller (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20073699)

http://efficientpc.co.uk/ [efficientpc.co.uk]

Sell Ubuntu PC's. So, there must be some demand.

Just in case anyone in the UK actually wants a linux PC.
(I'm not affiliated, just found this today while looking for a new laptop)

Re:One UK reseller (1, Flamebait)

giorgosts (920092) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075549)

From http://efficientpc.co.uk/ [efficientpc.co.uk]

        * Suspend from ram supported!
        * Graphics: Nvidia 8600M GS 256MB memory (Supported by lastest nvidia driver, manual install)
            Compiz Works, TV out works, Twinview dual monitor works.
        * Monitor: 15.4 inch widescreen 1280x800 resolution
            Monitor brightness by keypress or software control works
        * Sound: Onboard Intel 82801H (Supported by snd_hda_intel driver)

    Front headphone port works, microphone does not.
        * Network: Onboard Realtek 8169SC Gigabit Lan (Supported by r8169 driver)
        * USB: Onboard Intel 82801H Usb controller (Supported by uhci_hcd/ echi_hcd driver)
        * Firewire: Onboard Ricoh Firewire (supported by ieee1394 driver)
        * Hard disk: Onboard Intel Controllers (Supported by achi driver)
        * Bluetooth: Onboard AsusTek Controller (Supported by hci_usb driver)
        * Card Reader: Onboard Ricoh (Not currently Supported)
        * Webcam: Onboard Ricoh (Not currently Supported)
        * Weight: 2.9kg
        * Size: 362(W)x268(D)x28.5-39(H)mm
        * Battery: 6-cell Li-On

It seems they sell their machine with more than half of its components not working. In particular, no webcam/microphone. Not a viable alternative.

And this is surprising because why? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073703)

..."the whole [PC] industry is disappointed with Windows Vista". Lanci claimed that Microsoft's new operating system had not boosted PC sales, due to concerns over its stability and overall maturity.'"


Why is this a surprise to "the [PC] industry"? Vista's a new piece of software; at the begining it's bound to be less mature and less stable than it will be in the future.

Hell, my computer purchases have NEVER been about the OS; that's just the plumbing. I pick my applications first and then see what they need to run on. (One could claim it works the same way in the game console industry: major "application" titles drive console "OS" sales these days, not the other way around.)

Because of the hard sell. (1, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075513)

Why is this a surprise to "the [PC] industry"? Vista's a new piece of software; at the begining it's bound to be less mature and less stable than it will be in the future.

Big vendors like Dell were forced to carry nothing but Vista but very quickly were forced by low sales to offer both XP and GNU/Linux. Just about everyone knows about Vista but less than 12% actually wants it. More people might actually be interested in free software than that! M$ has pushed hard against people's will, but Vista is looking more like a failure every day. [slashdot.org]

This move is also surprising, given the CEO's gripes about Vista not making his company any money and not being ready. M$ must have whacked him or something.

Very clever (1, Interesting)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073717)

Very, very clever indeed ol' boy. Acer, you ravishing young chap, you've really done your homework. First you trash Vista as not providing anything exciting to the PC makers and business community. Then you follow it with the comment that there's "No demand" for Linux somewhere(anywhere). I can think of no surer way to incite riotous demand for your linux-loaded hypothetical product.

I say, you must have stolen a marketing strategist or two from Google or Apple. Don't worry. I won't say, "I told you so" when you finally do offer Linux in the UK and everywhere else. I'll just be standing by and by with a golf clap saying, "Good show, Guvna."

Re:Very clever (2, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074179)

I can think of no surer way to incite riotous demand for your linux-loaded hypothetical product.

"Riotous" demand? Do you really think that's going to happen? According to the people who hang out around here, consumer demand for Linux has been about to explode for the past 12 years. The demand isn't there on the hardware retailer side. There's no Microsoft conspiracy. The people who want Linux are going to install it themselves. A lot of them are going to build the computers themselves, too. The slight savings you're seeing on computers released with Linux isn't worth the lesser selection for a lot of the rest of the people still interested in buying a Linux-based computer.

Re:Very clever (1)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075675)

Ok, you got me. I was hyperbolic. I also used English idioms and phrases when in fact I am not English.

Seriously though, there may not be much demand in retail for Linux but that's not to say that there isn't demand in the UK or anywhere else for a Linux supporting desktop computer. Nobody's really won the Linux desktop war in terms of manufacturers and I think this kind of 1-2 PR punch is a pretty smart way to go about it if you were thinking about offering Linux.

Or maybe Acer's head is just a negative Nancy.

Re:Very clever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20074377)

Acer, you ravishing young chap, you've really done your homework...I'll just be standing by and by with a golf clap saying, "Good show, Guvna."

I think your "British" persona would go over better if you read the Harry Potter books and imitated their speech instead. The odd reference to the upcoming Quidditch season would be less clunky than "Acer, you ravishing young chap".

The first pleasure of using linux is installation (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20073727)

Sure there is no demand, each and every linux user wants to install linux by himself. Installing linux is the first pleasure of using it, if a manufacturer installs it for you, THEY STEAL SOMETHING FROM YOU. Anyway if you purchase a system with a crippled version of linux like lindows, xandros or licoris, the first thing to do is to erase the disk and install a real distribution.
UNFORTUNATELY, linux installastion is too easy today, most of the pleasure produced by difficulties is gone. In the good old days you would spend days and days trying to figure out why X or sound do not work on your laptop. Unfortunately today all pleasure is gone, you are all set up and going in an hour or so, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING, the installer does your job. This is not the kind of linux I like, I want the installation to be hard! Our only salvation is Gentoo!

Doesn't mean anything... (1)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073729)

Perhaps it's because Linux users are manually installing the OS. I don't think sales of Linux PC's as an accurate benchmark of it's overall use in an area. I would suspect that 99% of PCs come with Internet Explorer but we know Firefox use is much higher than that.

What they said / What they meant (4, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073795)

Acer said: "If you're a Linux user in the UK looking for a Linux box, you're not going to get it from Acer. The computer maker has started releasing Linux installed machines in Singapore but cited 'no demand' as a reason for not releasing the same computer with Linux installed"

Acer meant: "Because we're hogtied by Microsoft due to us whoring ourselves out to them earlier, We are currently not allowed to offer anything but their 'wonderful'(TM) line of products until 2045"

Re:What they said / What they meant (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074103)

Even the most cursory reading (TM) of the summary would indicate that Acer does sell Linux systems elsewhere. As Dell is discovering, trying to please the Linux zealot community by doing X mostly gets you abuse for not doing Y and Z ("...because their a bunch of M$ shills!") and complaints that doing X is a GPL violation.

Re:What they said / What they meant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20074781)

Even the most cursory reading (TM)...
of the parent would indicate that it is a joke. :-)

Not Really (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074517)

When you get to be a company the size of Acer, the whole notion of starting something new like selling a system with Linux installed just doesn't happen. In normal circumstances, this kind of thing comes down from on-high. Like "UK subsidiary set up a Linux SKU for product xyz."

If the people running the UK office have some sway with Acer HQ, they would say, "Market Research says there's no market so we don't want to sell it." The elusive "market research" could be anyone from the resellers that sell their product now, to paying for sell-through data. In both cases, it's quite typical that the information is totally dependent on what's sold over a long period of time.

The quotes also point out that the entire sales chain wants to do as little work as possible to make their money. Microsoft represents the least possible work. Selling a Linux desktop is still hard work in most cases and from a cost of the entire system package, probably less profitable.

Yeah, Microsoft has Acer by the short-and-curlies. As described above, there's a confluence of other factors that factor in there that help the situation stay the same.

Friends don't let Friends buy Acer (3, Interesting)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073817)

I bought my wife an Acer laptop about a year ago. A month out of its warranty, and the motherboard failed. A search on Google turned up multitudes of people with the exact same problem (no video, so the system doesn't even complete POST). To say I was very disappointed would be an understatement.

I guess you get what you pay for with them...

I will never buy Acer again.

Re:Friends don't let Friends buy Acer (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20074413)

So you live in a country without consumerrights?

Re:Friends don't let Friends buy Acer (1, Informative)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074501)

Yeah, this is America. What rights we used to have the government is busy taking away.

Re:Friends don't let Friends buy Acer (1)

ickoonite (639305) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074419)

I guess you get what you pay for with them...

A dissenting opinion, for what it's worth - a friend of mine has an Acer still going fine after about two years. Indeed, I have just installed Mac OS X on it, thanks to those wonderful people over at the OSx86 Project [osx86project.org] , and it does a very good job. Admittedly, it wasn't one of their cheapest models, but with a Pentium M and a "proper" graphics card (i.e. dedicated memory; none of that shared crap), at least it's got a decent set of components.

Frankly, I can't see the point of buying anything other than cheap brands like Acer when sourcing PC hardware, as you're only going to be running Windows on it anyway. What is the point of paying a fortune for some Sony crap when at the end of the day, what's on the screen is just the same as what you get on a machine that costs half the price? At least when you buy a Mac, the higher price (although even that is debatable) gets you some decent software, which from a day-to-day use perspective is what matters more in the long run anyway.

iqu :|

Re:Friends don't let Friends buy Acer (4, Insightful)

flynt (248848) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074579)

Can you find a brand of laptop where the same Google searches don't turn up the same results of customers that feel ripped off because theirs happened to be one of the ones that failed?

All laptop brands have a (hopefully) small percentage that fail. Searching google will turn up people complaining about this. In my opinion, it's more important how the company responds to the issue.

Re:Friends don't let Friends buy Acer (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075645)

Yet I still have 2 x Acer Travelmate 600TER (PIII-600) units bought in 2001 and used round the house as Internet terminals. At work we buy Acer for the Managers and in the last 3 years the maintenance required has been two new batteries and on one 2-yr old model I replaced the power connector on the motherboard. Out experience with Acer has been very good but there you go.

Forget the OS ... (1)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073857)

How about selling laptops that are built out of reliable hardware, just for a start? It's practically impossible to tell whether a laptop has decent components in it, even with a spec sheet. Parts change too quickly and websites just don't keep up. These days even buying two of the same model of wireless card is a tossup on what chipset you actually land with.

If I knew with confidence that I could buy a laptop with predictable innards, I'd hang the Microsoft tax and install my own damn OS. Instead I end up with Latest Revision Whatever, and I'm scrambling for the compatibility charts ... AGAIN.

Any hardware that works on Linux will de facto work with Windows, but Windows is, shall we say, "far more accommodating" to fly-by-night hardware vendors. Shore up your component manufacturers, guys. Then we can talk.

Why buy Linux wnen you can get it for free? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20073967)

Linux systems are sold at about the same price as windows systems.Why pay for linux when I can get it for free? Buying a windows system I get more functionality BOTH WINDOWS AND LINUX for about the same price!

Re:Why buy Linux wnen you can get it for free? (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074761)

That's like paying for a four bedroom apartment, where one of the rooms is pre-filled with sewage, when you actually only need a 2 bedroom place to begin with.

Re:Why buy Linux wnen you can get it for free? (2, Interesting)

HumanPenguin (889927) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074933)

When you buy a laptop and try to install Linux on it you often find that some of the hardware is not well supported. When ACER sells you a laptop with linux you can be sure you have hardware that is supported by linux. More to the point you have one more company giving the hardware manufactures a hard time for not releasing details on their product and allowing the Open source community to write hardware. or even providing Linux drivers of their own in binary format ala Nvidia Currently many hardware venders see little or no reason to provide linux support because there customers are not the users but PC Manufacturers.

Re:Why buy Linux wnen you can get it for free? (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075591)

If I order the Windows machine, it comes with Windows (which I don't want or need), and I have to install Ubuntu myself and spend 40mins setting it up so it works sorta-right, and they'll only support me if I'm running Windows.
If I order a machine with Ubuntu, it comes with Ubuntu (which I want in the first place), all set up and ready to go out of the box. If I call support, they'll be more than happy to help me with any Ubuntu issues.

Not everyone wants Windows, and not everyone wants to spend 2 hours setting their machine up when they get it.

Linux in the UK (4, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073973)

I run Linux and I'm in the UK. The problem isn't that there is no market (Windows is hated here as much as it is in the US), it's just that there's no marketing for it. If there was an active attempt at marketing Linux as an OS that will allow you to do projects and not have shit crash and such it would "sell" like hotcakes.

A tech show at 5am on a Sunday morning mentioning Linux in passing every few weeks does not make a market but no one else even seems to know of Linux.

Re:Linux in the UK (1)

wandm (969392) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074599)

Agreed. I've now lived 6 years in the UK and none of my friends here use Linux - and I'm in a top University!
In my home country I ended up trying Linux because many of my friends had tried it. So Brits, please get your act together!

Re:Linux in the UK (1)

HumanPenguin (889927) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075013)

I was born in the UK moved to the US in 1999. I started using UNIX at University as my university had mainly Unix workstations fewer PCs and Linux was the best option to run a UNIX like OS at home. But I have to agree when i came to the US I was amaxed to see boxed linux distros (red hat) available in the stores. It did not last long though. I have not seen a Linux bistro for sale in a store for 3+ years. I see little other marketing for linux other then slashdot and other internet sites.

Re:Linux in the UK (4, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075149)

> So Brits, please get your act together!

You've got it all backwards - a typical techie thing to do. People don't look for solutions to problems unless the problems are hurting them. Most people have never suffered a loss of data/identity theft due to Windows, nor do they have any trouble locating games, driver, support etc. They buy a camera/graphics card/printer/etc and plug it in and it "just works". They either got Windows "free" with their PC or are using a pirate copy, so that Linux is free is not remotely advantageous. You'll have to do better than rely on abstract notions like `free` or `open source` software (only developers give a fuck about that) or that Linux is technically better (more efficient with a given processor or whatever metric you wish to choose). Good enough beats best every time, and Windows is manifestly good enough for most users.

Pushing Linux is a marketing problem, not a technical one.

Re:Linux in the UK (2, Insightful)

wandm (969392) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075575)

>> So Brits, please get your act together!

>You've got it all backwards - a typical techie thing to do. People don't look for solutions to problems unless the problems are hurting them.

Sorry I really don't want to flame, but that reminded me of the British attitude to housing - single glazed windows so it's freezing in winter and no air-conditioning - impossible to work in summer. My experience with the UK is that nothing is fixed until it REALLY needs to be fixed, and "polishing" & "finalising" things is out of the question - waste of time..

I still love British culture - it's vary laid back and individualistic. But perhaps too laid back for Linux.

Vista to boost PC sales? (3, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073987)

Why would the PC industry think that Vista would boost PC sales? XP is a mature OS. It works. PC's are powerful enough for most people to do most things they need them to do. Why would anybody think that people would have any interest in running out to buy a new PC running Vista? That kinda' seems like a non-starter to me.

People do that with Apple, largely because people have come to fetishize Apple products. PC's are PC's now. They're appliances. There's no reason to run out and buy the latest and greatest, because the latest and greatest don't really offer anything new, and PC's just aren't all that interesting any more.

Re:Vista to boost PC sales? (3, Funny)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074537)

Why? Because Vista has funkier backgrounds, Aero (which I must admit does look the business), and, er, a nifty utility for sorting photos. That fades in and out. And shiny blue buttons!

Seriously, when I show people Vista, the conversation goes more or less like:

Me: "check what happens when you open a window!"
Them: "ooooooooooo! Nice!"
Me: "check what happens when you close a window!"
Them: "ooooooooooo! Nice!"
Me: "check what happens when you minimise a window!"
Them: "ooooooooooo! Nice!"
Me: "and, er....."
Them: "That's a nice background...where'd you get that?"
Me: "Oh, that's came with Vista."
Them: "AWESOME!"

So, you see, it's a vanity thing. Microsoft know this too, which is why they spent kazillions on the whole look and feel. It does it for average Joe.

It's true (1)

also-rr (980579) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074049)

I am the only Linux user in the UK, and I don't want an Asus. Sorry guys, no hard feelings.

Re:It's true (1)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074367)

Asus you might have some luck with, it's ACER that you're SOL with

Silliness (2, Interesting)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074071)

If I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that there was a potential customer that I wasn't reaching I'd be trying damn hard to make room for them in my product line. I had never been a Dell customer prior to the e1505n model. They asked, and like an awful lot of other people I said that I'd buy a Dell if they factory installed Linux. I bought one, and the irony here is that I sold my less than ninety day old Acer laptop to help finance the purchase.

The point isn't that I was just one customer, it's that I was just one more customer. Dell's market share grew by just one customer that day, and probably a lot more than that but I'm speaking about my own story here. Acer (and dang near all American telecommunications companies) need to get what Dell did, that markets are built one customer at a time. I just don't get what they're teaching in business school these days. Damn kids.

Re:Silliness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20074823)

Acer (and dang near all American telecommunications companies) need to get what Dell did
Huh? I thought they sold computers out of Taiwan?

Linux vendors often charge ridiculous prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20074189)

I do not know about big companies selling linux computers. Last time when I checked, a few years ago, say in 2002-2003, I found a few small vendors specialized in linux laptops (Emperor Linux, etc). For the same hardware each and every laptop they sold was $400-500 more expensive than the corresponding Windows laptop.

UK = IT conservatives (4, Interesting)

john-da-luthrun (876866) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074199)

I'm a Linux user in the UK, but I'm not remotely surprised by this news. By and large, people in the UK are extremely conservative about IT: Firefox take-up here has been far lower than in the US or mainland Europe, for example.

Basically most people don't want to appear remotely "geek-ish", and to show the slightest interest in what software your computer is running, or to change any of the standard default settings (internetexploreroutlookexpressmicrosoftoffice...) , is to break this anti-geek taboo.

This applies in business and the public sector as well as the consumer market. The use of FOSS in the UK is far lower than in most other EU jurisdictions, in all sectors.

Re:UK = IT conservatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20074345)

Just not true at all. Firefox usage is high in the UK compared with other countries.
UNIX & Linux usage is high too. When I went on job interviews 7 years ago, 8 out of 9 of the IT companies were using UNIX and Linux as the main platform, I can only imagine it being far higher now than then.

Nope (1)

Zirtix (443841) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074623)

Firefox figures

11% in 2006: ZDNet article [zdnet.co.uk]
19% now: study [xitimonitor.com] (French), this is far below the ~25% European average.

IE is extremely prevalent in the UK.

Re:UK = IT conservatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20075511)

Unix is popular in many fields mainly due to Oracle running on Solaris however the majority of Oracle replacement systems I have seen are Server 2000/3 with SQL 2000/5 not Linux.

The majority of the companies that I deal with o a regular basis are all based on Windows. Some still have Solaris systems running things (such as DNS) however Linux usage is very low. The biggest increase in Linux has been in the past 24 months mainly due to VMware ESX Server being adopted heavily within the industry. This isn't really Linux as such though as the Linux kernel is swapped out after the system has been initalised.

Well yeah? (1)

syntaxeater (1070272) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074373)

And I'm sure comments like "Microsoft's new operating system had not boosted PC sales, due to concerns over its stability and overall maturity" isn't going to feed the FUD that caused the problem in the first place. If you can't stand by the operating system you choose to sell with your computers (or have made an agreement to sell with your computers), who else will?

Actually, in the UK it is spelled... (3, Funny)

milatchi (694575) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074407)

LinUKs

How you know? (1)

LuSiDe (755770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074411)

Well I got Vista w/my laptop (it was still a cheap deal via my work) but I can assure you I only picked the laptop cause it was cheap hardware-wise not because of Vista. If I could have bought XP or Ubuntu I would have bought that for day a $50 cut. Alas. This makes me wonder whether they know what their customers want or just shove Vista up their throat. I'm not impressed with Vista's performance, btw.

Vista not for me (1)

UPZ (947916) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074433)

I would love to use Vista, seeing how easy on the eyes it is.

But on the other hand, I dont want to pay any more license money, buy more hardware than I need (1.6Ghz P4 w/512MB Ram - remember Williamette core?). For now, I'll stick with XP and hope that others do too. Majority of hardware/software is still compatible for W2K - and XP, hopefully, should be no exception. Maybe I'll even move to Linux someday.

Nothing beats money in the bank.

Linux systems sold end up as illegal Win systems (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20074515)

Probably this is the explanation of linux 'success' in Singapore. There the piracy is widespread and users have no remorse installing pirated copies of windows instead of linux. In the UK, people dont do that; not because og higher etics standards but probably because they dont like to change their computer setup - whatever they buy it is good for them.

Real linux users do not buy linux preinstalled, each and every one of them have their own expectations and habits; it is better to install linux by themselves, the way they like it.

I've gotta wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20074545)

Why do people buy these pre-built computers anyway?

I mean, putting a PC together is about on-par with making a sandwich, in terms of difficulty....

So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20074569)

$350 Acer box + $50 video card + $30 1G RAM (total 1.5G) + Ubuntu = One nice, little, and inexpensive GNU/Linux box. Bonus: the power management stuff works. I've done this on three box so far with no big user complaints. While I like Ubuntu I suspect other distros would have similar results.

Don't worry so much about OEM installs (since there's nothing most of us can do to change it right now) and start giving people your favorite distro a la live cd this week. Think of MS Windows Vista like a cheap factory car radio: it's there until you get the time to put a real one in.

Question of time before EC complaints (2, Interesting)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074723)

I seriously think that that it is just a question of time before Microsoft's OEM deals end up in the European Commission. Expect something along the lines of disallowing the license to be tied to a specific motherboard, disallowing per-machine pricing, require vendors to offer system's without software pre-installed at a reduced cost .. etc. There is plenty of precedence for this in other EC rulings so it is just a matter of when somebody pulls the trigger and files a complaint. Sure, it will be hard for the OEMs or other organisations to do so, but at the rate that Microsoft is pissing on everything they get within financial proximity to, it will happen sooner or latter.

Acer + Linux experience (4, Interesting)

ptarra (814310) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074795)

This story didn't happen in the UK... a little bit south of that, in Spain. We bought a dozen Acer Aspire "something" preloaded with Linux. It was a pretty good deal and I thought that if they came preloaded with any flavour of Linux it should be pretty simple to either change it or upgrade it... right? WRONG!!! They came preloaded with something called Linpus Linux without X or any recognisable management software or even a note with root password (it happened to be '111111' but it was a long guess process).... so... I decided I would just install any other distro... HA! Tried Debian, OpenSuSE, Fedora and many more but the install system would fail in all of them. After long (and when I say long I mean days...) tweaking we managed to install OpenSuSE on one of them unplugging the floppy disk drive. That gave us a clue on changing some startup parameters to be able to load a full install (I recall noirqpoll and some other obscure settings...). Conclusion: Acer didn't intend that no one would ever be able to use those systems with Linux... I mean.... how much did Microsoft pay them to preload those systems with Linpus Linux in such a way????? Regards,

Smaller market... (2, Insightful)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074845)

Lets say that 10% of the market wants Linux...

There will be certain minimum fixed costs in staff training for pre- and post- sales support support, localising manuals and packaging, having the committee meeting about exactly how much you're gonna gouge uk buyers this time, etc. which you will need to shift a certain number of boxes to justify.

10% of the market in the UK is far fewer boxen than 10% of the market in the USA (not sure what market Signapore is covering but it could be large) - so a viable proposition in the USA might not be viable in the UK.

Secondly - the Linux market may be more tech savvy and less inclined to buy from a big player such as Dell or Acer. Not every PC supplier forces you to buy Windows.

Thirdly, lots of us would like to dump windows but know that sooner or later we're going to need it (if only inside a VM). By far the cheapest (legal) way to get Windows is to get it bundled with a machine - a "full" version costs 3x as much (and bear in mind that, in the UK, we're already being reamed for Windows at £1 = $1). It doesn't make a lot of sense not to get Windows with a new machine (especially if the supplier's deal with MS means that MS gets paid either way).

It make even be that the UK is more MS-centric than other areas, because Apple priced themselves out of the market - most importantly education - for most of the 80s and 90s (the 'ol $1=£1 trick again). The other alternative platforms (there were some good ones, but that's not important right now) occupied Apple's ecological niche, but eventually failed for one reason or another. Hence, govenment, education and big business are used to assuming a MS monoculture.

Bias! (1)

zegota (1105649) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075715)

When is Slashdot going to learn that there are readers OTHER than the Americ... ...Oh, nevermind.
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