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Falling Hardware Prices Favor Linux

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the days-when-vista-walked-the-earth dept.

Microsoft 459

An anonymous reader sends us to a blog posting arguing that, as hardware prices fall below $250 for laptops and desktops, Linux should gain as the Microsoft tax stands out in sharper relief. "In previous years, if you were spending US$1500 and up on a laptop, the Microsoft tax you were paying didn't seem like such a big deal. XP or Vista was pre-installed, fairly convenient... But as the price of hardware for small basic machines comes down, (think under US$250 by the end of next year), then software price starts to become a big issue. Why would you pay the price of your new laptop again just for the software, when all you want to do is really basic things?"

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Frist! (0, Offtopic)

Propaghandi (873713) | about 7 years ago | (#20795399)

Sorry, just wanted to say the Senator's name-rhymes with Fist(ing)-Oh yeah, Linux rules on low-cost hardware!


Re:Frist! (1, Informative)

the_leander (759904) | about 7 years ago | (#20795481)

As someone seriously considering buying Asus's eeepc (awful name), I have to agree with the main point of this article with regard to costs. At these sorts of prices you're not going to get a machine, especially a laptop that'll play much by way of games, so immediately one of the biggest stumbling blocks for many computer users is gone. The compatibility of means that, with few exceptions, these systems will work fine with existing microsoft based home computers, web and email by Firefox and Thunderbird respectively again mean you aren't going to be left with a second class way of accessing the internet. (For business desktop users this may well be different, but most businesses who would have their own access servers etc, aren't going to be buying "cheep" hardware).

If presented in the right way, as a low cost, fully featured alternative on these lower power platforms, Linux could potentially make quite a bit of headway.

Re:Frist! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795533)

And this has what to do with Propaghandi's frist psot?

Mods: I suggest (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795685)

I firkin hate it when people do this, riding the top post even if it's trolling rubbish just to get their post seen.

It's a shame there's no mod option: '-1 Comment System Abuse'. Suppose '-1 Overrated' fits quite well in its absence.

Re:Mods: I suggest (3, Informative)

the_leander (759904) | about 7 years ago | (#20795779)

When I posted the above that was the only comment on this article. I didn't do it to annoy or offend or "riding the top post just to get their post seen", just clicked on the first bit of the page that caught my eye when looking for "reply".

I think I've posted maybe 20 comments ever on this site, this is I think the first one I've posted with the new system in place. I hope that you'll be able to overlook this small omission.

Sorry you feel so strongly about it - next time I will look that little bit longer so as not to offend.

Serving the diners or the cooks? (5, Informative)

shanen (462549) | about 7 years ago | (#20795405)

Linux will never 'take off' until the Linux people stop answering almost every question with the equivalent of "Go in the kitchen and cook it yourself." Most people just want to at a tasty Linux sandwich, and they have no aspirations to be master chefs.

As far as I know, Ubuntu is the only distro that mostly understands this. Just a coincidence that it's the most popular desktop?

Re:Serving the diners or the cooks? (5, Funny)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | about 7 years ago | (#20795449)

> and they have no aspirations to be master chefs. That's just as well, Halo 3 won't run on linu... oh.

Re:Serving the diners or the cooks? (1)

gbulmash (688770) | about 7 years ago | (#20795545)

What Linux needs to take off is a decent OEM community backing it, providing hardware configurations that have been thoroughly tested against the included Linux distro so that your sound works well, your wireless LAN works well, your video works well, etc.

Linux is beginning to get "there" with apps, although it's still a little more DIY for multimedia than is good (i.e. less DIY, more happy "joe sixpack" users). But if you just buy a random computer and slap Linux on it, you're rolling the dice.

People just want their machine to work when they plug it in. Linux isn't going to get the number of hardware makers supporting it that Microsoft has, so the best way is to have big OEMs with big channels sell "made for Linux" boxes... and make the multimedia a little less DIY.

- Greg

How do you suggest working around patents and DRM? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 years ago | (#20795597)

the best way is to have big OEMs with big channels sell "made for Linux" boxes... and make the multimedia a little less DIY.
How can this happen? In most cases, publishers of proprietary video provide such video to the end user in a format subject to codec patents and digital restrictions management. How can any OEM finance the emigration of customers from countries where patents and/or circumvention laws prohibit the use of such video with free software? Or do you suggest the approach taken by TiVo, to make a completely proprietary system that happens to run on a Linux kernel?

Re:How do you suggest working around patents and D (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | about 7 years ago | (#20795673)

How do the other platforms do it? It's not as if Apple or Microsoft don't face the same restrictions when it comes to patents and DRM. There may be a real solution around it, but at this point in time if you clone OSX/Windows' solution you're at least *as good as* the competition.

First off, someone needs to pay for the damned mp3 patent, stupid as it may be, because an OS that can't play MP3's out of the box is not much of an end-user OS at all.

Re:Serving the diners or the cooks? (1, Insightful)

HexaByte (817350) | about 7 years ago | (#20795757)

Linspire and Xandros are 2 of the most user-friendly Linux's available, and Linspire comes w/ all the codecs built in. They also have OEMs w/ preconfigured computers. However both cost.

If you want a free-as-in-beer OS, you have to put up with it not having the licensed crap already installed. This cuts into the price advantage.

The real big problem is still app computability: "I have $250K invested in business apps that don't run on Linux, and you want me to switch to what? IS there a Linux app for me? Even if we abandon all the Windows licenses and apps we have, why should I put out $75K in employee retraining and 50K in lost productivity (until we're all ramped up on the new systems) to chance that something else is as good as what I have? To save $2500 in MS tax?"

No, until there are the apps needed at significant savings, most businesses won't switch, and most office workers have to be compatible at home w/ the office. Servers are an entirely different beast.

Now, getting Granny and you sister to switch because all they do is swap photos, email and play games, that I can do.

Re:Serving the diners or the cooks? (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | about 7 years ago | (#20795851)

I agree. Converting a business is hard. Better to integrate Linux from the business's inception.

Re:Serving the diners or the cooks? (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 7 years ago | (#20795863)

Wine may very well make your applications work in Linux. You'd have to try each one out and see though.

Re:Serving the diners or the cooks? (4, Interesting)

Xtifr (1323) | about 7 years ago | (#20795567)

Linux will never 'take off' until the Linux people stop answering almost every question with the equivalent of "Go in the kitchen and cook it yourself."
Done and done. Oh, and BTW, there are no "the Linux people". You might as well criticise "the Microsoft people" based on the utterly clueless answers you'll get from a salesdroid at Best Buy. (If I based my opinion of MS on them...) But the fact is that Linux has taken off, and there are a wide variety of businesses and indivuduals selling and/or supporting Linux.

I'd say the biggest difference is that with Windows, the cost of support is somewhat built into the price of the system, whereas with Linux, it's frequently (though not always) packaged separately. This means that support for MS systems can be a great deal if you just have one system, but not such a good deal if you have hundreds. With Linux, it's frequently the reverse.

Of course, unpaid support for both systems is pretty problematic. But that's a separate matter. However, even there, Linux leads by having Ubuntu. MS has no equivalent of a free system with free support.

Not really, but falling hardware prices don't (2, Insightful)

einhverfr (238914) | about 7 years ago | (#20795701)

matter that much either.

The fact is-- many businesses going the open source route save money, but many pay more. Those that pay more understand that the money they save on software license fees can go towards making their entire operations more efficient, and they usually will send significantly more on consulting labor in this regard than they saved on software license costs.

Open source software is not the low-cost cheap solution. It is actually the high-end, more expensive solution which provides a great deal more power and flexibility than the truly cheap alternatives.

Re:Serving the diners or the cooks? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795711)

Heh, I used to think Linux people were bad with answering questions, until I got a job revolving around Windows CE. Every Microsoft "expert" out there tells you URRR LOOK IN DUH PLATFURM BULDER MANUAL LOL when the manual is so disjointed and nonlinear you'd swear it was done by the author of the House of Leaves. Or a particular article in the manual never got updated to pertain to the newest version of Windows CE you're using such that you're wasting your time messing with registry keys that Windows CE stopped recognizing years ago.

At least when Linux people answer you, it's "okay do this, then this, then this, in that order -- and watch out for x, y, and z". Microsoft people are "okay look in the manual" and then the manual of the product you're trying to use just has clues scattered about in many tiny articles that you have to piece together.

Fuck no. Linux's world these days, in terms of how-tos, is leaps and bounds ahead of Microsoft culture. The only reason Windows has any edge over Linux these days is "IT HAS GAEMS", and even that's only because of a self-feeding cycle among game company marketing weenies where game developers won't make Linux games because WINDOWS HAS GAEMS AND LINUX DOESNT SO LETS MAKE MOAR WINDOZE GAEMS.

Re:Serving the diners or the cooks? (1)

burni (930725) | about 7 years ago | (#20795787)

The long lasting "take off" has some more reasons to mention, but in the first
you're right, and wrong on the other hand.

You're right on that LinuxNerds are mostly pain in the ass, you know 2.5 years ago
evertime these nerds answered on the question from beginners which Distro to choose,
"take Gentoo", well if you think this ended up in a mess, right.
But they are not responsible in the first place.

In the last 2.5 years the desktoplinux-devellopment stalled, Novell bought SuSe and made it nearly enterprise only, the desktopuser was feed with the community edition, and the strong position Suse had in the market, as a distribution that cared what Desktop-Users thought,
nearly vanished, even at the same time Ubuntu took off and got much attention with
it's usercentric devellopment.

Coincedently Mandrake got into financial trouble and changed their system
of a 2-3 months delayed free-iso-download after the sale start, into a
system of a free community edition and commercial edition,

when this happend it also come along with a drop in product qualitiy,
I can only speak for the CE, before I was a FreeMDKuser in the first place (and freebsd in second) and while I cannot remember the problems which occured in detail, I just remember I
stoped using it.

Today I'm fine with my aging win2k and freebsd. ;)

So my conclusion is, the stepback in DestopLinuxDevellopment is and was an accumulation of
Novell-Suse-Takeover, MandrakesDecission, LinuxNerds and not to forget
the being-not-suitable-for-Joey's-Desktop, because of many problems in detail.

But hey, with the Vista and WinXP-Warez-InActivation DE-Linux still has all chances,
and Microsoft can destroy them by shutting down the need for activating their products.

Re:Serving the diners or the cooks? (2, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | about 7 years ago | (#20795893)

Actually, not even Ubuntu understands that. (Why does Firefox have Ubuntu in its spellcheck dictionary, but not spellcheck?) Ubuntu would never tell you to "go into the kitchen and cook it yourself". It would, however, based on my experience, say:

-"Oh your food's not hot enough? Just give us your microwave real quick and we'll heat it right up!" "I don't carry a microwave with me to restaurants, especially ones that have signs outside advertising freedom from carrying around a microwave." "Oh, well, we don't really help thieves." [1]
-me: "I tasted my food and it's too cold. Please correct it." Ubuntu: "Okay, problem with your food? First, let's do a little diagnostic. Taste it and see if it's too cold." [2]
-"Okay, you can't get your food packaging open? First, tell us what's inside the package and every dietary disorder you have." "Um, what does that have to do with being able to open the container? Look, I explained that it's just a problem with the tabs not separating." "OH WELL GEEZ, IF YOUR GONNA BE LIKE THAT, you can just go fuck yourself." [3]
-"Okay, if you were choking to death on our food, why didn't you just ask one of us for help? I mean, that doesn't make sense -- somehow, you're capable of ordering food, but not requesting a Heimlich?"[4]

[1] Ubuntu flaunts its philosophy of freedom from proprietary software, and the forum told me that if I want to access my computer after Ubuntu near-bricked it, I would need my Windows CD, then accused me of pirating it when I didn't instantly know where it was.
[2] When I explained what was wrong and what I had tried, the first, and several other posters completely ignored that and suggested things I had tried several times over.
[3] An Ubuntu forum poster demanded to know what version of Windows I had installed, in order to diagnose a well-defined error with the bootloader, which happens before it has any chance to load any OS, and then claimed it would be impossible to help me unless he knew this.
[4] Several Ubuntu forum posters claimed that, as a logical consequence of me having burned the Ubuntu install CD, I must be able to burn new CDs they listed, forgetting that it was using the install CD in the first place that disabled my CD burner from being used!

MS Tax? (5, Funny)

El Lobo (994537) | about 7 years ago | (#20795413)

This is one of thos cliche phrases that are, oh boy, so stupid, it's not funny anymore. i don't pay any MS tax! I GLADLY pay to use their products. Even if there are free ones. I like Windows (and am VERY PROUD of being a Windows user), I like programming for Windows, I love Visual studia and .NET. So I am a custommer not a tax payer. End of the story.

Re:MS Tax? (3, Insightful)

JonJ (907502) | about 7 years ago | (#20795443)

But for everyone that doesn't want Windows, it is indeed a tax.

Re:MS Tax? (0, Flamebait)

El Lobo (994537) | about 7 years ago | (#20795535)

No. A tax is an obligatory payment to some higher powers. You don't want Windows? Good , buy a Mac, use Linuzzzz, Amiga, BeOS or write your own OS. Nobody actually is putting a gun in in your mouth. Maybe your employer, but that is your employer's choise. You can always find another employer. The problem is: this is often a VOLUNTARY "tax". I know this is slashdot and it's cool to use cliches like "M$", "MS tax", "flying chairs" and it's cool to say that I love "insert exotic Linuzzz distro here". Saying that you actually love Windows is definitly not cool here (because you are not part of the cool minority) It's like saying you love Pavarotti to Opera snobs: What Pavarotti, that traitor" Or saying you love Metallica to a real metal lover (What , those sell outs!) Guess what, a lot of people really love Pavarotti with all his defects. A love of people are proud of everything metallica done (even Load and Reload). And a lot of people love Windows (and have tried other systems as well). Yes, it's not cool to say so, but I am a proud Windows user and have not the minimal desire to change that at this moment. In the future? Who knows.

Re:MS Tax? (1, Troll)

NitroWolf (72977) | about 7 years ago | (#20795615)

No. A tax is an obligatory payment to some higher powers. You don't want Windows? Good , buy a Mac, use Linuzzzz, Amiga, BeOS or write your own OS. Nobody actually is putting a gun in in your mouth.

Could you point me to the laptop or desktop I can buy that doesn't have Windows on it? The desktops are just now starting to come out without Windows. I don't know of any laptops off the top of my head (there may be one or two) that don't give a surcharge for Linux in one form or another. So my "choice" is to either a) Buy and pay for a Laptop with windows, or b) Not purchase a laptop.

Yes, I could choose B, but if I WANT A LAPTOP, I HAVE TO BUY WINDOWS. It's just like, if I WANT to live in the US, I HAVE TO PAY TAXES. Sure, I COULD live somewhere else, but if I want to live in the US (if I want to buy a laptop), I HAVE TO PAY for something I don't want. There are taxes I am willing to pay for, but there are many I'm not. Yet, I'm still forced to pay them, just like I am forced to pay the MS Tax to buy a laptop.

So yes, it's a tax.

Re:MS Tax? (1)

El Lobo (994537) | about 7 years ago | (#20795633)

What about Ubuntu Dell? of Lenovo? OK, you want a compuer without OS? Easy, talk to some local computer company, they can fix a computer to you with any parts you want, and without OS. You don't need to buy from a BIG company you know? There are a LOT of small companies that can fix a no-name computer, cheaper and with MORE garanties than if you buy from the big guys.

Re:MS Tax? (1)

nyu1 (1056558) | about 7 years ago | (#20795845)

So instead of paying the tax with money, you can redeem your tax obligations by either:

- Moving to USA, Australia or somewhere that Dell or Lenovo ship to (and actually buy them online instead of from a store like everyone else).

- Doing the work of installing the OS yourself AND arranging a deal with your vendor to sell you a "naked PC" (almost impossible for laptops).

- Ressorting to lower quality (hardware-wise) options.

You see, in my case, when I had to buy a laptop without paying the tax, I had to arrange the "naked PC" deal with a RESELLER, because it was completely impossible to buy a naked laptop in any normal store.

So good to know redemption is possible!

Re:MS Tax? (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | about 7 years ago | (#20795663)

Could you point me to the laptop or desktop I can buy that doesn't have Windows on it?
Ummm, I think Apple might make a few laptop models that come without Windows. Of course then you'd have to pay the "Apple tax", which is, by the way, significantly higher than Microsoft's.

Re:MS Tax? (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | about 7 years ago | (#20795795)

Have a link. [] Specifically from the page:

Availabile with:
No Operating System Installed --- £445.32 inc vat --- Currently In Production, Stock due today
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium --- £509.95 inc vat --- 1 in stock
Microsoft Windows Vista Business --- £527.58 inc vat --- Built within 3-4 working days
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate --- £562.83 inc vat --- 3 in stock
The 'Microsoft Tax' complaint hasn't been true in about 10 years. My local computer store has always been happy to supply a computer with nothing installed.

Can Slashdot, as an entity, please move on and complain about something real?

Re:MS Tax? (1)

tkdog (889567) | about 7 years ago | (#20795801)

"Could you point me to the laptop or desktop I can buy that doesn't have Windows on it?" Well, I was going to suggest, but it seems the site is down. Must have sold the company and given the money to the stockholders, sigh.

Re:MS Tax? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 7 years ago | (#20795617)

You don't want Windows? Good , buy a Mac, use Linuzzzz, Amiga, BeOS or write your own OS.
Other than Apple, what company sells and nationally advertises home PC workstation hardware and certifies it to run any operating system other than Windows?

You can always find another employer.
And spend upwards of 10,000 USD to train for a new skill if all employers offering positions for which you are qualified within decent travel distance of your home are Windows shops.

Re:MS Tax? (2, Informative)

Hadlock (143607) | about 7 years ago | (#20795681)

Walmart sells them, for starters. You can find walmarts in many more cities than you can find apple stores.

Re:MS Tax? (1)

fymidos (512362) | about 7 years ago | (#20795631)

>You don't want Windows? Good , buy a Mac, use Linuzzzz, Amiga, BeOS or write your own OS.

apparently you don't understand the term "MS Tax" :
When you buy a new computer, it is preloaded with MS windows. The price of the software is included in the price of the hardware. For someone that will mkfs the drive as soon as he gets home, this is actually a tax, as in "obligatory payment". In reality, it's worse than that: with taxes you get something back. Better healthcare, lights on the street etc... With this MS tax, you get Vista...

And no, searching for a computer that doesn't have windows preinstalled doesn't work: i want this particular dell laptop and i CAN'T FIND IT without an operating system because of some MOU dell has with microsoft.

Re:MS Tax? (1)

El Lobo (994537) | about 7 years ago | (#20795659)

Hell, another one that is living under s stone. A computer if NOT only Dell/Lenovo/HP. There are a LOT more options (not so known brands or no names) without OS or with the OS you tell them. If you look you find. Now, what if I want Apple hardware without OSX?

Re:MS Tax? (1)

Glonoinha (587375) | about 7 years ago | (#20795733)

Here's one for you - what if I bought a nice used laptop for about $400 (not bad for an Inspiron e1505 w/ a Core 2 Duo and a Gig of memory, less than a year old) that was originally bought new with Windows XP, but the guy didn't have the disks so I ended up installing a pirated copy of the same version of Windows it originally came with?

Should I be upset about the Microsoft tax, or no?

Re:MS Tax? (1)

fymidos (512362) | about 7 years ago | (#20795771)

I'm afraid that the original license doesn't cover your pirated version...
So no, you shouldn't be upset since you *are* a windows customer, but you should pay for a valid windows license nevertheless.

Re:MS Tax? (3, Interesting)

Glonoinha (587375) | about 7 years ago | (#20795813)

It was a hypothetical question, and in the hypothetical question the 'pirated' disk was reinstalled using the numbers on the little sticker on the back, so in theory the original license does cover the 'pirated' version.

I'm a SuSE Desktop 10.1 user so it doesn't really matter - but it's a good exercise for the course, worth considering.

Re:MS Tax? (1)

grumbel (592662) | about 7 years ago | (#20795735)

### A tax is an obligatory payment to some higher powers.

Yep, and thats exactly why people like to call it "MS tax".

Re:MS Tax? (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | about 7 years ago | (#20795679)

But for everyone that doesn't want Windows, it is indeed a tax.

No, it isn't.

If you don't want windows, don't buy it. Either you want a warranty on your laptop, so you buy from a company that will install Linux, or you are building it yourself, and can simply omit the cost of an OEM license on your computer. In any other situation, you're buying a package, that gets a discount because it's packaged. (You don't see me complaining about the "Lightscribe tax", even though the sale package I bought my laptop in has a component I never would have paid extra for.)

Let me put it another way -- everyone I know who's ever bought a prebuilt PC has left the vendor's OS on it. Even the Linux geeks.

Re:MS Tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795847)

I know lots of people, including myself, who typically rip out the Microsh*t OS. The fact that you say you've never seen it doesn't mean it doesn't happen - It happens a lot. And when you say the OS is discounted, discounted relative to what? Don't you think that the big PC vendors pay lots of money to Redmond? Some people really believe that Redmond subsidizes the hardware vendors, that somehow, PCs would cost more without Windows.

Re:MS Tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795467)

You should upgrade to Linux just for the spell checker.

Re:MS Tax? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795483)

You don't pay taxes!?!? Where do you live?

Re:MS Tax? (1)

foobsr (693224) | about 7 years ago | (#20795487)

So I am a custommer

Some evidence here that blue screens somehow mutilate language (commonly a product of thought).


Re:MS Tax? (1)

daddyrief (910385) | about 7 years ago | (#20795489)

rofl @ the shill

Re:MS Tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795563)

...don't kid yourself: This is Slashdot, everyone here is a shill.

The only difference is what brand of snake-oil they're trying to push on you.


Re:MS Tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795575)

Rofl @ the linux zealot who is either too weak minded to come up with a sensible argument, or can't handle the fact that some people have valid reasons for preferring Windows to Linux.

Re:MS Tax? (1)

daddyrief (910385) | about 7 years ago | (#20795749)

rofl @ replying under AC, and trying to tell me off.

I am not a linux zealot, I've never used it except once in the computer lab, so I use Windows for just about everything. I use Windows, however, not because i LOVE having the PRIVILEGE of Microsoft's customer (like the OP), but because all the programs and games come out on it.

Enough sensibility for you, AC?

Falling HW Prices Benefit...MS (2, Interesting)

WED Fan (911325) | about 7 years ago | (#20795581)

The article really has it wrong. Falling HW prices make paying the "MS tax" more palatable. Someone who was set to pay $1200 for a system with Vista Home, is now looking at paying $800, or will pay $1100 with Ultimate and more kick ass hardware that works with the OS rather than buying a kick ass cheap machine that may not work with the free, cheap OS.

City Tax? (2, Insightful)

Xtifr (1323) | about 7 years ago | (#20795651)

This is one of thos cliche phrases that are, oh boy, so stupid, it's not funny anymore. i don't pay any city tax! I GLADLY pay to use their services. Road repair, fire and police are all great things that I appreciate, so it's obvious that this is not really a tax. Even if it's mandatory for people who don't use those services. Oh, wait...

I've got no problems with your use and enjoyment of MS software (I used to know a lot of perfectly reasonable people who agreed with you, although that number definitely seems to be shrinking), but why the hell am I forced to subsidize it? The fact is that "MS tax" is a perfectly reasonable way to describe the mandatory, non-negotiable bundling that's usually offered even if you do want the bundle.

Please RTFA (1)

shis-ka-bob (595298) | about 7 years ago | (#20795675)

By all means, if you like Microsoft products, call yourself a consumer and keep using Visual Studio to develop .Net applications. And please, enjoy your vicarious pride in Microsoft's products. I never understand people who claim pride in someone else's work. Its like sports fans claiming that 'we' beat you, even when they did nothing more physical than spill beer when shouting at a television broadcast. I feel the same way about Linux fans that take pride in the kernel developers or even chicken hawks that take pride in the performance of the US military - I both cases I feel admiration and gratitude, but certainly not pride.

The article stated the simple fact that as hardware prices drop, that software prices become quite comparable to hardware costs. If open source can provide 'good enough' software and costs almost nothing (in comparison with hardware costs), then there is a market opportunity. This is almost exactly the argument that was used in the mid 90's to support Windows over Unix. Sure, the Unix was 'better' and there was more advanced software, but Windows was good enough and it's cost only added about 10-25% to the cost of a PC. Unix licensing was often more expensive than the hardware it ran on. As I recall, this price advantage was quite convincing to many CTOs, CFOs and CEOs.

So perhaps we are at the same sort of tipping point that lead to the growth of Windows over Unix, only now it would be the growth of Open Source over Microsoft. Now we see that Windows + Office often costs more than a budget PC. But you can install Ubuntu + for free. As long as Sun, IBM and others can gain from breaking the Windows Monopoly, they can easily afford to staff a few open source projects. The PC revolution took place in homes and in departments that had not been computerized. Scientists and engineers that had been using Unix often kept using Unix as other around them began using PCs. Similarly. countries that are currently using Windows extensively are not likely to rapidly switch to Linux-based solutions. However, there are lots of demographics in this world that do not have PCs. These are the demographics that are discussed in the article.

PS. Based upon the huge progress demonstrated at, I would not claim that open source is merely 'good enough'. But it seems quite clear that it is at least good enough for the sort of use discussed in the article.

Re:MS Tax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795785)

I like Windows (and am VERY PROUD of being a Windows user), I like programming for Windows, I love Visual studia and .NET

What the fuck are you doing on /. then?!

Re:MS Tax? (1)

no-body (127863) | about 7 years ago | (#20795825)

This is one of thos cliche phrases that are, oh boy, so stupid


Running W2K and looking to upgrade, and what I found was this:

How To Buy

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Not so sure what's stupid here, promotes piracy and general cussing at M$oft?

Me thinks sucking up to it is stupid!
Keep sucking!

Judge Jackson ordered that Microsoft be divided into two companies, one owning the Windows operating system and the other owning Microsoft's various application software products

The judge was right on!
Maybe the EU get's it right this time....

The answer is obvious... (0)

BristolCream (102658) | about 7 years ago | (#20795421)

"Because Windows is better" (tm)

I'm hear all night folks!

Re:The answer is obvious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795699)

While Vista isn't much to write home about, XP has become pretty darn good over the years. Better than Linux for the desktop.

I say this as an experienced (developer, 5+ years of daily Linux usage) user. With some sadness.

While you can set up a very usable system with Linux (if you know your way about the system), XP is still more responsive, more so than even XFCE on a fresh install (on a 2 ghz machine with a gig of ram). If you happen to load a heavy page in firefox while playing a movie in mplayer, both apps will hang. Wonky font rendering, even with BCI and MS fonts, tons and tons of software, but also mostly half done.
I could go on.

My hopes these days goes more to Reactos or even Haiku.

Re:The answer is obvious... (1)

bdr529 (1063398) | about 7 years ago | (#20795743)

I agree. Vista needs time -- and MAYBE it will mature. XP is good. Hell, I'm still happy using Win2k (particularly on older hardware). I rarely use Linux for desktop stuff. That said, I usually have a terminal window or 3 open to my linux box. There are some things you just can't do easily on a winbox.

please (4, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | about 7 years ago | (#20795433)

Can we PLEASE stop trying to sell Linux as the cheap knock-off?
With proper configuration and support, it stands on it's own. Not to mention Linux *will* cost at least some money for retailers if they want customers to really take it seriously since they'll need to pay royalties to the owners of formats like mp3 etc, since having it not be able to do those types of things out of the box is retarded when you just payed for the damn thing to be pre-configured.

Re:please (2, Insightful)

tgatliff (311583) | about 7 years ago | (#20795641)

I certainly do not see Linux as a cheap knock off, but OSS in general is free, so it is kind of hard to push it as anything else other than cheap. Cost in OSS has no relation on quality, however, which actually is OSS's biggest business problem... Love it or hate it, but people associate low cost with cheap quality. That is just the way it is...

From my perspective, I hope we stop calling always calling it Linux, and rather just focus on the distro, such as "Ubuntu" or maybe "Dell OS"... The beauty of Linux is that it excels when it is in the background designed for specific tasks, such as in Tivo's, or even embedded devices.... For example, do we call Apple's OS "OSX NextStep/BSD"??? :-)

Re:please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795881)

Do you realise that nobody does really need patent-encumbered technologies like mp3? Now we're going to replace one tax with another...

Time paradox, perhaps? (1)

Zekasu (1059298) | about 7 years ago | (#20795453)

In previous years, if you were spending US$1500 and up on a laptop, the Microsoft tax you were paying didn't seem like such a big deal. XP or Vista was pre-installed, fairly convenient...

So let me get this straight, computers came preinstalled with Vista a few years ago?

If anything, Vista has made the prices of buying a new OEM computer rise, not to mention the fact that the cost of getting hardware "verified", and the new specs imposed by Vista on such hardware.

Anti-piracy (1)

jmauro (32523) | about 7 years ago | (#20795461)

Becuase Microsoft will claim, based on current market penetration, that the end user will most likely install Windows anyway so the OEM's must include it in order to protect their customers from being charged with piracy. (And so the OEM's don't get trouble calls about computers with no OS/Windows OS from users. At $250 dollars the margin on the PC is almost non-existance and trouble calls cost money). If that's really true or will be true who know, but in the end most computers will be shipping with either Windows or Mac OS X for the forseable future.

Re:Anti-piracy (1)

kripkenstein (913150) | about 7 years ago | (#20795683)

Microsoft will claim, based on current market penetration, that the end user will most likely install Windows anyway so the OEM's must include it in order to protect their customers from being charged with piracy.
This used to be true, but isn't (or shouldn't be, very soon), for two reasons:
  • Top-tier computer vendors like Dell and HP sell non-Windows OSes openly, so the argument that Windows will be installed is not entirely convincing.
  • Microsoft has been getting very good at fighting piracy (with little regard for consumer convenience, but that isn't their priority, is it). WGA in its current incarnation appears to do a very good job of preventing piracy of Vista. So if Microsoft can prevent pirated installations of their OS by itself, there is no need to help it.

Not very realistic for laptops... (-1, Flamebait)

Celarnor (835542) | about 7 years ago | (#20795463)

People aren't so much buying With Linux at it's current state, I wouldn't be too optimistic about that. While the idea is sound, the implementation that makes it works is far from perfect. If my mother were to walk into best buy and buy a Pavilion dv9000 with Ubuntu preinstalled, she's going to have to go through what would have to be hell for her and back to get it running: boot options like "nokvm noapic noacpi", blacklisting bcm43xx, installing ndiswrapper over a wired connection, manually installing flash for their 64-bit system.. These are not things that your average non-geek is capable of doing. Until they don't need to do those things to go on facebook, download music and watch movies on youtube, Linux on the laptop is simply not going to happen.

Re:Not very realistic for laptops... (1)

HaloMan (314646) | about 7 years ago | (#20795485)

No, she isn't. You won't be able to buy a Linux laptop that doesn't have working drivers out of the box - vendors are going to ensure there are supported drivers before the released them, much like they do with Windows and vendors will just favour chipsets with supported Linux drivers, which is an upside for Linux-users too as a wider amount of hardware will support it as it makes financial sense to do so.

I kind of agree with the story - certainly the low-cost Acer EeePC is Linux-based primarily down to price, although speed comes into it too where a Linux distribution runs faster on low-spec desktops. It certainly can't do any harm, that's for sure.

Re:Not very realistic for laptops... (2, Informative)

Knuckles (8964) | about 7 years ago | (#20795503)

If my mother were to walk into best buy and buy a Pavilion dv9000 with Ubuntu preinstalled, she's going to have to go through what would have to be hell for her and back to get it running: boot options like "nokvm noapic noacpi", blacklisting bcm43xx, installing ndiswrapper over a wired connection, manually installing flash for their 64-bit system.

What are you talking about? You would of course buy Ubuntu preinstalled precisely because you would have to do none of these thing. The OEM has installed and configured Ubuntu with the hardware working. (If not you would rightfully complain just as you would about a broken Windows installation.)

Re:Not very realistic for laptops... (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | about 7 years ago | (#20795539)

First of all, why would whe have to go through all those things if Ubuntu was preinstalled, and why would a laptop with Ubuntu preinstalled use hardware that required the use of ndiswrapper and running with those boot options? And why would she use a 64-bit Ubuntu install any more than she would use a 64-bit windows install, where flash also isn't available for 64-bit browsers?

Re:Not very realistic for laptops... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795585)

Posts like this make me wish there was a -1, Massively Wrong mod.

ESR? (1)

Knuckles (8964) | about 7 years ago | (#20795469)

ESR made the same claim in one or more articles several years ago.

Re:ESR? (1)

vivek7006 (585218) | about 7 years ago | (#20795505)

Yes he did. [] . And that was back in 2000! It has been 7 years since, and hardware prices continue to drop.

Maybe this is the year of linux. No really. I mean, for sure ... Totally....

Look for a price drop (4, Insightful)

dokebi (624663) | about 7 years ago | (#20795493)

MS isn't stupid. If linux begins to seriously cannibalizing their market, they will simply reduce Windows OS price to 50-100USD, with even bigger academic discounts. That would cut into their profits, but it'll keep people happy and maintain their OS dominance.

Re:Look for a price drop (1)

Knuckles (8964) | about 7 years ago | (#20795543)

cannibalizing [] does not mean what you think it means.

Re:Look for a price drop (2, Funny)

dokebi (624663) | about 7 years ago | (#20795677)

I can has cannibilize U in So-viet Unyonz.

Maybe someday $250 will sound good ... (2, Insightful)

eck011219 (851729) | about 7 years ago | (#20795497)

... but for now a $400 computer with Windows sounds pretty good to most people, too. And the learning process (particularly if they choose XP over Vista, as they can for now) will be significantly less arduous for the average joe user with some previous Windows experience. Not that the friendlier Linux distros (Ubuntu and its ilk) are hard to use, but they're more intimidating than what people already know backwards and forwards.

A Windows license is not that expensive (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795499)

This makes the assumption that Microsoft cannot drop the price of Windows. They have lots of side products and the cash to drive a price war for a long time. I think Microsoft charges oems maybe $30 for installing windows. That may sound like a lot but then then people spend $5 for a cup of coffee at Starbucks

Nope (4, Insightful)

noewun (591275) | about 7 years ago | (#20795501)

Add this to the list of things which should make Linux gain marketshare. Off the top of my head, the list includes: Microsoft's problems with XP/Vista, Apple's problems with 10.4/10.5, Apple's switch to Intel, the latest Windows virus, the introduction of the iPhone, the introduction of the iTMS, the fact that Balmer is a sweaty ape, and on and on.

The reason that Linux is, and will remain a niche player in the OS desktop market have almost next to nothing to do with technology. I think many posters here have at least a minimum familiarity with Linux, at least enough to know that a well-maintained Linux system can easily do all of the things more normal computer buyers need. It can check email, surf the web, handle digital pictures, play music, load music onto iPods, balance checkbook and find porn. The problem for Linux is that Windows and OS X can do all these things as well. Given this, there's no reason for an average consumer to switch.

What about hardware lock in? What about free, as in speech and beer?

No one cares.

I will repeat that: the average consumer doesn't care about either one. Most consumers already hold themselves in a sort of vendor lock in. If they've had a good experience buying from Dell, odds are they will continue to buy from Dell. If they've had good luck with Macs their entire computing lives, odds are they will stay there. And it's not just with computers. We all know people who will only by Hondas, or Fords, or Black & Decker or Bose. This isn't a technology issue, it's a marketing and consumer loyalty issue, and no amount of fancy kernel engineering will change that. It's the same for free speech and beer: your average consumer doesn't see the cost of the OS, because s/he buys one with the computer. My brother ran the OS his Powerbook came with (10.2.8) for years. He only accidently upgraded to 10.4 because he brought his machine to me to fix an unrelated problem, and I said something like, "Holy shit, you're still running 10.2.8." It was all the same to him, and I'm not sure he noticed the difference between 10.2 and 10.4. I'm sure he will be running whatever version of 10.4 his MacBook Pro came with until the next time he sees me.

Re:Nope (1)

noewun (591275) | about 7 years ago | (#20795531)

Crap: Hit "Submit" instead of "Preview."

Now to finish the thought: any article which focuses on technology or pricing as a way to gain Linux market share misses the point. It's a marketing issue, and there's nothing I can see in the F/OSS or Linux world which is doing anything about that.

$250 for a laptop? Buy a phone instead... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795513) least then you could do something with it (ie make phone calls).

A $250 laptop might have about as much capability as a blackberry or half-decent cellphone (but lacking the ability to phone anyone) so why the fuck would anyone who has REAL-WORLD computing needs buy one?!

A barely useful laptop (insofar as actually trying to use it like a laptop) costs ~$750 plus tax and warrantee including ~$150 or so for OEM XP Pro, or (theoretically) ~$600+ without an OS. I gotta tell ya, for 25% of the base cost of the machine, having an Operating System that's actually useful and doesn't ever require me to recompile ANYTHING (or, more importantly, doesn't require my users to do so) is money WELL SPENT.


The mass market doesn't covet price (1)

johnbart (1164137) | about 7 years ago | (#20795523)

Tell me how Mac Books have become the fastest growing segment of the laptop market if people are so concerned about price? For that matter how does Apple sell anything? The iPod is overpriced compared to other MP3 players yet it's #1, the iPhone is so overpriced they had to cut the price mere days after selling a million of the things. Yet people love their products. If you make Linux feel and act like OSX and come up with sexy commercials then maybe people will use it. But then they won't care what the price is either.

A timely subject! (4, Insightful)

rindeee (530084) | about 7 years ago | (#20795527)

I was just having a conversation with a buddy of mine about this subject this afternoon. Rather than desktop/laptop prices though, our talk centered around servers. I was pricing Dell blade servers today. Do you know you can get a blade chassis with 10 blades 'loaded to the gills' for around $60K? Now granted, that may not be small potatoes, but for the horsepower involved (each blade has dual 3GHz Quad cores with 16GB RAM and dual 146GB drives) it's peanuts. My use revolves around one use and one use only...Xen on CentOS. That $60k is a lot of jack to the average /.er, but compared to what I would have had to (and did) settle for a couple of years ago, it's practically free. Man, what a great time to be in this industry. The more commoditized (yeah, I realize that probably isn't even a slang term) hardware becomes, the better for me/us/anyone using FOSS solutions. Love it! Love it! Love it!!!

Re:A timely subject! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795623)

i'd rather have a car.

Wow (1)

repruhsent (672799) | about 7 years ago | (#20795549)

I left this site for a while (several months), and when I come back, you're all still arguing about how Linux will dominate everyone like a bunch of virgins. I guess it's safe to assume that Malda's wife is still fat too, given the adherence of this site to its own MO.

Perspective flip (5, Interesting)

fyoder (857358) | about 7 years ago | (#20795559)

As hardware prices fall below OS cost, it will be possible for Microsoft to 'bundle' the hardware with the OS. Perhaps the next Windows family will be 'Windows Laptop', 'Windows Home Computer', 'Windows Server', each coming with the hardware pre-installed. The current situation only appears to be something of a conundrum because we are accustomed to thinking that the hardware should be the most expensive part.

Re:Perspective flip (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 7 years ago | (#20795639)

As hardware prices fall below OS cost, it will be possible for Microsoft to 'bundle' the hardware with the OS.

That's going to take a while. Last I heard, the basic version of Windows is about $40 to large volume OEMs. I think that's why they don't include a restore CD or even permission to move the license to another computer.

Re:Perspective flip (0, Flamebait)

liquidsin (398151) | about 7 years ago | (#20795885)

so microsoft is gonna "innovate" what apple has been doing since the 80's? that sounds about right

hardware price decrases, system specs increase (3, Interesting)

dioscaido (541037) | about 7 years ago | (#20795565)

OEM's don't have a lot of incentive for selling $250 computers, as the profit margins are very tight in such a low price ranges (even without MS tax). It's not like 06's $700 desktop can't be built today for $250, or '05's $700 destop couldn't be build for $250 in '06, and so on. As hardware prices fall, OEMs simply up the specs of their base systems so that they maintain their profit sweet spot.

Windows OEM isn't $250. (1)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | about 7 years ago | (#20795589)

I guess the real price is buried in Microsoft's contract with retailers, but I'm thinking $250 is at least an order of magnitude too high of an estimate on what Dell et al pay for an OEM copy of Windows.

Heck, they've had PDAs and cell phones in that price range forever running Windows CE, right?

Re:Windows OEM isn't $250. (1)

Shados (741919) | about 7 years ago | (#20795739)

Indeed. Plus MS makes custom deals for these things all the time... if Dell comes out with a 250$ PC, and tells Microsoft "its either you make us a deal on OEM, or we make it Linux-only", MS will give em Windows for like 5$ a pop.

Obvious for years (3, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 7 years ago | (#20795593)

I've been saying this for years. Microsoft helps the hardware manufacturers by ensuring that three year old hardware is outdated and new software won't run on it. But that strategy backfires when it promotes the development new hardware that is cheaper to produce, and therefore cheaper to sell. The price of the software (OS, office suite, image editing software) becomes a larger and larger percentage of the total cost of the system (hardware, software, ISP, etc).

Sherlockian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795595)


When they fall to 0$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795605)

Linux wins the desktop!

Linux will never be a consumer OS - needs DRM (1)

tjstork (137384) | about 7 years ago | (#20795621)

You'll never have consumer support for Linux, because there will always be some multimedia content supporting some form of DRM, and Windows allows for that, and Linux doesn't. When consumers have to go through hoops to download a song or play a movie on an OS, they won't choose it.

but not a Linux laptop for $250 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20795625)

"But as the price of hardware for small basic machines comes down, (think under US$250 by the end of next year), then software price starts to become a big issue. Why would you pay the price of your new laptop again just for the software, when all you want to do is really basic things?" If history repeats, it is more likely we will see Windows laptops at that price than one that comes with Linux preinstalled. There is considerable demand already for Linux laptops even at today's prices and yet there is no major vendor that sells one at a price lower or same as that of a Windows laptop. For several years, it has been cheaper to buy windows laptops and install Linux on them, than to buy a Linux-native laptop, eventhough prices have come down more than 50-60%.

dell regarding linux and windows (1)

craigkup (1161507) | about 7 years ago | (#20795643)

i'm still baffled as to how a dell computer with linux costs more than one with windows

Re:dell regarding linux and windows (1)

Pop69 (700500) | about 7 years ago | (#20795649)

Because there's nobody paying them to install all the crapware on Linux

New Tech, that's why! (1)

binaryspiral (784263) | about 7 years ago | (#20795657)

Why would you pay the price of your new laptop again just for the software, when all you want to do is really basic things?"

I buy a new laptop for a better laptop... not the OS that comes with it.
More faster everything in a smaller package on a bigger screen with the latest tech like WAN modems, all flavors of wifi, and a new crisp keyboard.

Com'on... you know you all love that new keyboard feel and new hardware smell, it's geek-crack.

Not so fast...! (3, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | about 7 years ago | (#20795661)

But as the price of hardware for small basic machines comes down, (think under US$250 by the end of next year), then software price starts to become a big issue. Why would you pay the price of your new laptop again just for the software, when all you want to do is really basic things?"

Unless Linux vendors produce what people want, there will not be that much anticipated uptake at all.

If one has to download and configure not less that 4 pieces of software just to get a basic mail-server functional, using the command line and editing text files which can be prone to errors...

If one has to put up with slow loading software (read running on ugly interfaces that sometimes look incomplete (read KDE and GNOME), then we in the Linux world will wait a long time to get noticed especially on the desktop.

But it's getting better on the server front. The Apache web server for example does not require that many add ons [if any], to get it fully functional, and the upcoming release of KDE looks very promising.

On the GNOME front, I am not impressed by its inability to do basic file operations in the file dialog.

Those that argue that this functionality should be restricted to the file manager have never explained why one can still create a directory/folder within this same file dialog. With their argument, it should be removed. Period.

Re:Not so fast...! (1)

deftcoder (1090261) | about 7 years ago | (#20795883)

If one has to download and configure not less that 4 pieces of software just to get a basic mail-server functional, using the command line and editing text files which can be prone to errors...
As opposed to what? Editing them with a graphical text editor?

Repeat after me: Servers do *not* use GUIs. (unless you run Windows or Ubuntu Server, in which case, you probably shouldn't be configuring a MTA anyways)

Chances are the OS you install will be *out of date* and you'll have to download updated packages for your various services anyways.

Your desktop argument is valid. Your server one is not.

What about Power?? (1)

tgatliff (311583) | about 7 years ago | (#20795715)

This article does not mention anything about the amount of resources required to run Windows Vista, which will eventually be the only game in town in the windows world... Vista could not run on any of these low cost devices just looking at their spec sheets... Also, the large number of users who are willing to pay >= $2K for laptops will go the Apple route, which cuts off their profitable "ultimate" side of things... So yes, in the longterm, it looks like M$ is going to be a little pinched in the marketplace..

not really (1)

fermion (181285) | about 7 years ago | (#20795747)

One reason why MS was able to take off as the cheap OS choice was because everything else was so expensive, or sold as a system rather than a part. On the microcomputer, Compaq broke IBMs hold, and IBM shot itself in the foot by allowing MS supply an OS. As time went on, people began using commodity parts to build thier own own IBM compatible PCs, and installing MS DOS, usually without a license, on these machines.

Some think that the market is right for this to happen again now that MS is the overpriced, bloated, arrogant OEM. It is going to be more difficult. For one thing, hardware manufacturers sell computer with MS Windows for not much more than one can build a machine. Second, the most likely reason MS Windows costs hundreds of dollars retail is too keep the large hardware manufacturers happy, so that people will buy machines rather than upgrade the OS. This is one of the many apparent quid pro quos between MS and the computer makers to support MS. Since naked PCs are taboo, MS wins.

Third, it is my hypothesis that MS Windows is made solely to support after sales income opportunities for MS and the partners. I seriously doubt that the computer sales generate any money for the like of HP and Dell, and that kickbacks from MS and other software manufacturers are the real profit centers. Such income opportunities are not so possible with linux machines, so these machines must be sold at market prices.

For throw away machines, then, such as are used in the office, MS is going to be a good value as long as Dell and HP are in the MS pocket. The same holds true for single computer homes. Linux is winning where it is a value, i.e. where many machines are running in one place, and there is value in uptime. The cheapest machins is not going to be linux simply becuase the cheapest machine is going to supported through ads, which is not Linux.

Not logical (1)

o517375 (314601) | about 7 years ago | (#20795761)

Let me understand. If my hardware is expensive, I don't mind spending a lot for the OS. If the hardware is cheap, it bothers me that the OS is still the same price as before to the point that I will forgo the OS and spent a lot of time learning a new OS. Sumpin wrong there.

First, I've worked in the IT world _A LONG_ time. I can tell you that Microsoft has always bothered most people for various reasons. The people who have a good understanding of legal issues know that Bill Gates and Company are crooks who flagrantly break the law. IT people understand that Microsoft in the past has produced a crappy product for a high price. They now see that Microsoft produces a decent product but charges a very high price (everything and the kitchen sink is licensed out the wazoo and IT budgets reflect that). Basic users hate Microsoft because they cannot understand how to use Windows and feel betrayed due to the virus/spyware problem. About the only people who like Microsoft are wealthier people who consider themselves "power users" and really use the OS and all the gadgets they can get their hands on.

Now despite this massive discontent, Microsoft continues to be used by all because it is easy. Windows is kinda like frozen food. It costs more than preparing it yourself, but you don't need a pantry full of spices and seasonings, requires no prep time, and in many cases tastes just as good (read Marie Callendar) as meals from scratch, and is certainly more reliably good than home prepared meals. I can't tell you how many meals I've botched.

So, and I've said this many times, Linux/BSD will only become a popular desktop when governments decide to enact/enforce monopoly laws and force Microsoft to fully publish APIs so _ALL_ software no matter the programming language is fully platform independent.

Re:Not logical (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 7 years ago | (#20795829)

I think the idea is that a consumer would notice they're actually paying for Windows now you can buy a laptop with Linux. For example, Windows costs $100 it's more noticeable when your Dell checkout price goes from a $250 laptop to a $350 laptop.

I don't agree with this reasoning though because I have noticed that consumers tend to go for the best hardware available "just in case they want to do something with it later".

Tag: Math (?!) (0, Flamebait)

KefabiMe (730997) | about 7 years ago | (#20795775)

Who tagged this article "Math"?!?? Give me your damn geek card RIGHT NOW because this article has nothing to do with math. I'm not fucking majoring in fucking mathematics to figure out what fucking percentage of a fucking computer's price goes to fucking Microsoft. Arithmetic, sure. But MATH? Of all the places I'd think would appreciate mathematics... Slashdot! You have forsaken me!

Re:Tag: Math (?!) (1)

KefabiMe (730997) | about 7 years ago | (#20795803)

I hate to reply to my own comment, but on second thought maybe that person works in Microsoft's Excel division...
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